What's on Tap

What's on Tap

NC Chefs named finalists for foodie 'Oscars'

Posted March 18, 2014

Chef Ashley Christensen (Photo by Victor Chavez)

— Some North Carolina chefs got some great news on Tuesday when the annual James Beard Foundation awards announced its finalists. 

The awards are often referred to as "The Oscars of Food," and the Triangle has a legacy of taking home honors. 

Ashley Christensen of Poole's Downtown Diner and several other Raleigh restaurants is a finalist for Best Chef in the Southeast. This is the second year she has been named a finalist. She is up against four other chefs: Kathy Cary of Lilly's and Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia, both in Louisville, Ky. Steven Satterfield of Miller Union in Atlanta and Tandy Wilson of City House in Nashville. This is the second year she has been named a finalist.

Katie Button, chef at Curate in Asheville, has been named a finalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year. The award is given to a chef 30 years or younger, who "displays an impressive talent and who is likely to have a significant impact on the industry in years to come." She is up against Chicago's Jimmy Bannos Jr. of The Purple Pig and David Posey of Blackbird, Jessica Largey of Manresa in Los Gatos, Calif. and Blaine Wetzel of The Willows Inn on Lummi Island in Washington. 

Kinston's own Vivian Howard, co-owner of the Chef and the Farmer, is also up for a James Beard Award. Her PBS show "A Chef's Life" has been nominated in the TV category. The documentary series focuses on eastern North Carolina cuisine and where it comes from. 

The winners will be announced during a gala at Lincoln Center in New York City on May 5. 


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  • kdnole Mar 19, 2014

    I've eaten at all of Ashely's restaurants and never had a bad meal or experience. Good Luck!!

  • glarg Mar 19, 2014

    View quoted thread



  • willishelley Mar 19, 2014

    Their fried chicken isnt any better than Bojangles. The piece that i got was still red with blood in the middle

  • welfarequeen Mar 18, 2014

    She couldn't cook a dogs lunch on the arc.

  • Katie Falls Mar 18, 2014
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    The Chef and the Farmer is awesome! Good luck!

  • Maximillian Powers Mar 18, 2014
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    I hear this is the second year that Ashley Christensen has been named a finalist.