Food & Drink

South Carolinians named James Beard Award semifinalists

The list of semifinalists for the prestigious James Beard Awards has been announced. According to the press release, the names were selected from a list of “of over 24,000 online entries, the prestigious group of semifinalists in 21 categories represents a wide range of culinary talent, from exceptional chefs and dining destinations in ten different regions across the U.S., to the nation’s top wine and spirits professionals, best new restaurants, rising star chefs, pastry chefs, and bakers.

“Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and furthers the Foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. Each award category has an individual committee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective Awards program. All JBF Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. There are no cash prizes.”

Final nominees will be announced on March 15, winners will be announced May 1 at the James Beard Foundation Awards Gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Congratulations to:

Outstanding Chef nominee Mike Lata, FIG, Charleston

Outstanding Pastry Chef nominee Cynthia Wong, Butcher & Bee, Charleston

Outstanding Wine Program nominee FIG, Charleston

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional nominees Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall, High Wire Distilling Company, Charleston

Rising Star Chef of the Year nominee Shuai Wang, Short Grain, Charleston

Best Chef: Southeast nominee Kevin Johnson, The Grocery, Charleston

See the entire list of nominees at

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