Local chefs, restaurants make semifinals of national list

By Ashley Barker
Published Feb. 20, 2014

Four chefs and two restaurants from the Lowcountry were named semifinalists on a national list that recognizes the best of the best in the food and beverage industry.

The James Beard Foundation released its 2014 restaurant and chef award categories list on Wednesday in Orlando, Fla.

McCrady’s Restaurant, located at 2 Unity Alley in downtown Charleston, was included in the outstanding service category. The restaurant’s executive chef, Sean Brock, was nominated in the outstanding chef group. He won the 2010 best chef Southeast title.

FIG, located at 232 Meeting St., was the only local restaurant to be included in the outstanding wine program category’s semifinals. The restaurant’s wine list features 100 bottles under $100, according to its website.

Three Charleston chefs were named semifinalists in the best chef Southeast class. They were Jeremiah Bacon of The Macintosh; Kevin Johnson of The Grocery; and Josh Keeler of Two Boroughs Larder.

The semifinalists were selected from nearly 40,000 submissions received from the public. The foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee — composed of critics, writers and editors — narrowed the list.

Former James Beard award winners will now decide the five nominees for each category, along with the committee members and regional panelists.

The final nominations will be announced March 19 in Chicago, and the 2014 James Beard Awards will be held May 2-5 in New York City.

Reach Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker on Twitter.

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