A momentous achievement for our local businesses and especially to four Richmonders nominated for the prestigious James Beard awards as semi-finalists. Three of these Richmonders? Local, baby. Let’s shower them with love and recognition!
In addition, An Bui, owner of Mekong was named a semifinalist in the Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional category.
So what is the James Beard award and why is it such an honor?
The late James Beard was a world renowned American chef known for mentoring and educating generations of fellow chefs, home cooks and foodies with a sense that they could achieve their goals if they adhered to the value of wholesome, healthful and delicious food. The awards were established in 1990 and are often called the “Oscars of Food”. What’s different about this particular award is that it is judged by peers in the industry: those who have influenced these chefs or are part of their careers.
In many ways, just being considered is a great honor especially when you realize how special Metzger and Sub Rosa really are. These businesses, to many, embody what’s great about our neighborhood: resilience, innovation and a love for Richmond, despite all the hardships and difficulties. Sub Rosa, like many businesses has gone through some troubles itself- remember the fire? and yet it bounced back with national recognition.
Likewise, Metzger was named Style Weekly’s Restaurant of the Year back in 2015. Opened back in 2014, this place has been a staple of fine dining in Union Hill. The building owned and revitalized by developer Daniil Kleyman and his team showed the community how restoring a large retail storefront can greatly improve a streetscape. Metzger has also gone through some hardships with the loss of bartender and overall awesome human being Kurt Moon in 2016.
And now, look, they’re nominated and recognized for their excellence. Yet they’re unassuming, committed to introducing all sorts of goodies to the community and they make food fun and accessible.
There’s still one more voting round to go on Wednesday March 14 where the Foundation will announce the final nominees. If you want to see the event live, it can be streamed online at the James Beard website.