Mashama Bailey, partner and executive chef at The Grey, has been named as a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s 2019 Restaurant and Chef Awards.
Bailey, for the second year in a row, is a semifinalist for best chef in the southeast.
Before opening The Grey, Bailey, who is currently featured on the new season of Netflix’s “Chef’s Table," studied at The Institute of Culinary Education along with studying in France and working for four years at Prune on Manhattan's Lower East Side under the tutelage of her friend and mentor, Gabrielle Hamilton.
Since opening in 2014, The Grey and Bailey’s cuisine have racked up accolades and praise from numerous publications, including Southern Living, The Washington Post, Zagat and Travel + Leisure. The restaurant was also named Eater’s Restaurant of the Year in 2017 and one of TIME Magazine's "Greatest Places" of 2018.
Nominated alongside Bailey for best chef in the southeast is former Savannahian Bryan Furman of B’s Cracklin' BBQ.
Now based in Atlanta, Furman and his wife, Nikki, opened the original B’s Cracklin' BBQ on Coffee Bluff Road in 2014, which quickly gained a following after it was named one of the top 50 barbecue spots in the South by Southern Living magazine.
In June 2015, the location burned to the ground after a refrigerator malfunctioned, but following a huge outpouring of community support, the Furmans opened a new location four months later on White Bluff Road.
The Furmans later expanded their business to Atlanta, but still operate the Savannah location.
Bailey and Furman make up a semifinalist list of 20 southeast chefs. The list will drop to five finalists, which will be announced March 27 in Houston.