Chef Ken Vedrinski is stoked to make the nomination list for the Best Chef: Southeast in the James Beard Awards, he’s just not too happy that Sienna appears next to his name instead of his current restaurant Trattoria Lucca. Particularly since Sienna closed for good last week. But, you take the good with the bad, right?

Only two other Charleston chefs made it to the semifinals: Sean Brock of McCrady’s and Craig Deihl of Cypress.

They’ll be competing against a long roster of familiar names to Southeastern eaters, including multiple nominees Linton Hopkins of Eugene in Atlanta and Hugh Acheson of Five and Ten in Athens — two chefs who are surely due for a win. The finalists will be announced at a later date and the awards will be given out on May 3 in New York City.

 Who do you think has the best shot of these guys for nabbing Best Chef: Southeast?


Hugh Acheson, Five and Ten, Athens, GA

Billy Allin, Cakes & Ale, Decatur, GA

Sean Brock, McCrady’s, Charleston, SC

Tyler Brown, The Capitol Grille at the Hermitage Hotel, Nashville

Ashley Christensen, Poole’s, Raleigh, NC

Craig Deihl, Cypress, Charleston, SC

Kelly English, Restaurant Iris, Memphis, TN

Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta

Damian Heath, Lot 12 Public House, Berkeley Springs, WV

Scott Howell, Nana’s, Durham, NC

Anthony Lamas, Seviche, Louisville, KY

Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY

Daniel Lindley, St. John’s Restaurant, Chattanooga, TN

Jonathan Lundy, Jonathan at Gratz Park, Lexington, KY

Ouita Michel, Holly Hill Inn, Midway, KY

Andrea Reusing, Lantern, Chapel Hill, NC

Bill Smith, Crook’s Corner, Chapel Hill, NC

Jacob Sessoms, Table, Asheville, NC

Ken Vedrinski, Sienna, Daniel Island, SC

Tandy Wilson, City House, Nashville

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