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Mississippi had two finalists for this year’s James Beard awards. Here’s how they fared

Vestige in Ocean Springs was nominated for Outstanding Restaurant in this year's James Beard awards (File photo)

The James Beard Foundation dished out its annual awards during a Monday night gala in Chicago, Ill., with Mississippi having finalists in two categories.

In what’s known as the Oscars of the restaurant world, Hunter Evans of Elvie’s in Jackson was a finalist for Best Chef in the South. Evans, who staged at some of New York City’s top restaurants before moving back to his hometown to open the modern French cuisine joint in 2020, ultimately fell to Valerie Chang of Maty’s in Miami, Fla.

In a social media post following the event, Evans wrote that he was honored to be nominated and hopes his restaurant will be nominated and hopefully win future James Beard awards.

“Thank you to the [Beard Foundation] for hosting an incredible weekend. It was an honor being present and we are hopeful for more visits to Chicago in the future. We are so thankful for our incredible team and each person who’s walked through our doors these last few years, and we look forward to what lies ahead,” Evans wrote, paired with a heart emoji.

Vestige in Ocean Springs was up for Outstanding Restaurant, a national award. The up-scale, New American restaurant along the Mississippi Gulf Coast was ousted by Langbaan in Portland, Ore.

While neither Evans nor Vestige won this year, being selected as a finalist for a James Beard award is still an honor in itself.

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