Charleston has made the James Beard Foundation Awards semi-finalists list again, and numerous times.

While FIG and Rodney Scott of Rodney Scott's BBQ took home James Beard Foundation Awards last year, this time around eight Holy City area locales and food and beverage makers have ranked in categories such as outstanding restaurant, restaurateur, wine program and more:

  • Cynthia Wong of Life Raft Treats for Outstanding Pastry Chef.
  • Stems & Skins in North Charleston for Outstanding Wine Program.
  • FIG for Outstanding Restaurant.
  • Steve Palmer of The Indigo Road (The Macintosh, Oak Steakhouse, Indaco and others) for Outstanding Restaurateur.
  • Ann Marshall and Scott Blackwell of High Wire Distilling Co. for Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Producer.
  • Evan Gaudreau of Renzo as Rising Star Chef of the Year.
  • Both Kevin Johnson of The Grocery and Jacques Larson of The Obstinate Daughter for Best Chef: Southeast. 

FIG is not new to this list, winning Best Chef: Southeast for chefs Mike Lata in 2009 and Jason Stanhope in 2015, and Best Wine Program last year.

The final Restaurant and Chef Award nominees will be announced at 10 a.m. March 27, and the 2019 James Beard Awards Gala will take place May 6 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Tickets will be on sale beginning March 27 at

For the full list of semi-finalists, visit

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Reach Kalyn Oyer at 843-371-4469. Follow her on Twitter @sound_wavves.

Kalyn Oyer is a Charleston native who covers arts and entertainment for The Post and Courier's Thursday edition, Charleston Scene. She used to write about music for the Charleston City Paper and Scene SC.