2 Jackson restaurants nominated for prestigious James Beard Award

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 7:08 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -“Tremendously. The Jackson community has welcomed us with open arms, they have really been supporters of Sambou’s African kitchen, from day one.”

Sofia Mohammed, Co-Owner of Sambou’s African kitchen believes that the people of Jackson played a major role in the Jackson restaurant being nominated for the Best New Restaurant.

“The fact that we made it on that list is just an accomplishment itself,” Mohammed said.

Sambou’s and Elvie’s are both restaurants in the capital city that are in the running to receive what is known as an Oscar in the culinary world to some, a James Beard Award.

Each year, restaurants from across the U.S. enter in hopes of just being nominated in one of the categories.

“So, you know, to be nominated as an honor. And you know, to just continue in the process with James Beard is really fun and humbling and really exciting,” Hunter Evans, executive chef at Elvie’s said.

Evans is a semifinalist in the best chef of the south category.

Named after his grandmother, Elvie’s is no stranger to the spotlight.

The New York Times named it one of “America’s Best Restaurants,” Evans said.

Sambou’s was also featured in the New York Times for its oxtails on the “25 restaurant dishes we couldn’t stop thinking about this year” list.

“The food that we cook here, and we serve here, it is really made with love. And it’s made homestyle,” Mohammed said.

Both owners say that being open post-pandemic and dealing with the Jackson Water crisis has been tough, but with a team effort, they have persevered.

“So it’s certainly been a struggle. But you know, our staff is amazing, and they’ve really just kind of rallied together to help create what Elvie’s is,” Evans said.

“Definitely sooner than later, our city will have the resources and infrastructure needed to survive and thrive at a high level. So I have hope and faith that that will happen,” Mohammed said.

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