James Beard Just Advanced 5 Charleston Chefs to the Semifinalist Round – The Most in The Nation


The James Beard Foundation has just unveiled their semifinalist nominees for the 2024 awards with a total of 5 chefs from right here in Charleston.

The final nominees in the restaurant and chef categories will be announced on April 3, with the winners to be celebrated at a gala in Chicago on June 10. The media awards nominees are set to be announced on April 30.

Highlighted among the nominees are the following 5 local culinary figures:

  • Remy Funfrock of La Pâtisserie, nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker, recognized for his achievements in Michelin-starred restaurants.
  • Nikko Cagalanan of Kultura, in the Emerging Chef category, following national acclaim from Eater.
  • Kimball Brienza and Stephen Palmer for Outstanding Restaurateur for their work with O-Ku Sushi, under Indigo Road Hospitality Group.
  • Chef Jacques Larson of The Obstinate Daughter and chef James London of Chubby Fish, both contending for Best Chef: Southeast.
  • Edmund’s Oast, celebrating its 10th anniversary, nominated for Outstanding Bar.

For a complete list of nominees, you can visit the James Beard Foundation’s website at jamesbeard.org.


Today the James Beard Foundation released its list of semifinalist nominees for the 2024 James Beard Awards. Finalists in the restaurant and chef categories will be announced April 3, and winners will be revealed at a June 10 gala ceremony in Chicago. Media awards nominees will be announced April 30.

6 local chefs and restaurants made the list:

Kimball Brienza and Stephen Palmer were nominated in the Outstanding Restaurateur category for their work with O-Ku Sushi. O-Ku, part of Indigo Road Hospitality Group, opened in Charleston in 2010 and now has locations in Charlotte, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Raleigh, Greenville, Nashville and Jacksonville.

Kultura chef Nikko Cagalanan was nominated in the Emerging Chef category. Cagalanan has had a huge year; since opening last summer, Kultura has been named one of Eater’s 12 Best New Restaurants in America as well as South Carolina Restaurant of the Year by Eater Carolinas.

Pastry chef Remy Funfrock was nominated for his work at La Pâtisserie in the Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker category. Before joining La Pâtisserie, Funfrock worked as a pastry chef in Michelin star restaurants and was named one of Pastry Art & Design’s top 10 pastry chefs in America. He’s also a two-time silver medal winner in the U.S. Pastry Championship.

Edmund’s Oast was nominated in the Outstanding Bar category, a nod that took co-owner and founder Scott Shor by surprise. “We weren’t looking out for that list,” he told Charleston City Paper, adding that the news is “amazing.” Edmund’s Oast celebrates 10 years this February. The last time the restaurant was nominated for a James Beard was for Best New Restaurant in 2015.

Chef Jacques Larson of The Obstinate Daughter and chef James London of Chubby Fish were both nominated in the Best Chef: Southeast category. Both restaurants frequently make City Paper’s Dish list of top 50 restaurants in town.Check out the full list of nominees online at jamesbeard.org.