PRESS RELEASE- 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville and The Hive restaurant are proud to announce that executive chef Matthew McClure has been named a semifinalist for the 2015 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. The final restaurant and chef award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, March 24. The 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards will be held in New York City on April 24 (journalism, book and broadcast) and in Chicago on May 4 (restaurant, chef and design); for more information, please visit http://www.jamesbeard.org/awards.
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 Semifinalist for the 2014 James Beard Foundation Best Chef: South award. He is also an active member of the Southern Foodways Alliance.