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Roots Southern Table, North Texas chef Tiffany Derry make James Beard finalist lists

The awards recognize exceptional talent in the culinary and food media industries.

DALLAS — This story originally appeared in the Dallas Business Journal.

Chef Tiffany Derry and her Roots Southern Table restaurant both made the 2022 James Beard Award finalist lists, announced on Wednesday.

Roots Southern Table, located on 13050 Bee St. in Farmers Branch, took one of the 10 spots in the national finalist list for the Best New Restaurant category.

And the restaurant's chef, Tiffany Derry, took one of the five finalist spots for the Best Chef Texas category.

Winners will be named at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on June 13 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Last month, nine North Texas restaurants and chefs were named as semifinalists for the James Beard Awards, which is returning this year after taking a COVID-related hiatus in 2020 and 2021.

We profiled Derry and her business partner, Tom Foley, last February. Their business, 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.”

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 2022 James Beard Awards will be the first in two years, after a 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.

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