On January 25, 2023, the James Beard Foundation revealed its list of semifinalists for the 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards, featuring Nashville-based pizza restaurant, Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria, co-founded by Clinton Gray, Derrick Moore, and Emanuel Reed. The three Nashville natives, who are alumni of Tennessee State University (TSU), were named as semifinalists for the Outstanding Restaurateur category.
Reed and Moore were elementary-school friends who met Gray in high school. After graduation in 2003, all three attended TSU and together joined Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. With a deep understanding of the community and its needs, the trio decided to put their knowledge to good use when they sold their successful moving company, The Green Truck Moving & Storage Company, after five years. Using their SOON Hospitality company, “Something Out Of Nothing”, they founded Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria, with a strong focus on community and a relentless work ethic.
“The guys and I are so thankful to the James Beard Nomination Committee for this year’s recognition,” said Slim & Husky’s CMO Gray. “To be included amongst so many culinary greats is a true honor. We contribute this nomination to the hard-working, talented and creative group known as the PREAM TEAM.”
Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria specializes in artisan pizzas and unique cinnamon rolls made with locally sourced ingredients, which customers can create their own pizzas, take advantage of take-out services, and deliver through third-party vendors. The trio aimed to invigorate less touched community areas through employment opportunities and accessible dining experiences including locally cursed craft beer and innovative pizza creations.
“Our entire organization starting with Chef Jason Williams has been the key to our growth as we scale S+H into a household name,” said Gray. “This is a win for all of us. Thank you to the Nashville Community for always supporting our vision and spreading the word about our story to the masses. Progress Rules Everything Around Us #PREAM”
The James Beard Awards are widely recognized as one of the most prestigious honors in the culinary industry, recognizing exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary, restaurant, and food media sectors. Being named as a semifinalist for the awards is a significant accomplishment, and the team at Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria should be proud of their nomination.
In recent years, the James Beard Foundation, the organization responsible for issuing these prestigious awards, has made a concerted effort to prioritize issues of racial and gender equity, community building, sustainability, and fostering a culture in which all individuals have the opportunity to thrive. This emphasis is particularly important in an industry that continues to face challenges and ongoing inequalities. These values align with the mission and goal of Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria making them a strong candidate for the awards.
The 2023 James Beard Award finalists will be unveiled on Wednesday, March 29 in Nashville, followed by a grand ceremony on Monday, June 5, 2023, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where the winners will be honored.