Gwen Fowler



Charleston chefs, restaurant nominated for James Beard awards

Posted 2/22/2012 9:40:00 AM

Four Charleston chefs are semifinalists for 2012 James Beard Foundation awards, and a Charleston restaurant is in the running for Best New Restaurant.

Chef Sean Brock of McCrady’s and Husk is among 20 semifinalists for Outstanding Chef, one of the Foundation’s top awards.

The Macintosh is one of 29 restaurants named semifinalists for Best New Restaurant.

Chefs Craig Deihl of Cypress, Ken Vedrinski of Trattoria Lucca and Jeremiah Bacon of The Macintosh all are semifinalists for Best Chef in the Southeast.

The 2012 James Beard Foundation awards semi-finalists were released Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Brock, who won Best Chef in the Southeast in 2010, opened Husk in November 2010. Husk was a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant last year and drew great national attention and praise. Only Southern ingredients are used at Husk.

A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Brock worked as chef tournant under Chef Robert Carter at the Peninsula Grill. Later, he was sous chef at Lemaire Restaurant in Richmond, Va., and executive chef at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., before coming to McCrady’s in 2005.

The Macintosh was opened last fall by Bacon and managing partner Steve Palmer. Bacon is a native of Johns Island and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. After working in several New York City restaurants, he came to Charleston, working at Carolina’s and then as executive chef at Oak Steakhouse

Deihl was one of six finalists for the 2011 Best Chef of the Southeast award. He became chef at Cypress for its opening in 2001 after five years at Magnolias. He also was a semi-finalist for Best Chef of the Southeast in 2010.

Vedrinski also was a semifinalist last year for the Southeast award. He was executive chef at the Woodlands Inn & Resort in Summerville and was co-owner of Sienna Restaurant in Daniel Island, which closed in 2010, before opening Trattoria Lucca. It was a semi-finalist for best new restaurant in the 2009 awards.

The Beard awards are considered one of the highest honors for professionals in the culinary industry and often are called the Oscars of the food world.

Finalists will be announced March 19. The winners will be honored at the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception on May 7 in New York City.