On February 17, the James Beard Foundation announced its list of semi-finalists for its annual culinary awards. The James Beard Awards are the Oscars of the food and beverage world, and once again SpringHouse Executive Chef Rob McDaniel’s name graces the list of contenders for Best Chef: South. The state of Alabama seems to be growing in recognition as well. This year, of the 20 competitors in the category, three are from Alabama.
Chef Rob is an alumnus of Auburn University’s Hotel and Restaurant Management program, and recently spoke to Auburn’s The Newsroom about the honor. "For the last three years, there has only been one semifinalist from Alabama; this year we have three," noted McDaniel. "If one of us were to win, it would bring well deserved attention to the winner, but also to the rest of the state and what's happening with food here in Alabama."
His two Alabama competitors for the award are fellow Auburn alum David Bancroft of Acre in Auburn and Bill Briand, executive chef at Fisher’s Upstairs at Orange Beach Marina.
What happens next?
Finalists for the James Beard Awards will be announced on March 15 in San Francisco, trimming the “Best Chef: South competitors to five. Winners will be announced at the Lyric Opera in Chicago on May 2.
Congratulations, Chef Rob!!
Auburn’s McDaniel, Bancroft competing for James Beard Foundation Award >
Auburn University The Newsroom, February 26, 2016
Full list of 2016 James Beard Award semi-finalists >