James Beard Award slips away from Atlanta bosses in 2024

Savang and Lassiter launched Talat Market as a weekend pop-up at Gato Bizco cafe in Candler Park. Just weeks after launching in 2017, Savang and Lassiter were already drawing crowds hoping to land one of the coveted seats, and a few years later they raised enough capital through a Kickstarter campaign to open their first physical store in Summerhill, right. at the start of the pandemic.

In the seven years they have operated their Thai restaurant, they have received many accolades. In 2018, Talat Market was included on Bon Appetit’s Top 50 nominee list for America’s Best New Restaurants. Most recently, Talat Market earned a spot in Atlanta’s first Michelin Guide as a recommended restaurant.

Savang and Lassiter told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution when the finalists were announced in April that the recognition was surreal.

“It’s come full circle,” Savang said of the nomination. He first attended the James Beard Awards as a volunteer in 2011 and was not allowed to watch the event.

“I saw my career unfold before my eyes,” he said. “I saw chefs like Hugh Acheson and Andy Ricker there, and those are people I’ve met and worked with.”

“This is all still very unexpected from my perspective,” Lassiter said. “When we started (Talat Market)…we were just trying to grow our audience and have fun. It’s mind-blowing, and still deep in my heart, I don’t expect this kind of thing to happen. I feel very grateful and honored.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards are among the nation’s most prestigious honors recognizing leaders in the culinary and food media industries.

Metro Atlanta’s chefs and restaurants have won several James Beard Awards in the past. Most recently, Terry Koval of The Deer and The Dove won Best Chef: Southeast last year, and Miller Union chef and co-owner Steven Satterfield won Best Chef: Southeast in 2017.

Outside of Atlanta, Mashama Bailey of The Gray in Savannah won Outstanding Chef in 2022 and Best Chef: Southeast in 2019.

A win for Atlanta: Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Michael Jordan won the Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award at the James Beard Media Awards on June 8.

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