James Beard award finalist/ Brennan's chef Slade Rushing says he hasn't been enjoying his Beard finalist status since awards season sith lord Brett Anderson lambasted the JBFAs for nominating him—Rushing only took over at Brennan's upon the reopening in late November 2014, and Anderson argues that's not adequate time for the majority of JBFA voters to have dined there.
Rushing has in fact met the qualifications for a Beard award by working as a chef in the region consistently for three years—in fact he's worked on and off in New Orleans since the 90s, including the past ten years at the shortlived Longbranch and CBD stunner MiLa alongside his wife/Beard Rising Star winner Alison Vines-Rushing, and now at Brennan's alone (also another reason Anderson feels the JBFA nod comes too soon). Rushing now finds himself having to defend his nomination:
I don't mean to say this with a sense of arrogance, but I feel like the Jedi master is being picked on here out of the group that's being nominated. All the other candidates from New Orleans used to come into my restaurant at MiLa all the time. They're friends of mine. No disrespect to them. They are super-talented. I love their food. But I am the one who's been in this new food scene in New Orleans the longest. I deserve to be nominated.
Fellow nominees Justin Devillier and Alon Shaya both moved to New Orleans in 2003, Todd Price reports. The James Beard Award winners will be announced this evening, May 4 at 6 p.m.