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James Beard Awards 2018 Restaurant & Chef Semifinalists for Charleston

With reactions from the chefs

A spread from The Grocery
The Grocery

This morning the James Beard Foundation released its list of semifinalists in the 2018 Restaurant and Chef Awards. This “long list” will get winnowed down to five nominees per category; those finalists will be revealed on Wednesday, March 14 from a live press conference in Philadelphia, featuring the Foundation’s new CEO Clare Reichenbach. The James Beard Awards Gala, where the previously announced America’s Classics winners are also acknowledged, will take place on Monday, May 7 in Chicago. (Media Awards finalists will also be announced on March 14, and winners will be revealed on Wednesday, April 27.)

Below, the full list of Charleston semifinalists. Congratulations to all the names and teams from the Lowcountry. Tune in next month to see how far they will go.

Here’s the list of Charleston semifinalists:

Outstanding Bar Program: The Living Room at the Dewberry

Outstanding Chef: Mike Lata, FIG

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Cynthia Wong, Butcher & Bee

Outstanding Restaurateur: Steve Palmer, The Indigo Road

Outstanding Wine Program: FIG, Charleston

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

Best Chef: Southeast:
Kevin Johnson, The Grocery
Alex Lira, Bar Normandy
Rodney Scott, Rodney Scott’s BBQ

Pitmaster Rodney Scott told Eater that he was still in shock after learning hours earlier that he was on the list. “This is huge. I had to go sit down in a booth [when he was told]. I had to go for a walk. I look up to so many of these guys.”

Chef Kevin Johnson said, “Each time we’ve been included has been such a thrill for us, but the part that’s the most exciting is that this honor is the result of all of the hard work and dedication of the staff, both current and past, and having that effort recognized on such a huge stage.”

And then chef Alex Lira was told he was on the list of semifinalists, he exclaimed, “Holy shit! Are they drunk?!?! Can you send me a link?”

Here Are the 2018 James Beard Awards Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists [EN]
James Beard Foundation Announces 2018 America’s Classics Awards [EN]

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