The James Beard Foundation announced the finalists for its 2022 awards, with a few Charleston locals making the mix. The James Beard Foundation is a culinary arts organization named after famed food writer, educator and cookbook author James Beard. It is dedicated to educating people about American cuisine and supporting and promoting chefs and industry professionals around the nation.
Charleston’s own Butcher & Bee is one of the five nominees for Outstanding Restaurant, “A restaurant that demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to its broader community.”
The restaurant first opened on King St. in 2011, with a simple goal of serving up high quality sandwiches with fresh ingredients. Since then, the establishment has grown to a larger location in Charleston at 1085 Morrison Drive and The Daily, a popular casual dining and coffee spot along upper King St. They’ve also opened two Nashville spots: another Butcher & Bee location and a taco joint called Redheaded Strangers.
KJ Kearney, who can be found on social media @blkfoodfridays, is nominated for his accounts on TikTok, Twitter and Instagram in the James Beard Foundation’s Broadcast Media Award. Kearney highlights Black-owned restaurants and food and beverage products. Kearney also promotes Black culinary history and culture through a series of ”Black Food Facts.”
Jamaal Lemon is nominated for his journalism in Good Beer Hunting. Lemon worked on three-part series reporting the history of beer and Black exclusion in Charleston titled “Tek Cyear uh de Root, Part One — The Schützenfest, Black Endurance, and Beer Culture in Old South Charleston”; “Tek Cyear uh de Root, Part Two — The Deliberate Reconstruction of the Charleston Schützenfest”; “Tek Cyear uh de Root, Part Three — The Lost Potential of Charleston Beer.”
This is the first nomination for Kearney and Lemon.
The JBFA ceremony is slated for June 13 in Chicago.