Three local chefs are 2009 James Beard finalists

Image by Staff illustrationImage by 20090323-beard.jpg Will a Charlestonian win an award this time?

Update May 4, evening: FIG's Mike Lata has won. Read more.

Update May 4: The awards are tonight at 5 p.m. You can see the results semi-live as the foundation will be live-blogging and Tweeting the results.
First reporting: Narrowed down from eight in all of South Carolina, three Charleston chefs have emerged as finalists for prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards.

They are:
- Sean Brock of McCrady's; competing for Rising Star Chef.
- Mike Lata of Fig; competing for Best Chef in the southeast.
- Bob Waggoner of Charleston Grill; also competing for Best Chef in the southeast.

You can get a complete look at the list of finalists -- and their competition -- here.

Update March 25: Hugging the Coast has done a swell job breaking down the nominees by state.

Observation: South Carolina has three finalists; Georgia and North Carolina have three between them.

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