What's the hottest culinary destination in Connecticut? Westport? West Hartford? New Haven? Good guesses, but it's further East. Only two chefs from Connecticut have been nominated for 2024 James Beard Foundation Awards, and they're both in the same town - Mystic.

Be proud Mystic and New London County, 2024 may be your year. Earlier this month, the James Beard Foundation, which is one of the US's most respected culinary authorities, announced their list of nominees for the 2024 awards ceremony, which will take place in Chicago during June. Restaurant and Chef categories, and each award celebrates excellence across a range of experiences: Outstanding Chef, Best New Chef, Best New Restaurant, and Best Chefs broken down into geographical territories.

How did Mystic, Connecticut do? Two chefs from restaurants in town are 2024 nominees - In a major category - Outstanding Chef presented by Hilton, with the description stating "A chef who sets high culinary standards and has served as a positive example for other food professionals, while contributing positively to their broader community" - Renee Touponce of Mystic's The Port of Call is among the 5 nominees. Have a look at The Port of Call's menu, have you ever seen a 'Taste Legend' for alcoholic drinks? Brilliant.


In the category of Best Chefs presented by Capital One (By Region), which is defined as "Chefs who set high standards in their culinary skills and leadership abilities, and who are making efforts to help create a sustainable work culture in their respective regions while contributing positively to their broader community" - David Standridge from Mystic's The Shipwright's Daughter is among the five nominees in the Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) category. Once again, have a look at the menu, and try not to drool.

Congratulations Chef, good luck at the awards on June 10, 2024.

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