JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The James Beard Foundation announced its 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards, including two semifinalists in Jackson, ahead of the James Beard Awards.

Elvie’s owner and chef, Hunter Evans, is a semifinalist for Best Chef South, and Sambou’s African Kitchen is a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant.

Nominees will be announced on Wednesday, March 29, and winners will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony on Monday, June 5, 2023, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

The full list of 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards Semifinalists can be found on the James Beard Foundation website. 

Evans, who is a Jackson native, has formed strong relationships with Mississippi farmers and purveyors and showcases regional ingredients at his new restaurant, Elvie’s, which opened in 2020. The restaurant was named to the New York Times’ Best Restaurant list in 2022.

Sambou’s African Kitchen, which opened in March 2022, is family-run North Jackson eatery. In December 2022, the restaurant operated by Sally Demba and Jospeh and Bibian Demba, was named to the New York Times’ “25 Restaurant Dishes We Couldn’t Stop Thinking About This Year” for their oxtails.