Monday, April 9, 2012
Charleston Chef Named Finalist for James Beard Award
The short list is out and one of our own is on it. That would be Executive Chef Craig Deihl of Cypress in Charleston, South Carolina for Best Chef Southeast in the Oscars of the culinary world....the James Beard Awards. And we couldn't think of anyone more worthy.
His second nomination (he was nominated for the same category in 2010), Deihl is no stranger to Charleston. After graduating from Johnson & Wales in Charleston, he spent nearly five years mentoring under culinary legends Donald Drake and Donald Barickman at Magnolias. Then he flew the nest and opened Cypress in 2001 and hasn't looked back since.
He has his own cookbook, Cypress, which features many of the restaurant's signature dishes. And as a long-time steward of local sourcing and sustainable food practices, Deihl was asked be a contributor to the Smithsonian Institute's One Fish, Two Fish, Crawfish, Bluefish, a cookbook and guide to sustainable seafood.
Deihl's competition in the Southeast is quite formidable, however, including five-time nominee Hugh Acheson of Five and Ten in Athens, GA, three-time nominee Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta, Season 13 Top Cheftestant Edward Lee from Louisville, KY and Joseph Lenn of The Barn at Blackberry Farm fame. But we'll put our money on the South Carolinian!
Winners will be announced May 7 at the Alton Brown-hosted James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception in New York City.