It’s been an exciting James Beard season for Charleston and Nathalie Dupree, who was nominated and won an award for her newest cookbook, Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking, written and produced with Cynthia Graubart.

When accepting her award on Saturday night in New York, Dupree said the South is the new Italy in regards to importance and influence, an idea it’d be hard to argue with, considering the spread of grits and okra from here to Vancouver.

Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking won in the American Cooking category and went up against two other books, both with a Southern influence: Kevin Gillespie’s Fire in the Belly and Southern Comfort: A New Take on the Recipes We Grew Up With by Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing.

Congrats to Ms. Dupree for her accomplishment.

  • Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart

And a round of applause to Mike Lata and Adam Nemirow of the Ordinary for being finalists this year for Best New Restaurant and to Sean Brock for his nomination as an Outstanding Chef, no small accomplishments in the highly competitive world of cheffery these days.