Six Charleston 2024 James Beard Award semifinalists named

You’ll find six local stars up for an award based on excellence and other factors like commitment to the community.

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Nikko Cagalanan from Kultura was nominated for Emerging Chef.

Roll out the red carpet, food lovers (and watch the crumbs). The James Beard Foundation — an organization that recognizes and celebrates exceptional talent in the culinary arts, hospitality, and food systems has announced the 2024 Restaurant and Chef Semifinalist and six Charleston stars are shining bright.

It’s an honor just to be nominated — getting on the James Beard radar is a game changer for any chef or restaurant, no matter how long they’ve been around.

Local nominees

  • Nikko Cagalanan, Kultura | Nominated for: Emerging Chef | Inventive take on Filipino cuisine with a menu that features local + fresh ingredients.
  • Kimball Brienza and Stephen Palmer, O-Ku Sushi | Nominated for: Outstanding Restaurateur | Authentic Asian cuisine served with a southern approach with fish from the world’s finest markets as well as local sustainable sources.
  • Remy Funfrock, La Pâtisserie | Nominated for: Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker | This chic + authentic French cafe serves coffee, homemade bread, and pastries.
  • Edmund’s Oast | Outstanding Bar | Offers more than a dozen unique house-brewed beers on tap, wine, cocktails, and casual dining options.
  • James London, Chubby Fish | Best Chef: Southeast | This dock-to-table concept offers fresh Lowcountry seafood and innovatively served dishes.
  • Jacques Larson, The Obstinate Daughter | Best Chef: Southeast | The southern-coastal restaurant has French, Italian, and Spanish influence and serves dishes from its wood-fired oven and island kitchen.

The list of semifinalists — broken up by individual categories — will be narrowed down to a much shorter list on April 3, followed by the announcement of winners on Monday, June 10.

Who’s going next?

Now we want to hear about your tastes. Are there restaurants or local chefs you think deserve some more love? Send us an email, and let us know about the unrecognized award-worthy meals.