NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The blue print all started in Watson Hall dormitory seven years ago. Now three TSU alum who are founders of a major national restaurant chain, has been nominated as semifinalists for the esteemed James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Restaurateur Culinary Award. The semifinalists were announced on January 25.
Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria owners Clinton Gray, Derrick Moore and Emanuel Reed are nominated in the category of Outstanding Restaurateur. The award recognizes exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system.
“To be nominated for a James Beard award within our industry is the equivalent to an Oscars or Grammy nomination,” said Gray, speaking on behalf of his partners. “The best part is knowing that we are representing more than just Slim & Husky’s. Our entire community and culture are behind us, and we can feel the energy.”
During an event at TSU last Fall, the trio spoke to incoming freshmen about a dream they had in their college dorm, kicking off their business with $3,000. Something that grew into a multi-million-dollar company with branches across the country.
“Slim & Husky’s was born right here at TSU, in these dorms,” Gray reminded the students during the event.
“As freshmen and college students, we had the same dream as most of you to make a difference, but we had a plan and we worked on it.”
Slim & Husky’s opened its first restaurant in North Nashville just minutes away from the TSU campus. They now have a chain of restaurants in Memphis, Chattanooga, Atlanta and Sacramento. The pizza beeria will also open a location on Morehouse College campus in Atlanta, GA, in February.
James Beard Foundation nominees will be announced on March 29, with the winners being honored at a ceremony on Monday, June 5, 2023, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.