The 2018 James Beard Award nominees have been announced and South Carolina can be proud of the chefs and restaurants being recognized as among the nation’s best.
A list of semifinalists have been selected from more than 20,000 online entries in 21 categories and in ten different regions of the US, representing a wide range of culinary talent from best new restaurants, outstanding bar programs, bakers, chefs and rising star chefs (aged 30 or younger).
On March 14, the final list of nominees will be announced, with winners named April 27.
Semifinalists from South Carolina include:
The Anchorage, Greenville, nominated Best New Restaurant. Award description: A restaurant opened in the calendar year before the award will be given that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.
The Living Room at The Dewberry, Charleston, nominated for Outstanding Bar Program. Award description: A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in cocktail, spirits, and/or beer service.
Mike Lata, The Ordinary, Charleston, nominated for Outstanding Chef. Award description: A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Eligible candidates must have been working as a chef for the past five years. Lata was nominated as Best Chef: Southeast in 2007 and 2008 and won in 2009. The Ordinary was nominated as Best New Restaurant in 2013.
Cynthia Wong, Butcher & Bee, Charleston, nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Award description: A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries, or breads in a restaurant, and who serves as a national standard bearer of excellence. Must have been a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.
Steve Palmer, The Indigo Road (The Macintosh, Oak Steakhouse, The Oak Table, Indaco, and others), nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur. Award description: A working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. Candidates must not have been nominated for a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past five years. The Indigo Road group owns The Oak Table in Columbia.
FIG, Charleston, nominated for Outstanding Wine Program. Award description: A restaurant in operation five or more years that serves as a standard bearer for excellence in wine service through a well-presented wine list, knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine. FIG is owned by Mike Lata.
Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall, High Wire Distilling Co., Charleston, for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional. Award description: A beer, wine, or spirits professional who has made a significant national impact on the restaurant industry.
Nominated for Best Chef: Southeast are:
▪ Kevin Johnson, The Grocery, Charleston
▪ Alex Lira, Bar Normandy, Charleston
▪ Rodney Scott, Rodney Scott’s BBQ, Charleston. Scott’s Hemingway, SC, location has been recognized as among the country’s best by The New York Times. He opened the Charleston location in 2017.