Fenwick’s Matt Kern Is a Semifinalist for a James Beard Award

One Coastal chef and owner Matt Kern is being considered for a James Beard as one of the best chefs in the Mid-Atlantic.

After taking the helm at One Coastal in 2022, Chef Matt Kern is once again a James Beard semifinalist—his third nomination in four years. Before purchasing Fenwick Island’s renowned farm-to-table restaurant, Kern was considered for his work heading the kitchen at Lewes’s Heirloom.

When Kern purchased One Coastal, he did so with the goal of furthering the founders’ mission to provide a true farm-to-table experience to coastal Delaware. In partnering with local growers and taking advantage of fresh, regional seafood options, Kern has delivered an elevated dining experience to Delaware’s quiet resorts.

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The current seasonal menu at One Coastal is filled with local inspirations and farm-to-table produce. Kern serves entree options like crispy skin New Jersey rockfish, Green Circle chicken and corn-fried Chesapeake blue catfish alongside locally grown accompaniments.

East View Farms in Frankford supplies mushrooms and Brussel sprouts on this season’s menu—part of a longtime partnership. Chesterfield Heirlooms in Pittsville, Maryland also supplies produce like baby carrots and watermelon radishes.

Through his commitment to supporting local agriculture, innovative spins on coastal favorites and intricate understanding of food and hospitality, Kern has solidified One Coastal as a mainstay in southern Delaware. For farm-to-table enthusiasts, this Fenwick eatery certainly holds its own on the semifinalist list alongside restaurants in foodie hotspots like Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

“The goal has always been to support responsible local agriculture here on the Delmarva Peninsula and to inspire more mom-and-pop independent restaurants to do the same,” Kern said in a statement on his social media pages. “We’re just getting started!”

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If Kern wins Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic, he’ll be the first Delaware chef to take home the award. Other Delawareans have won James Beard awards in categories like food journalism, humanitarianism and outstanding wine, beer or spirits.

One Coastal | 101 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island | 537-4790

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