Three local restaurants are among Georgia’s nominees for the James Beard Awards, which are given annually by the New York-based James Beard Foundation to the top restaurants, chefs, sommeliers, food writers and others.

The nominees were announced March 27 by the foundation on its website.

First, Hugh Acheson, chef/owner of Empire State South in Midtown, was nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur. Acheson was nominated for the same honor for his two Athens eateries — the National and Five and Ten.

Second, Miller Union in west Midtown was nominated for Outstanding Wine Program.

Third, Bryan Furman, chef/owner of B’s Cracklin’ BBQ in northwest Atlanta, was nominated for Best Chef for the Southeast.

Three other Atlanta restaurants were honored. Ryan Smith, who leads Staplehouse in southeast Atlanta, was nominated for Best Chef for the Southeast, and the Ticonderoga Club in Inman Park and Kimball House in Decatur each were nominated for Outstanding Bar Program.

All the foundation’s winners will be announced in a series of three events starting April 26 in Chicago and New York.

For more information on the nominees, visit


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