Eight Charleston area chefs and restaurants named James Beard Semi-Finalists 2019


Long list legends

Like a Christmas Eve gift, the 2019 James Beard Foundation Semifinalists have been announced a week before the kickoff of the 14th annual Charleston Wine + Food Festival. Eight Charleston chefs/restaurants/restaurateurs made the list, one less than last year, but who’s counting?

The finalists will be announced on Wed. March 27, and the winners will be announced Mon. May 6.

The List:

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Cynthia Wong, Life Raft Treats
Outstanding Restaurant: FIG
Outstanding Restaurateur: Indigo Road, Steve Palmer
Outstanding Wine Program: Stems & Skins
Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer: High Wire
Rising Star Chef of the Year: Evan Gaudreau, Renzo
Best Chef Southeast: Kevin Johnson (The Grocery) & Jacques Larson (Wild Olive, Obstinate Daughter)

The background:

This is Wong’s sixth appearance on the long list in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category, FIG’s fifth appearance on the Outstanding Restaurant long list, Kevin Johnson’s fifth appearance on Best Chef Southeast, Steve Palmer’s (at least) second nod for Outstanding Restaurateur, and High Wire’s third showing on the long list for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer.

First timers include Gaudreau, Larson, and Stems & Skins in Park Circle.

This morning, Stems co-owner Matt Tunstall said, “We are honored and delighted to be recognized by the James Beard Foundation. We strive everyday to share the wines that we are passionate about with our community, and are proud to be a part of such a great food and wine town! Congratulations to everyone, as there are a lot of amazing people on that list that love what they do everyday!”

Check out the full list of semifinalists here.

[embed-1]

Support the Charleston City Paper

We’ve been covering Charleston since 1997 and plan to be here with the latest and Best of Charleston for many years to come. In a time where local journalism is struggling, the City Paper is investing in the future of Charleston as a place where diverse, engaging views can flourish. We can't do it without our readers. If you'd like to support local, independent journalism:

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Gaillard Center’s 2020-2021 season features Broadway musicals, chamber orchestras, and an iconic dance company

While so much of the world has seemed to come to a standstill, area arts organizations and venues continue to plan for their upcoming seasons — offering a shimmer of hope at the end of this coronavirus tunnel. The Gaillard Center promises “10 sensational performances” during this upcoming season, including two Lowcountry Broadway premieres.

Brookgreen Gardens opens new outdoor exhibit, “Southern Light,” on May 15

Murrell’s Inlet’s Brookgreen Gardens is currently open, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. And, after its original opening date was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bruce Munro’s massive outdoor light installation, Southern Light, will open to the public on Fri. May 15.

Sam Reynolds

Sam Reynolds, a Lowcountry folk songwriter who now resides in Vermont, released a collection of soft, subtle, and stirring piano instrumentals on May 1 titled Broken Tulips.

Charleston Wine + Food Festival says 2020 event had $19.9 million local economic impact

A survey by the College of Charleston reports that 54% of the 28,000 Charleston Wine + Food attendees were local.