Last night the James Beard Foundation held its annual awards ceremony for chefs and restaurants and Charleston, as usual, was represented. FIG, whose Jason Stanhope took home the medal for Best Chef: Southeast last year, was on hand as a nominee in the Outstanding Wine Program category, while Sean Brock was nominated for a fifth time for Outstanding Chef, this time for Husk Nashville.
Alas, both went home empty handed. Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa, Fla. beat out FIG, and as for Brock, he lost to the Susan Lucci of Outstanding Chef noms, eight-time nominee Suzanne Goin of L.A.'s Lucques and AOC. But we suspect we'll see Brock's name on the shortlist again next year given how the awards work. As Post & Courier
restaurant critic and Beard judge Hanna Raskin explained in February, "Once a chef surpasses the semifinalist stage to become a nominee, he or she usually – but not always – stays on the list until he or she wins or stops cooking."
Going into this year's awards season, Charleston had four
names on the longlist, the aforementioned FIG, as well Charleston Grill for Outstanding Service, and Kevin Johnson (The Grocery) and Jeremiah Bacon (Macintosh) for Best Chef: Southeast. As to whether Raskin's theory will apply to these longlist regulars, we shall see.
For a look at the full list of 2016 James Beard award winners, click here