The James Beard Foundation just released its list of the 2022 semifinalists in the restaurant and chef categories, and there are a select few Nashville chefs, restaurants, and bars who made the cut.
East Nashville’s Peninsula, which was the Eater Nashville 2018 Restaurant of the Year, has been churning out creative dishes inspired by the Iberian Peninsula under chef Jake Powell. Lou opened in late 2019 in a familiar renovated 1930s craftsman house in East Nashville’s Riverside Village, providing a cozy space for brunch and dinner fare from chef Mailea Weger, alongside memorable desserts and a stellar natural wine program. Chef Philip Krajeck’s Rolf and Daughters has been a Nashville standard since its opening in 2013, as has the Nashville outpost of essential cocktail destination Attaboy, which reopened in late 2020 after the building and the team suffered unspeakable damage from the 2020 tornado.
Widely considered the “Oscars” equivalent of the food world, 2022 marks the return of the annual awards after ceremonies were canceled in 2020 and 2021 amid the pandemic. Last year, the foundation conducted an extensive audit attempting to make the awards process more accessible, equitable, and transparent going forward. The audit followed years of accusations of racism and sexism and scandals surrounding bad actors in the restaurant industry who were subsequently nominated for awards by the foundation.
Finalists in the 2022 restaurant and chef categories will be announced on Wednesday, March 16, with winners announced during an awards ceremony on June 13 in Chicago.
Below is the complete list of the Nashville semifinalists.
Outstanding Bar Program
- Attaboy, Nashville
Best Chef: Southeast
- Jake Howell, Peninsula, Nashville
- Philip Krajeck, Rolf and Daughters, Nashville
- Mailea Weger, Lou, Nashville
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.