Local chef is finalist for James Beard award

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Paul Smith, A Charleston chef, is among the finalists for the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast.

“I am humbled when I think about how many restaurants and chefs are in this region,” said Chef Paul Smith. “This nomination is huge, not just for me and my team, but for Charleston as well. Charleston went from being an awesome place to live to a food destination overnight.”

Chef Paul works at the 1010 Bridge Restaurant and is a part owner of both Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream and The Pitch at Shawnee Sports Complex. Smith is also a Chef Partner at Barkadas in Charleston and The Humble Tomato in Lewisburg. Smith also took on a new role recently as an Ambassador for the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the city of Charleston.

“Congratulations, Chef Paul Smith, on being the first James Beard Best Chef Finalist from West Virginia,” said Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin. “Not only is this a monumental milestone in your culinary career, but it is also a tremendous honor for the team at 1010 Bridge and our Capital City.”

The James Beard Award is in honor of the late chef James Beard, commonly referred to as one of the ‘fathers of American cuisine.’

“Thanks to Chef Paul and his efforts, the outside world is starting to take notice of what’s going on here,” said Tim Brady, President/CEO of the Charleston CVB. “There is no better choice as an ambassador for our city in the food world than him. We’re proud to say that Chef Paul Smith calls Charleston home.”

States included in the the Southeast category include Georgia, Kentucky, North and South Carolinas, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Winners of the James Beard Award will be announced June 5 in Chicago. A complete list of finalists can be found at jamesbeard.org.