One of Austin's most prominent chefs and its most famous pitmaster are finalists for James Beard Awards in 2015. Previous finalist Bryce Gilmore of Odd Duck and Barley Swine is joined by Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue in the Best Chef Southwest category. Texas as a whole dominates: Houston chefs Hugo Ortega and Justin Yu are also amongst the six nominees.
The James Beard Award chef and restaurant winners will be announced at a gala on May 4th at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, the first time the awards have been held outside of New York City. 2015 was a big year for Austin semifinalists as well: David Bull in Best Chef Southwest; Sam Hellman-Mass, Mark Buley, and Grae Nonas in Rising Star; and Olamaie for best new restaurant.