South Carolina's Rodney Scott, of Scott's BBQ in Hemingway and Charleston, was named Best Chef: Southeast during the James Beard Awards presentation in Chicago on Monday.
Scott, known for his whole hog barbecue, is the first African-American to win the Southeast award, and only the second barbecue pitmaster to be recognized by the James Beard Foundation. It was Scott's first nomination.
Scott cooked his first hog at age 11 and operated his family's place in Hemingway before he opened his Charleston restaurant on King Street in 2017. The Hemingway restaurant is managed by Scott's mother, Rosie, and has been in business for more than 30 years, garnering notice from national publications, including The New York Times.
The New York City-based James Beard Foundation's stated mission is "to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone."
Also recognized by the James Beard Foundation was Charleston's FIG restaurant for Outstanding Wine Program. FIG's Mike Lata won Best Chef: Southeast in 2009, and Jason Stanhope won in 2015.
A complete list of winners can be found at thestate.com.