James Beard awards: Two Atlanta restaurants named finalists

Restaurant Industry News, Atlanta Metro Area,

Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Two Atlanta restaurants are still in the running for 2020 James Beard Foundation awards.

The Beard Foundation announced finalists for this year's awards in a broadcast live streamed on Twitter Monday afternoon, the same day the awards gala was originally scheduled to be held. Anne Quatrano, the Beard award-winning chef and restaurateur behind Atlanta dining institutions Bacchanalia and Star Provisions, is chair of the foundation's awards committee and was one of the presenters on the broadcast.

Westside staple Miller Union, whose chef-owner Steven Satterfield won the 2017 Beard award for Best Chef: Southeast, is a finalist for the 2020 Outstanding Wine Program award. Decatur oyster and cocktail purveyor Kimball House is a finalist for Outstanding Bar Program.

Nine Atlanta representatives were on the long list of semifinalists, which was revealed in February.

The Beard awards are commonly referred to as the Oscars of the food world. The annual awards gala brings together the most celebrated chefs and restaurateurs in America.

This year's gala was set to be held Monday night at the Lyric Opera in Chicago. The Beard Foundation indefinitely postponed the event in March as the novel coronavirus pandemic began to shut down gatherings of any size across the United States. The foundation on Monday announced winners will be unveiled Friday, September 25, in Chicago, but it did not offer further details regarding a possible gala.

The pandemic has caused enormous economic harm to the nation's restaurant industry. In Georgia, year-over-year sales from April 1 to April 10 dropped by an average of 78%. The National Restaurant Association estimated Georgia's industry would lose more than $1.7 billion in sales in April. Ninety-one percent of restaurant owners laid off or furloughed employees during the first 10 days of April, reducing total staff by an average of 82%.

See the complete list of 2020 finalists on the Beard Foundation's website.