A Charleston restaurant and chef have been named semifinalists by the James Beard Foundation for culinary excellence.
The James Beard Awards honor chefs and restaurants across the country for the culinary industry’s highest honor.
Butcher & Bee in Charleston was named a James Beard Award semifinalist for outstanding restaurant. Butcher & Bee is competing among 20 semifinalists across the U.S. as a restaurant that “demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to its broader community,” the foundation said.
To be eligible, a restaurant must have been in business for at least five consecutive years, excluding temporary closure from the pandemic. Also, Orlando Pagán has been named a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef in the Southeast. Pagán serves as executive chef at Wild Common, a restaurant located at 103 Spring St. in Charleston.
Pagán attended Johnson & Wales University in Miami before serving at the Ritz Carlton, Coconut Grove restaurant for three years. Previously, he worked in San Francisco before joining Sean Brock as chef de cuisine of McCrady’s Tavern in 2017. McCrady’s permanently closed in the early months of the pandemic.
No other South Carolina chef or restaurant was named a semifinalist by the foundation. The awards will be held June 13 at the Lyrica Opera of Chicago. (Credit: Charleston Regional Business Journal)
“Charleston is a culinary destination of the deep South, with its own unique style of Southern cuisine that stands out from other regional foodie hotspots. Charleston chefs and restaurants take advantage of a warm climate and an unseen bounty of local produce, meats and, of course, seafood from the surrounding inlets and harbors. This ideal combination of lowcountry ingredients come together from Charleston’s warm, coastal climate, taken advantage of by local restaurants, cooks and residents for centuries. This system of exceptional, accessible food sources makes it easy for Charleston to provide the memorable farm and sea-to-table dishes enjoyed at any restaurant in the area.” USA TODAY
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