Chef Ryan Smith’s Staplehouse in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, which recently added Sunday brunch to its lineup, is a semifinalist for best new restaurant in the 26th annual James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef awards. Previous Beard winner Hugh Acheson of Athens’ Five & Ten is a semifinalist for outstanding restaurant.
James Andrew Beard (1903-1985), the awards’ namesake, was an American cookbook author, teacher, syndicated columnist and TV personality who championed American cuisine and mentored generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. These awards are presented each year near his birthday.
Other metro Atlanta semifinalists:
- Baker: Sarah O’Brien, the Little Tart Bakeshop (Grant Park, Krog Street Market).
- Bar program: Kimball House (Decatur).
- Pastry chef: Kimiko Nishimura, Tomo Japanese Restaurant (Buckhead).
- Restaurateur: Ford Fry (The Optimist in West Midtown, St. Cecilia in Buckhead).
- Service: Bacchanalia (West Midtown).
- Wine program: Empire State South (Midtown); Miller Union (West Midtown).
- Rising star of the year: Jarrett Stieber, Eat Me Speak Me (Atlanta).
- Chef, Southeast: Billy Allin of Cakes & Ale (Decatur); Kevin Gillespie of Gunshow (southeast Atlanta); Steven Satterfield of Miller Union); and Ryan Smith of Staplehouse.
Finalists will be announced March 15. Restaurant and chef winners will be announced at a May 2 gala in Chicago. Go HERE for a full list of semifinalists in all categories.