One of the greatest honors that can be bestowed on a chef is the James Beard Award. According to the organization’s website, “The James Beard Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate, support, and elevate the people behind America’s food culture and champion a standard of good food anchored in talent, equity, and sustainability.” The awards were first established in 1990 and have been presented yearly ever since.
When it comes to the chef and restaurant awards nominees are chosen from both open-call recommendations/submissions and recommendations from the Award’s program’s voting body. And just this week the semi finalists for 2024 were announced. Eleven different South Carolina chefs and/or restaurants were included as James Beard Award semi-finalists. The vast majority of these were in the culinary mecca of Charleston. But the greater Greenville and Columbia areas were included as well.
The semi finalists are spread across seven different categories. These include “Outstanding Restauranteur”, “Emerging Chef”, “Best New Restaurant”, “Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker”, “Outstanding Wine or Other Beverage Program”, “Outstanding Bar”, and “Best Chef Southeast Region”. The 2024 final nominees will be announced on Wednesday, April 3rd. Winners will be celebrated
at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on Monday, June 10 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Good luck to all the South Carolina chefs and restaurants in the running and congratulations for making it this far! Looks like I have to plan a few road trips soon to give these spots a try!