Oxheart, Justin Yu’s 31-seat Houston restaurant, has received an immense amount of praise since opening in March of last year. Bon Appétit, GQ, Texas Monthly, and numerous media outlets have dubbed the vegetable-centric restaurant one of the best in the nation. Naturally when the James Beard Foundation announced its semifinalists for the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards, it came as no real shock that both Justin Yu and Oxheart were honored as semifinalists. Oxheart is a candidate for Best New Restaurant, and Yu is up for Rising Star Chef of the Year.
Yu spoke with Texas Monthly about the pressure that comes with praise, what chefs should win a James Beard award, and his sweet dancing skills.
Layne Lynch: This is your first James Beard recognition. You were also recently recognized in GQ and Bon Appétit. Do these recognitions change the way you work? In other words, how