Birmingham's Hastings Wins James Beard Chef Award for South; Georgia Chefs Tie for Southeast



Acheson and Hopkins
  • Acheson and Hopkins
Nashville may not have had any chefs in the final winners' circle last night at the James Beard Foundation Awards, but three chefs who work within driving distance of Nashville took home medals.

Georgia chefs Hugh Acheson (Five and Ten in Athens, Ga.) and Linton Hopkins (Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta) tied for Best Chef in the Southeast, while Chris Hastings (Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Ala.) took the medal for Best Chef in the South.

The Southeast category covers Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Tennessee.

Nashville's Tandy Wilson (City House) and Tyler Brown (Capitol Grille) were named as semifinalists for the award in the first round back in February; Joseph Lenn of The Barn at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn., made it to the second round in March.

Nashville's celebrated new fine-dining spot The Catbird Seat was one of 10 semifinalists for Best New Restaurant. Last night's winner in the category was Chicago's Next, owned by Grant Achatz. (Both of Catbird's chefs, Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson, have worked for Achatz in the past.)

  • Hastings
Southern cuisine made a strong stand at the James Beard Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards, as I reported yesterday. Acheson, whose other restaurants include The National in Athens and Empire State South in Atlanta, won the cookbook category titled American Cooking for his A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen (Clarkson Potter, $35).

Honorary Nashvillian Jeni Britton Bauer, whose company Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams chose Nashville for its first retail store outside Ohio, won best cookbook in the desserts category for her work, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home (Artisan Books, $23.95).

You can download a full list of winners on the Beard site here, or read AP's coverage of the awards on HuffPost Food.

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