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Brett Anderson Lambasts Beard Awards For Slade Rushing's Best Chef South Nod

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Anderson argues that the Beard Awards got it all wrong when they nominated Brennan's chef Slade Rushing as a finalist for Best Chef South.

Slade Rushing with Ralph Brennan at Brennan's
Slade Rushing with Ralph Brennan at Brennan's

Now that you've had a day to ruminate over the 2015 James Beard Award finalists, let's turn our attention to somebody else who has, Times-Pic critic Brett Anderson. This week Anderson argues that Brennan's Slade Rushing should NOT be a finalist in the Best Chef South category this year, essentially because Brennan's is too new—having just opened in late November 2014—so new, in fact, that the 300 people who comprise the voting body couldn't possibly have had time to dine there.

The finalists and awards are decided by "previous James Beard Restaurant & Chef Award winners" including Anderson himself, but:

Given the disproportionate number of past Beard winners from New York City, it's safe to assume some voters cast a ballot for Rushing based on his and Vines-Rushing's cooking at Jack's. And it's certain many voters know and admire Rushing based on the food at MiLa.

Rushing was neither nominated for a JBFA while at Jack's or MiLa, and while Anderson notes that "honoring a chef with a Beard for past accomplishments is neither unprecedented nor a violation of any rules," he feels that "The Beard Awards did a disservice to both its prestigious program and this talented chef by not allowing him adequate time to earn that honor at Brennan's."

What do you think?