Executive chefs Steven Satterfield (Miller Union) and Ryan Smith (Staplehouse) are among the nominees for best chef/Southeast in the James Beard Foundation’s 27th annual awards.

jamesbeard medalThe nominees were announced this week. Winners will be named May 1 in Chicago.

Satterfield, who collected his fifth best chef nomination, lost to Tandy Wilson of City House in Nashville last year. He describes his approach to the food at West Midtown’s Miller Union as “simple yet refined” and focused on “updated regional classics with fresh-produce-driven ideas.”

Smith was a best chef/Southeast semifinalist last year. He’s been with Staplehouse since it opened in the Old Fourth Ward in 2015, and has cooked with such restaurant luminaries as Hugh Acheson (Empire State South) and Linton Hopkins (Restaurant Eugene).

Bon Appetit magazine named Staplehouse its best new restaurant of 2016, describing its food as “the next step in modern Southern cooking” and Smith as “leading the pack as its brightest practitioner.”

Miller Union's Steve Satterfield (right), Staplehouse's Ryan Smith.
Miller Union’s Steve Satterfield (left), Staplehouse’s Ryan Smith.

Nominated alongside Satterfield and Smith are John Fleer of Rhubarb in Asheville, N.C.; Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia in Louisville, Ky.; and Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman of Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen in Memphis, Tenn.

  • Miller Union, again, for outstanding wine program.
  • St. Cecelia, in Buckhead’s Pinnacle Building, for outstanding restaurant design (76 or more seats). The eatery was designed by New York City’s Meyer Davis, which also designed Bar Margot in Midtown’s Four Seasons Hotel and Buckhead’s King + Duke.

The annual awards, which also honor books, broadcast media and journalism, are named for James Andrew Beard (1903-1985). Beard was an American cookbook author, teacher, syndicated columnist and TV personality who championed American cuisine and mentored generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. The awards are presented each year near his birthday.