More James Beard Award Nominees

May 7, 2012 | By | Comments (0)

Hear from three more Southern Nominees for James Beard Awards below. The ceremony takes place tonight in New York City. To purchase tickets, go to If you can’t attend, check in on the live stream, broadcast from the website, or follow announcements on twitter @beardfounation or from our own Features Editor, Jennifer Cole @jennifervcole.


Photo: Courtesy of Blackberry Farm

Joseph Lenn
The Barn at Blackberry Farm
Walland, TN
Best Chef Nominee (Southeast)

What is your favorite cookbook?
The French Laundry. It was one of the first books I bought when I was in culinary school. I read it cover to cover and then read it again. There are so many things that made sense in the cookbook. Also, the stories and inspirations about the dishes really were just as important as the technique.

What was the most inspiring meal you've eaten this year?
The tasting menu at WD-50 in New York City. I think I knew the inspiration behind almost every dish, however, the techniques used in many of the dishes were so innovative. There was a surprise with every dish and it really made me think about all of the senses while I ate.

Which  item on the menu at Blackberry Farm best defines your style of cooking and why?
Either the Trout with watercress, radishes and buttermilk consommé or Guinea and dumplings. One is inspired by Hesse Creek here at Blackberry Farm and the other is a take on a southern classic.

Photo: Courtesy of Cypress

Craig Dehli
Charleston, SC
Best Chef Nominee (Southeast)

What is your favorite cookbook?
My favorite cookbook is The French Laundry by Thomas Keller. It had been the most inspiring book that I own. The stories and recipes teach respect and honesty.

What was the most inspiring meal you've eaten this year?
Most inspiring meal was at Alla Spinna in Philadelphia, PA. I was with my parents and ordered the roasted pig head with rhubarb jam and toast. It was a quite the visual display fit for my carnivorous craving.

Which  item on the menu at Cypress best defines your style of cooking and why?
The 'Nduja salami. This Calabrian salami is served warm and is spreadable. The salami is made with fatty pork and hot pepper paste. The dish is simple and rustic. The flavor of the pepper makes you crave another bite and then another until it's gone. It shows craftsmanship, patience (6 months of waiting), restraint, and quality for the products that we work with.

Photo: Courtesy of Rosewood Hotels

Bruno Davaillon
Mansion Restaurant at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
Dallas, TX
Best Chef Nominee (Southwest)

What is your favorite cookbook?
The Mansion's new cookbook, of course. I'm really thrilled about the release last month of The Mansion on Turtle Creek Cookbook: Haute Cuisine, Texas Style. It celebrates more than 30 years of culinary innovation at the Mansion Restaurant, so there are recipes from the past 30 years, in addition to a large amount of dishes from my time at the Mansion. There are also wonderful spotlights on the local vendors—meats, cheeses, grits, herbs, wine—that keep the flavors at the Mansion local and fresh.

What was the most inspiring meal you've eaten this year?
Every meal I eat at Tei-An here is Dallas is inspiring. Chef Teiichi is doing some amazing things, and his restaurant has the soul and spirit of Asia. You feel like you're in another world when you're in his restaurant. Specifically, my favorite dish is house-made Soba Noodle with Wagyu Bolognese. Teiichi always finds a way to surprise me. This dish is packed with flavor and it’s rich and elegant at the same time. This is what happens when a Japanese master pays tribute to Italian food.

Which item on the menu at The Mansion Restaurant best defines your style of cooking and why?
Right now I would say the Flavor of Duck (it's also in the cookbook). It has classic, refined and simple flavors prepared with a French technique. I love clean flavors.