Meet Columbia, SC’s 2023 James Beard Award Semifinalists

Locals making “Good food for good.”


Stop by for a glass of wine from Lula Drake’s rotating menu to go with their housemade pasta

Photo from Main Street District Facebook

The James Beard Foundation — an organization that recognizes and celebrates exceptional talent in the culinary arts, hospitality, and food systems — released its 2023 Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists. Across 23 categories, Columbia, SC popped up under three of them.

The list of semifinalists — broken up by individual categories — will be narrowed down to a much shorter list on Wednesday, March 29, followed by the announcement of winners on Monday, June 5.

In the meantime, get to know our local nominees:

Outstanding Restaurateur

  • In this case, it’s restaurateur(s)Aaron Hoskins, Sarah Simmons, Nicole Storey, and Elie Yigo from City Grit Hospitality Group. Think: SmallSUGAR, CITY GRIT, and Il Focolare Pizzeria.

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)

Outstanding Hospitality

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