Comal 864 owner and chef Dayna Lee Márquez was named as a semifinalist for the 2023 James Beard Awards presented by Capital One.
The restaurant’s story began with a quest for Márquez to bring South Texas flair to Upstate palates. Comal 864 announced in June 2021 that it was shifting from a pop-up operation to a permanent site in the former Woodside Bistro at 1112 Woodside Avenue. The restaurant opened Nov. 16.
“I think that we have a lot to offer the neighborhood,” she told the Upstate Business Journal. “I’m excited to provide affordable, fresh food to a neighborhood that desperately needs the access and lacks the access to fresh food. I’m thankful the community has allowed me to be here and I hope that I can be of service to them.”
Seven questions with Comal 864’s Chef Dayna Lee-Márquez, a 2023 James Beard Semifinalist on GVLToday
Nominees will be announced March 29. The announcement of winners is scheduled for June 5 at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
The James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards were established in 1990 and first awarded in 1991.
The 2023 restaurant and chef semifinalists are recognized across 23 categories.
Here’s the list of semifinalists for the region
Best Chef: Southeast (Ga., Ky., N.C., S.C., Tenn., W.Va.)
- Sam Fore, Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites, Lexington, Ky.
- Josh Habiger, Bastion, Nashville, Tenn.
- Sam Hart, Counter-, Charlotte, N.C.
- Ronald Hsu and Aaron Phillips, Lazy Betty, Atlanta, Ga.
- Daniel “Dano” Heinze, Vern’s, Charleston
- Terry Koval, The Deer and the Dove, Decatur, Ga.
- Dayna Lee-Márquez, Comal 864, Greenville
- Jiyeon Lee and Cody Taylor, Heirloom Market BBQ, Atlanta, Ga.
- Josiah McGaughey, Vivian, Asheville, N.C.
- Ramin Mirzakhani, Laury’s Restaurant, Charleston, W.Va.
- Trevor Moran, Locust, Nashville, Tenn.
- Dean Neff, Seabird, Wilmington, N.C.
- Keith Rhodes, Catch, Wilmington, N.C.
- Isaiah Screetch, Spark Community Café, Versailles, Ky.
- Jessica Shillato, Spotted Salamander, Columbia
- Sahar Siddiqi, Chai Pani, Decatur, Ga.
- Paul Smith, 1010 Bridge, Charleston, W.Va.
- Stephanie Tyson, Sweet Potatoes, Winston-Salem, N.C.
- Deborah VanTrece, Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours, Atlanta, Ga.
- Preeti Waas, Cheeni Indian Food Emporium, Raleigh, N.C.
This is a developing story.