There’s no doubt that winning a James Beard award is good for business. Just ask Robert Stehling of Hominy Grill and Mike Lata of FIG. The 2008 and 2009 winners of the best Southeast chef award have both seen their businesses grow in the midst of bad economic times. And when chefs bring home the Beard Awards, it solidifies Charleston as a serious food destination. Over the past several years, the national recognition our chefs have received (along with the Charleston Wine + Food Festival) has made food a big reason why people visit Charleston. But don’t think it has anything to do with luck. These guys have worked hard for their recognition and deserve every accolade they get.