Photo Credit: Five & Ten
The James Beard Foundation describes its outstanding restaurant winner as the best restaurant "in the United States that serves as a national standard bearer of consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere and service. Eligible restaurants must have been in operation 10 or more consecutive years."
Five & Ten is the only restaurant in Georgia even on the list, and is one of two in the South (the other is Highlands Bar and Grill, in Birmingham, AL). The finalists will be announced Mar. 15, and the winners from among that group May 2.
Ryan Smith, of Staplehouse in Atlanta (nominated for Best New Restaurant), previously worked for Hugh Acheson at Empire State South and is on the semifinalists list for Best Chef, Southeast.
Empire State South is nominated for Outstanding Wine Program.
Acheson won Best Chef, Southeast, in 2012, after having been nominated in the category from 2008–2011.
Nominees in the Book, Journalism, and Broadcast Media Awards category will be announced in March, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Acheson's cookbook, The Broad Fork, on that list.