Today the James Beard Foundation announced its list of restaurant and chef award semifinalists for the upcoming James Beard Awards, an event that’s often heralded as the Oscars of the food world. The awards, now in their twenty-ninth year, recognize culinary talent in multiple national and regional categories.
The Triangle’s own Ashley Christensen, the chef-restaurateur behind popular Raleigh eateries Poole’s Diner, Death & Taxes, and Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, is once again nominated for Outstanding Chef, a national category in which she made the final five in 2018. Sean Lily Wilson of Durham’s Fullsteam Brewery also received a repeat nomination for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer, another national category. Three local chefs made the list for Best Chef: Southeast, including Steven Devereaux Greene from Herons in Cary, Oscar Diaz from The Cortez in Raleigh, and Cheetie Kumar from Garland in Raleigh.
Other North Carolina talent who received semifinalist nods include Ashley Capps from Buxton Hall in Asheville for Outstanding Pastry Chef, and several in the Best Chef: Southeast category, including Katie Button from Cúrate and Meherwan Irani from Chai Pani, both in Asheville, Gregory Collier from Charlotte’s Loft & Cellar, Joe Kindred from Davidson’s Kindred, and Dean Neff from Wilmington’s PinPoint.
Finalists will be announced on March 27 and the winners will be revealed at the May 6 gala in Chicago.