Raleigh chef wins prestigious James Beard award

Posted May 5, 2014
Updated May 6, 2014

Chef Ashley Christensen (Photo by Victor Chavez)

— Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen was named the best chef in the Southeast by the James Beard Foundation Monday evening.

Christensen owns a number of Raleigh restaurants: Beasley's Chicken and Honey, Chuck's, Fox Liquor Bar, Poole's Downtown Diner and Joule Coffee.

“Mention the Raleigh food scene to anyone and one name stands out: Ashley Christensen,” the chef is described on the foundation’s website. “This influential chef turned retro-chic on its head at Poole’s Downtown Diner and her three other restaurants, where her thoughtful, ingredient-driven comfort food is at once nostalgic and thoroughly of this moment.”

The honor is often referred to as a the "foodie Oscars." Christensen was a finalist in 2013.


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  • Super Hans May 6, 2014

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    Jeez, show some sportsmanship. You might win next time.

  • cjwatson3630 May 6, 2014

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    Fried chicken and burgers are pushing the boundaries from a culinary standpoint? You can credit her for refining things around here, but she's hardly innovative. Not one person has said she didn't work hard to be in the position she's in, but when compared to the abilities of her peers in a kitchen, she's not as great as this award and all the Raleigh hype would make it seem.

  • EricaSliver May 6, 2014

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    sounds like CJWATSON3630 is a tad jealous...

  • Doug Hanthorn May 6, 2014
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    Save your time and money. Not good at all....

  • slaterric May 6, 2014

    I love the food at Poole's. Ate there many times. I have not tried the other places yet.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" May 6, 2014

    Cool! I'm glad for her and I hope she is always successful.

  • Joanne Batjer May 6, 2014
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  • Not Now May 6, 2014

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    I am more inclined to listen to the folks at the James Beard Foundation than some anonymous schmo on

  • oakcity May 6, 2014

    Those of you saying that Ashley is overrated have no idea who this person is. Having worked with Ashley in the past in the many establishments I can vouch that she is one of the hardest working people in this business. She works hard and she cares about what she does and has constantly pushed the boundaries of what we consider cuisine in this city. This award is a long time coming. Congratulations Ashley from an old friend. Viva la Vertigo.

  • cjwatson3630 May 6, 2014

    She is highly overrated. She has a great publicist and great business sense, but the big fish in a small pond thing she has going on makes it easy to dupe people who are easily impressed. She's not that great of a chef compared to her peers.