For the 4th year in a row, 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville and The Hive restaurant are proud to announce that executive chef Matthew McClure has been named a semifinalist for the 2017 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards in the “Best Chef: South” category. Established in 1990, and often referred to as the “Academy Awards of food,” the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards recognize culinary professionals for achievement in their respective fields. On Wednesday, March 15, 2017, the Foundation will announce the final nominees for all award categories in Los Angeles, California, in real time on Facebook Live and Twitter.
McClure was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. After studying at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, he settled in Boston working at a number of restaurants including No. 9 Park under the direction of Barbara Lynch. After years in Boston, Matt was eager to get back to his home state to reconnect with the ingredients and foodways of his childhood. He returned to Little Rock where he worked under Lee Richardson at Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel. In 2012, he was selected to open The Hive located at 21c Museum Hotel. Matt’s cooking is reflective of both the history and geography of Arkansas as well as new immigrant communities and their influence on the culinary landscape. His longstanding and outspoken commitment to support local farmers and purveyors has cemented his position as a notable champion for Arkansas’s burgeoning culinary renaissance. Matt was also a James Beard Award semi-finalist for the “Best Chef: South” award in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and was a speaker at the 2016 James Beard Foundation Conference: Now Trending: The Making of a Food Movement. Matt was awarded Food & Wine Magazine’s “The People’s Best New Chef” award for the Midwest in 2015. He is also an active member of the Southern Foodways Alliance.