SHAYA: CHERYL GERBER
Justin Devillier, Slade Rushing and Alon Shaya all are finalists for Best Chef: South in the 2015 James Beard Awards.
The 2015 James Beard Award semifinalists
were announced in February, and New Orleans did (predictably) well in the judging, including five of the 20 chefs in the Best Chef: South category, as well as several other nominations. This morning the finalists were announced, winnowing the list even further.
Three of the five finalists in Best Chef: South are from New Orleans, all of whom are established chefs working on new projects: Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery and the newly opened Balise; Slade Rushing of the revived and revitalized Brennan's; and Alon Shaya of Domenica and the packed-every-night new restaurant Shaya. They will compete against Vishwesh Bhatt of Snackbar in Oxford, Mississippi and Jose Enrique of Jose Enrique in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
New Orleans scored one apiece in four other categories:
Outstanding Chef: Donald Link, Herbsaint
Oustanding Restaurateur: JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline
Oustanding Bar Program: Arnaud's French 75
Oustanding Service: Restaurant August
The annual James Beard Award gala, where the winners will be revealed, will be held May 4 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.