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Oxford’s Snackbar chef named finalist for James Beard Award

The James Beard Foundation, a culinary organization named after the famed cookbook writer and teacher, has revealed the finalists for their prestigious annual awards. And Oxford has been represented again this year.

Vishwesh Bhatt, the chef from Snackbar, was named a finalist in the Best Chef South category early Wednesday afternoon. This is Bhatt’s third time making the short list, and his sixth time being nominated; he has not won the award before though.

In an interview last month with the EAGLE, Bhatt said it was an “amazing honor” to be nominated.

“It amazes me every time I look at that list, knowing how many good, talented people are on it,” he said. “I’m always a loss for words every time I make the list.”

A graduate of Ole Miss, Bhatt started cooking 25 years ago and began working at John Currence’s City Grocery in 2011. Currence himself won the Best Chef South award in 2009.

The winner of the award will be revealed on May 1.