Josh Habiger of Bastion — part casual cocktail bar, part intimate fine-dining restaurant in Wedgewood-Houston — is Nashville’s only finalist for a coveted James Beard Award, honoring excellence in the restaurant industry. The James Beard Foundation announced the 2023 finalists, aka nominations or nominees, this morning during a ceremony at the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum in downtown Nashville.
This isn’t Bastion’s first rodeo; the acclaimed restaurant was a Beard semifinalist for best new restaurant in 2017. This year, Habiger remains in the running for best chef, Southeast, a regional category that considers chefs from Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia. It’s the same category that Nashville had a finalist in last year when Philip Krajeck of Rolf and Daughters ultimately lost out to Ricky Moore from Durham, N.C. A gala announcing this year’s award winners is scheduled for Chicago on Monday, June 5.
The rest of Nashville’s semifinalists, who were named in January — Trevor Moran of Locust, Noelle Marchetti from Yolan, Julio Hernandez from Maiz de la Vida, and Clinton Gray, Derrick Moore, and Emanuel Reed of Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria — didn’t make the cut for today’s “short list” of nominees, though their “long list” consideration still carries its own measure of prestige.
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Awards. Eater is partnering with the James Beard Foundation to livestream the awards in 2023.