Beloved Austin barbecue pitmaster Aaron Franklin traveled to Chicago to dish out his famed brisket at this year’s reception last night. Franklin also happened to be the first pitmaster to ever win a James Beard Award last year, in the Best Chef: Southwest category.
Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn spoke to the pitmaster about his plans. He traveled to Chicago with chilled smoked briskets in tow. The meat was served simply with crustless white beard and his espresso barbecue sauce.
While Austin chefs and restaurants were in the running for the 2016 wards, Bryce Gilmore of Odd Duck/Barley Swine for Southwest chef, Grae Nonas for Rising Star, and Launderette for Best New Restaurant, none won. Texas was represented by winning-chef Justin Yu of Houston restaurant Oxheart, known for its Texas-centric tasting menu, often highlighting vegetables.