The James Beard Foundation announced its list of award nominees Monday. Seven pitmasters (two from Texas) were up for the Best Chef category as semifinalists, but only one, Cristina Martinez of South Philly Barbacoa in Philadelphia, made it to the list of finalists. The Thai barbecue restaurant Eem in Portland, Oregon, was named as a finalist for best new restaurant.

Aaron Franklin has been named one of nine semifinalists for the Barbecue Hall of Fame:
https://twitter.com/DrBBQ/status/1258151648855232521

Austin Monthly released its Best of ATX list, and the choice for best barbecue was InterStellar BBQ in Cedar Park.

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The Salt Lick has set up a new food truck operation in downtown Dripping Springs.

Cedric Griffin won a championship with the University of Texas at Austin’s football team, and now he’s running an Austin barbecue truck with his business partner, Jerome Faulkner.

We love Louie Mueller Barbecue too, but please stop wringing out the brisket:
https://twitter.com/InsiderFood/status/1255972696992579584

Houston pitmasters Ara Malekian, Greg Gatlin, and the Blood brothers share fond memories of their mothers.

A bevy of Houston barbecue joints was featured in the March issue of Open Skies, the in-flight magazine for Emirates Airline.

In advance of opening its dining rooms, Goode Company in Houston has offered free COVID-19 testing to all employees.

Unfortunate timing for a barbecue relocation in Houston:

Julian’s BBQ in Corpus Christi was broken into, and the thief stole memorabilia off the walls.

Thieves also broke into 225 Urban Smoke in San Antonio. They raided the meat cooler, stealing the entire supply of meat.

Old House BBQ in Lewisville suffered damage from a fire and is temporarily closed.

In this season’s final episode, Somewhere South headed to San Diego, Texas, for smoked mollejas.

Big D Barbecue in Mansfield decided to stick with plans for a second location. They’ll expand to Midlothian with a new restaurant in August.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit locations are reopening their dining rooms wherever it is permitted by local jurisdictions.

225 BBQ in Arlington gets some love from our Taco editor:

“Biggest thing we decided [was for] the safety of everyone, we don’t have a big dining room so that didn’t make sense. We don’t want people getting too close together.” —Brian Bingham on not opening the dining room at Bodacious Bar-B-Q in Longview

In Weslaco, Joel Garcia explained why he’s not opening the dining room at Teddy’s Barbecue, while his former employer, Smokin’ Moon in Pharr, explains why they are.

Cooke County has very few residents with COVID-19, so restaurants in the county, including Dieter Brothers Restaurant, opened their dining rooms to 50 percent capacity.

A popular Toronto barbecue joint apologized for offensive Twitter comments:

Because they forgot to make rules against it, the Treasury Department is demanding that publicly traded companies return their PPP loans that were meant for small businesses, including restaurants.

This USA Today report from meat processing plants around the country came out two weeks ago, and it remains one of the most comprehensive accounts of coronavirus challenges in the plants.

If you want to know why our meat supply issues can’t simply be fixed with an executive order to keep the plants open, this Dallas Morning News editorial is a good place to start.

Texas barbecue joints that have temporarily closed:

They’re back: