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Aaron Franklin Wins Prestigious James Beard Award for Best Chef in Southwest

Austin’s barbecue guru, Aaron Franklin, has won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southwest region.

The James Beard Foundation Awards named Aaron Franklin, owner of Franklin’s Barbecue, to the elite group of top culinary chefs on Monday (May 4). Barbecue has quickly risen to be one of America’s top food choices.

“This award is so much bigger than me and so much bigger than our restaurant in Austin, Texas,” said Franklin, according to Texas Monthly. His 30-second acceptance speech was filled with enthusiasm and passion for barbecue.

Franklin beat out top chefs from New Mexico and Arizona and fellow chefs from Austin and Houston.

“I don’t think it’s going to affect the restaurant much,” Franklin said. “It’s not like the lines can get any longer.”

It’s back to work where this chef’s finest plates include a tray, butcher paper and plenty of paper towels. There’s no time to celebrate, Franklin and wife, Stacy, have the pits to fire up.

Next: 17 Texas BBQ Joints You Need to Try Before You Die

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Aaron Franklin Wins Prestigious James Beard Award for Best Chef in Southwest