DALLAS — This story originally appeared in the Dallas Business Journal. The interview at the top of this article originally aired on July 12, 2021.
Nine North Texas restaurants and chefs were named semifinalists for the James Beard Awards, which is returning this year after taking a COVID-related hiatus in 2020 and 2021.
Roots Southern Table, located on 13050 Bee St. in Farmers Branch took two spots on the prestigious list. The restaurant made the national semifinalist list in the Best New Restaurant category. Chef Tiffany Derry, an alum of the popular reality cooking competition Top Chef, was also named a semifinalist in the Best Chef Texas category.
We profiled Derry and her business partner, Tom Foley, last February. Their business, the Irving-based T2D Concepts, is behind chicken brands Roots Chicken Shak — which has two locations in Plano and Austin — and Roots Southern Table, which opened last spring.
At the time, they said Roots Southern Table will be different from Roots Chicken Shak in the fact that it’s a full-service, full-menu restaurant that will eventually serve brunch, lunch and dinner.
“It's the idea of inclusivity. And equity is something that really brought Tiffany and I together, from a mission perspective. Our drive is to deliver great food, great service, great conversation and great impact,” Foley said. “The theme that we're driving at, particularly with Roots Southern Table is to say everyone is invited to our table, the idea that it's a place of psychological safety, a place of emotional safety.”
There were five other North Texas chefs in the Best Chef Texas semifinalist category:
The Dallas restaurant José was also named as a semifinalist in the national Outstanding Hospitality category.
Maricsa Trejo of La Casita Bakeshop (580 W Arapaho Rd.) in Richardson was named as a semifinalist in the Outstanding Baker category.
In addition, Las Almas Rotas (3615 Parry Ave.) in Dallas was a semifinalist in the Outstanding Bar Program category while Sachet (4270 Oak Lawn Ave) in Dallas in the Outstanding Wine Program category.
The New York-based James Beard Foundation runs the food industry awards program. The awards recognize exceptional talent in the culinary and food media industries, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability and a culture where all can thrive.
The finalists for the James Beard Awards will be revealed on March 16 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The winners will be announced on June 13 in Chicago.
The 2022 James Beard Awards will be the first in two years, after a COVID-related hiatus. Over the last two years, the awards underwent a full audit of its policies and procedures in order to remove bias, increase transparency and accessibility, and make the program more aligned with the foundation’s mission and values.