James Beard Award Winner Chef Paul

Chef Paul Smith during the 2023 Charleston Sternwheel Regatta

Congratulations to Chef Paul Smith of 1010 Bridge Restaurant & Catering on win for the James Beard Foundation Award Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)!

As a youth, Paul Smith wanted to explore the world. But after much travelling, he ended up right back where he belonged: Charleston, West Virginia.

A graduate of Charleston Catholic, Chef Paul Smith has experienced culinary highs – from Hyde Park and Napa Valley to Asheville and the Gulf Coast. He trained at the CIA – Culinary Institute of America – and saw firsthand what world-class hospitality looked and felt like. The more he saw and experienced, the more he knew he wanted to come home to Charleston and bring that experience and knowledge back to his hometown. He wanted to make a difference, and, he is.

Chef Paul is a familiar face around Charleston, and while his Beard Award nominations are for his work at 1010 Bridge Restaurant, he’s also part owner of local hotspots Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream and The Pitch at Shawnee Sports Complex. Smith is a Chef Partner at Barkadas in Charleston and The Humble Tomato in Lewisburg, and he conducts cooking exhibitions at Capitol Market May through October during the free “Let’s Get Cooking” series.

Smith’s work within the Charleston community and travel throughout the state promoting West Virginia’s culinary scene made him a “no-brainer” for a new role as Ambassador for Charleston.


1. Favorite thing(s) about Charleston: Charleston is a great place to raise a family. Charleston is a place where one person can make a difference.

2. Favorite restaurant in Charleston: Chow Thai

3. Favorite Shop(s): Vandalia Market & Kinship Goods

4. Favorite venue for live performance or live music in #CWV: Clay Center

5. Favorite Charleston memory: Coming home to Charleston.

6. What do you wish people knew about CWV? Vibes are high! Artwalk night, new Sternwheel Regatta vibe, come out and explore not only the culinary scene, but also all the great things Charleston has to offer.

Chef Paul Smith – James Beard nominee Charleston, WV from Jason Adams on Vimeo.