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North Carolina Scores Big in Beard Semifinalist List

Salad at Mateo With Duke/UNC coming up, you know it’s also time for the biggie in food, the James Beard Award Semifinalist announcement (pdf). The biggie for the area is Raleigh’s Ashley Christensen who got one of the 20 nomination for “Best Chef: US”. Christensen’s “Death and Taxes” got one of the 25 national nominations for Best New Restaurant .

North Carolina recently been a regular in the nominations list for Best Chef: Southeast, but this year was incredibly strong with NC chefs getting 8 of the 20 nominations for a 6-state region that includes Charleston and Atlanta. (NC, SC, GA, WV, TN, KY)

Best Chef: Southeast

  • Nate Allen, Knife and Fork, Spruce Pine, NC
  • Billy Allin, Cakes & Ale, Decatur, GA
  • Jeremiah Bacon, The Macintosh, Charleston, SC
  • Brian Canipelli, Cucina 24, Asheville, NC
  • Kathy Cary, Lilly’s, Louisville, KY
  • Scott Crawford, Standard Foods, Raleigh, NC
  • Steven Devereaux Greene, Herons in the Umstead Hotel, Cary, NC
  • Kevin Gillespie, Gunshow, Atlanta
  • Damian Heath, Lot 12 Public House, Berkeley Springs, WV
  • Vivian Howard, Chef & the Farmer, Kinston, NC
  • Kevin Johnson, The Grocery, Charleston, SC
  • Matthew Kelly, Mateo, Durham, NC
  • Joe Kindred, Kindred, Davidson, NC
  • Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY
  • Erik Niel, Easy Bistro, Chattanooga, TN
  • Steven Satterfield, Miller Union, Atlanta
  • Ryan Smith, Staplehouse, Atlanta
  • Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis
  • Aaron Vandemark, Panciuto, Hillsborough, NC
  • Tandy Wilson, City House, Nashville

NC wasn’t empty-handed when it came to specialty awards, either. There were 20 Outstanding Baker nominations and Phoebe Lawless (Scratch Bakery, Durham) and Lionel Vatinet (La Farm, Cary) were nominated. Finally Cynthia Wong (Rhubarb, Asheville) picked up one of the Outstanding Pastry Chef nominations. No NC nominations came for Restaurant, Restaurateur, Service, Bar Program, Wine Program, Wine Sprits or Beer Professional, or Rising Star Chef.

The Talley

Here is how the Triangle area fared against other cities:

  • Triangle Area: 8
  • Atlanta: 12
  • Austin, TX: 5
  • Boston: 8
  • Charleston, SC: 4
  • Charlotte: 0
  • Chicago: 27
  • Dallas: 6
  • Denver: 5
  • Houston: 8
  • Los Angeles: 14
  • Madison: 4
  • Miami: 6
  • Nashville: 4
  • New Orleans: 14
  • New York: 16 (plus 20 in special category)
  • Philadelphia: 14
  • Phoenix: 3
  • Portland, OR: 15
  • Richmond: 1
  • San Antonio: 1
  • San Francisco: 26
  • Seattle: 17
  • Tampa: 2
  • Washington, DC: 16

The James Beard Foundation will pare down the list and announce their list of Finalists on Tue, March 15.

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