[image-1] It was a win-win situation last night at the 2018 James Beard Awards. FIG restaurant and Rodney Scott both took home prizes in their respective categories.
First up, the FIG team finally got the prize for Outstanding Wine Program. After making the finals for the past five years, GM Morgan Colcotte and co-owner Adam Nemirow were in shock when FIG was called.. Back stage Colcotte said, “hearing FIG’s name called was surreal.”
By our records, Colcotte is the sixth Charleston woman to win a James Beard medal joining an esteemed list that includes last year’s Local Impact Reporting win for Post & Courier’s Food Editor and Chief Critic Hanna Raskin, four-time JBF cookbook award winner author Nathalie Dupree, and the 2017 America’s Classic award for Bertha’s Kitchen owners Julia Grant, Linda Pinckney, and Sharon Coakley.
FIG’s latest medal joins their stack of others including chef and co-owner Mike Lata’s 2009 Best Chef: Southeast award and FIG Executive Chef Jason Stanhope’s Best Chef: Southeast 2005.
Equally stunned was Scott who became the second pitmaster to win a James Beard Award following Aaron Franklin of Franklin’s Barbecue’s 2015 win for Best Chef: Southwest. After years of running his family’s Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Hemingway, S.C. Scott opened his Charleston location last year, and last night he thanked the voters, his wife, and “all y’all” for the accolade.
Scott joins the local Best Chef: Southeast fraternity which includes the aforementioned Stanhope and Lata in addition to 2010’s winner Sean Brock and 2008’s Hominy Grill owner Robert Stehling. Incidentally, Rodney Scott’s BBQ took over Stehling’s Chick’s Fry House space on King Street in 2017.
Back in Charleston, Stanhope gave a glimpse into the restaurant’s kitchen upon hearing the good news. An Instagram video shows the staff bursting into cheers.
But the best prize for Beard win reactions was @kitchen_memes‘ image of a touched Sean Brock tearing up over the wins of his pals Scott and his protege Jeremiah Langhorne who won Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic who worked as McCrady’s Chef de Cuisine before opening the wildly successful Dabney in D.C.
To see the full list of winners, visit jamesbeard.org.