Two major names in New Orleans’s restaurant and bar world have been nominated for James Beard Book Awards — Turkey and the Wolf’s Mason Hereford (who just opened a brand new dinner and drinks restaurant, Hungry Eyes) and Cure’s Neal Bodenheimer.
The James Beard Foundation announced its 2023 media award nominees on Wednesday, April 26, about a month after releasing this year’s restaurant and chef semifinalists. Three New Orleans standouts made that shortlist: Dakar NOLA’s Serigne Mbaye for emerging chef, Angelo Brocato for outstanding bakery, and Ana Castro of Lengua Madre for best chef, South.
For the book awards, Hereford was nominated for his 2022 cookbook Turkey and the Wolf: Flavor Trippin’ in New Orleans in the restaurant and professional category, described as “Books written by a culinary professional or restaurant chef with recipes that may include advanced cooking techniques, or the use of specialty ingredients and professional equipment, including culinary arts textbooks.” The book was written with frequent cookbook co-author JJ Goode and features several recipes that appear on the menu at his acclaimed first restaurant, lunchtime go-to's like potato chip–loaded fried bologna sandwiches and deviled-egg tostadas with salsa macha. The books almost didn’t land in the hands of the committee — its release was significantly delayed last year after the first round of cookbooks were lost at sea on their way to the U.S. following a container collapse in the Atlantic.
In the beverage with recipes category, the James Beard Foundation nominated Cure: New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em from the Award-Winning Bar, a 2022 cocktail recipe book by Cure founder Neal Bodenheimer and writer Emily Timberlake. Cure, which Bodenheimer opened on Freret Street bar in 2009 as a new-school destination for craft cocktails, won the 2018 James Beard Award for outstanding bar program after being nominated in the category in 2016 and 2017.
Winners of the restaurant, chef, and media James Beard Awards will be announced during a ceremony in Chicago on June 5. For the full list of 2023 James Beard Award finalists, see here.
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.