The James Beard Award 2016 semi-finalists have been released and Charleston has four names on the list (last year it was 11). Here’s who made the cut.

Outstanding Service: Charleston Grill
No surprise here, Charleston Grill made this same category last year, and if you’ve dined at the Grill, you know it’s a one-of-a-kind experience. GM Mickey Bakst and his staff are like the New York City Ballet, they leap to guests every need and always stick the landing. Bakst says he’s absolutely delighted. “I stand in front of the best service team in Charleston and I couldn’t be more thrilled for them,” Bakst says.

Outstanding Wine Program: FIG
Last year FIG and McCrady’s both made it to the finalist round in this category but lost out to San Francisco’s A16. 

[image-1]Best Chef: Southeast:
Jeremiah Bacon, The Macintosh
Kevin Johnson, The Grocery

Charleston has continually had a strong showing in the Best Chef: Southeast category and took the prize home last year with Chef Jason Stanhope of FIG’s win. This is Bacon’s fifth time being a semi-finalist for the award and Johnson’s second. Sean Brock, Robert Stehling, and Mike Lata are all past winners of this award. 

Incidentally, Brock has also been named a semi-finalist for Outstanding Chef for Husk, Nashville this year. This is his fifth time being named to that category — three times for McCrady’s. Last year he lost to Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern. But, lest we forget, he still took home a medal for his cookbook Heritage

The winners will be announced at James Beard Awards Gala on Mon. May 2 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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