Five is a lucky number for chef Steven Satterfield. The co-owner of Miller Union in West Midtown is Atlanta’s first James Beard Award winner in five years. In his fifth year of being nominated.

Steven Satterfield
Steven Satterfield

At the James Beard Foundation’s prestigious awards event in Chicago on Monday,  Satterfield won the medal for best chef: Southeast, topping fellow nominee Ryan Smith of Staplehouse, among others. The Beard awards are the restaurant industry’s highest honors. Its Southeast category includes Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

The only other Atlanta winner: St. Cecilia in Buckhead, whose design (76 seats and more) won for the New York-based Meyer Davis Studio.

In addition to Staplehouse’s Smith, the other nominees in Satterfield’s category were 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. Atlanta chefs last won the medal in 2012, when Linton Hopkins and Hugh Acheson shared it.

Miller Union was nominated for outstanding wine program, with Canlis in Seattle taking the medal.

Wine Enthusiast Magazine has described Miller Union’s food as “simple, sustainable Southern fare with an authentic yet modern approach to farmstead-inspired cooking.” Satterfield, who is executive chef and co-owner, is active in the progressive culinary community with such organizations as Slow Food Atlanta, Georgia Organics, Community Farmer’s Markets, Chefs Collaborative and the Southern Foodways Alliance.

On the Miller Union website he describes his style as “simple yet refined updated regional classics with fresh produce-driven ideas.” The dinner menu, for example, features starters (feta snack, red pea & benne seed hummus with house-made lavash); entrees (nettle & ricotta ravioli, braised rabbit, golden tilefish); sides (mostly veggie medleys); and desserts (buttermilk cake, sticky toffee cake, cheese of the day with accompaniments).

The Beard Foundation handed out media awards last week. Atlanta Eater editor/critic Bill Addison won the dining and travel award for a piece titled  “I Want Crab. Pure Maryland Crab.” Read it HERE.