Charleston Chefs Get James Beard Award Nominations

February 25, 2009 | By | Comments (10)


The James Beard Foundation recently announced the Semifinalists for the annual James Beard Awards, the Oscars of the food world. And not one, but three Charleston chefs got the nod.

Pictured from left: Chef Aaron Deal of Tristan (nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year), Chef Sean Brock of McCrady’s (Rising Star Chef of the Year and Best Chef: Southeast), and Chef Mike Lata of FIG (Best Chef: Southeast)

Now, Momma taught me it’s rude to say, "I told you so." No one likes a know-it-all. But in the February issue of Southern Living,

you’ll see that we highlighted all three chefs in "Bite-Size Charleston", an appetizer crawl through some of the city’s best restaurants. I’m not saying, "I told you so." I’m just saying. Seriously.

Stay tuned. On March 23, the Finalists will be announced. And on May 4, the winners will claim their medals.

In the meantime, next time you’re in Chucktown (as the city is affectionately called), be sure to stop by Tristan, McCrady’s, and FIG to see what all the fuss is about. You’ll see why this compact area in the Lowcountry is gaining recognition as one of the food capitals of the country.

Photos: Aaron Deal, courtesy of Tristan. Sean Brock and Mike Lata by Jennifer Davick.


  1. 4rx

    In my opinion chef Sean Brock of McCrady’s must be the winner because his recipes are originals and also looks so appetizing.

    November 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm
  2. xlpharmacy

    These are great chefs no doubt about it, I have had food from the three of them and it is going to be hard to decide who is the best.

    October 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm
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    This is a great blog and so full of good information i would defenetely would like to be there to see this amazing chefs you can see they love what they do, very good stuff.

    March 18, 2011 at 10:50 am
  4. miami broadband

    I’ve heard a lot of good comments and reviews about Chef Mike Lata, he works at FIG and as far as I know… excellent chef..
    I haven’t had the opportunity of trying the other 2 chefs’ food.. butMike is great!!

    February 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm
  5. Air Conditioning in South Florida

    Sean Brock from McCrady’s is my favorite…
    I can’t remember how many times I’ve gone to that restaurant to try his recomendations!!

    February 19, 2011 at 11:55 am
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    Tristan is one of my favorite places every time I’m in town…
    This is an amazing proof of why it’s such a perfect place !!

    February 13, 2011 at 10:16 am
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    I always follow the advices in this Chief. I’ll see the other blog that you have, and I think this one is better. However, I think James Beard is great.

    November 17, 2010 at 7:35 am
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    I hope that Chef Aaron Deal of Tristan will win the Rising Star Chef of the year, his is very good, and he is so original, and his dishes always look delicious. I want to learn more about cooking, because I’m in my honeymoon I want the best dishes for my lovely husband.

    November 11, 2010 at 10:36 am
  9. Hugging the Coast Food Blog

    It’s always good to see Charleston’s chefs (and restaurants) get the attention they deserve!

    March 24, 2009 at 7:32 am
  10. Macs

    I took part in one of Mike Lata’s cooking classes recently at Blackberry Farm. He was bright, energetic, and most charming! I’m very proud for his recent recognition. Glad SLvg had already noted his work. And I loved the SL piece on “crawling.”

    February 26, 2009 at 8:48 am

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