2 Louisville chefs are semifinalists for the 2024 James Beard Awards

It’s like the Oscars, but for food.

On the left, a man sits at a table with clasped hands, dressed in a dark t-shirt and wearing an apron. On the right, another man stands behind a table, while wearing a blue apron.

Lawrence Weeks of North of Bourbon (left) and Dallas McGarity of The Fat Lamb (right) are each semifinalists for the 2024 James Beard Awards.

Photos provided by Spouthouse and by Dan Dry. Illustration by LOUtoday.

Roll out the red carpet, food lovers (and watch the crumbs). Yesterday, Jan. 24, the semifinalists were announced for the 2024 James Beard Awards — one of the culinary world’s most prestigious prizes — and LOU’s stars are shining bright.

Two local chefs are up for an award based on excellence and other factors, like commitment to the community. But it’s an honor just to be nominated — getting on the James Beard radar is a game changer for any chef or restaurant, no matter how long they’ve been around.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 3, when the finalists will be announced. A June ceremony in Chicago will reveal the winners. Here’s the local flavor.

🏆 2024 semifinalists

A man sits at a table with clasped hands, wearing a dark tee shirt and apron.

Chef Lawrence Weeks is a semifinalist for the Emerging Chef award with 19 other nominees from around the country.

Photo provided by Sprouthouse

Lawrence Weeks, North of Bourbon, 935 Goss Ave. | Nominated for Emerging Chef (national) | Raised in a Creole/Cajun household in Kentucky, Weeks brought a taste of the Big Easy to Germantown when the restaurant opened in 2021. The Louisiana-inspired dishes include chicken and sausage file gumbo + pork boudin balls.

Plus, North of Bourbon’s libations list lives up to its name — there are 300+ bourbons on the menu along with 26 cocktails.

A man stands behind a table in a restaurant. He is wearing a blue apron and a baseball cap, with the sleeves on his white kitchen workshirt rolled to the elbows.

Dallas McGarity may soon add a James Beard Award to the “Chopped” title on his trophy shelf.

Photo by Dan Dry

Dallas McGarity, The Fat Lamb, 2011 Grinstead Dr. | Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV) | The modern comfort food restaurant opened in the Highlands in 2016, and it didn’t take long for McGarity to enter the glambour of the national spotlight. In 2019, he won an episode of Food Network’s “Chopped.”

True to its name, The Fat Lamb menu features Moroccan-spiced lamb meatballs + garlic and herb marinated lamb chops.

🍽️ Past semifinalists to visit

Seviche, 1538 Bardstown Rd.| Chef Anthony Lamas cooks up cuisine inspired by his Mexican + Puerto Rican heritage. He was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2022 in the Best Chef: Southeast category.

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