2023 James Beard Award semifinalists from Nashville

Meet the local chefs and restaurateurs up for the annual culinary awards.


The finalists will be announced in late March.

Photo by James A. Vitullo Photography via the James Beard Foundation

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Roll out the red carpet, food lovers (and watch the crumbs). The semifinalists were announced for the 2023 James Beard Awardsaka the Oscars of the culinary world — and Nashville stars are shining bright.

You’ll find five local semifinalists in the running for the profession’s most prestigious honors.

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, March 29, when the list will be narrowed down to finalists. Winners will be announced Monday, June 5 at a ceremony in Chicago.

2023 semifinalists 🏆

Clinton Gray, Derrick Moore, and Emanuel Reed, Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria | Nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur

  • The team behind Slim & Husky’s — three friends and Tennessee State University grads — opened the first location in 2017. Now, the restaurant serves signature artisan pizzas in multiple states. Plan your next pizza night.

Julio Hernandez, Maiz de la Vida | Nominated for Emerging Chef

  • Maiz de la Vida started small with a food truck and pop-up, but as Nashville’s love for Hernandez’s homemade tortillas grew, so did the chef’s plans for his concept. Maiz de la Vida Tortilla Shop opened last year, where dishes like birria ramen, chilaquiles, and empanadas await. A new brick-and-mortar location is coming soon to Paseo South Gulch.

Noelle Marchetti, Yolan | Nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker

  • As Yolan’s executive pastry chef, Marchetti oversees all pastries and desserts made at the Italian restaurant and other hotel concepts. Check out Marchetti’s popular focaccia recipe, served tableside at Yolan.

Josh Habiger, Bastion | Nominated for Best Chef: Southeast

  • Habiger is no stranger to the James Beard Awards, having been named a semifinalist in this category in 2018, 2019, and 2020. The 24-seat restaurant in Wedgewood-Houston is open for dinner Wednesday-Saturday (the bar is open nightly) — psst, reservations are still available for February seatings.

Trevor Moran, Locust | Nominated for Best Chef: Southeast

  • It’s been accolade after accolade for Moran’s 12 South restaurant since it opened in late 2020. Last fall, Locust landed on the New York Times’ list of 50 favorite restaurants in 2022 and was named Food & Wine Magazine’s “Restaurant of the Year.”

Who’s up next? 🔮

Fancy medallions are great, but we want to hear about your tastes. Are there restaurants or local chefs you think deserve some more love? Who might we see repping Music City at the James Beards in the future? Let us know about the unrecognized award-worthy meals.`

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