No Finalist in Charlotte for James Beard Awards

Joe Kindred, Paul Verica were named semifinalists in the Best Chef: Southeast category of the coveted culinary award last month


Chefs Joe Kindred, left, and Paul Verica, right, at a James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour event at Bonterra.

Peter Taylor

Once again, Charlotte won't bring home a James Beard Award, a coveted American culinary recognition. Neither of the Charlotte semi-finalists has advanced to the final round, a list somewhat confusingly called the James Beard Award nominees. The two local semifinalists, announced last month, were both for Best Chef in the Southeast category: Joe Kindred, of Kindred Restaurant in Davidson, and Paul Verica, of Heritage Food + Drink in Waxhaw. This was Kindred's second recognition—he was a finalist in the same category last year—and the first for Verica. 

Advancing in the awards is difficult for a city such as Charlotte, which has a small concentration of nominated restaurants. Judges for the awards committee must eat at a restaurant in order to vote in support of it. Cities such as Atlanta, which has more restaurants in the running, are more likely to have enough judges’ visits to move forward. The winners will be announced May 1 at the James Beard Awards Gala.

Read the chefs’ reactions to the semifinalist announcement here. The chefs also sat down with Charlotte magazine for our #discussCLT podcast shortly after the announcement. Listen to that conversation here


Kristen Wile

Kristen Wile is senior editor of Charlotte magazine and editor of Charlotte Home + Garden. Reach her at​ or follow her on Twitter: @kristenwile.

Also by Kristen Wile:

→ Are Dogs Replacing Kids?
→ Scar Stories: Charlotte Chefs' Worst Kitchen Injuries
→ A Trip To New York with Four Charlotte Chefs and a Mixologist

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