Lafayette chef receives James Beard Foundation nod

by Kari Walker

Justin Girouard of The French Press among list of acclaimed Southern chefs

Photo via The French Press

Chef Justin Girouard of The French Press

The James Beard Foundation released its 2014 semifinalists of restaurants and chefs in the running for the highly coveted culinary honor. The James Beard Foundation Award nominations cover all aspects of the food industry - categories include chefs, restaurateurs, cookbook authors, food journalists and more. These awards are the highest honor for service industry professionals in North America.

One of Lafayette's own is among this year's nominees - Justin Girouard, chef and owner of The French Press is up for the "Best Chef: South" award. This is also Girouard's third year nominated for a James Beard Award.

Along with his wife Margaret, Justin Girouard opened The French Press in the historic Tribune Printing Plant building on Vermilion Street across from Parc San Souci, built in the 1930s, and retained much of the building's original architecture and offers brunch by day and fine dining by night.

In 2013, the restaurant was hailed as one of SAVEUR Magazine's Top 100 Inspiring Places and Things to Eat and rated as one of Urban Spoon's Top Breakfast Restaurants in the country.

Before returning to his hometown, Lafayette, Girouard worked under chef Scott Boswell of Stella! and Stanley in New Orleans.