North Carolina is home to a number of chefs named finalists for the James Beard Foundation awards, known as “The Oscars of Food,” WRAL reports.
The Triangle is a hotbed of former James Beard winners and this year is no exception.
Raleigh chef Cheetie Kumar, of Garland, is one of the finalists for Best Chef in the Southeast. Curate’s Katie Button, an Asheville chef, is also a finalist, according to WRAL.
Also out of Asheville is Benne on Eagle chef Ashleigh Shanti, a finalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year. That award is given to a chef 30 or younger who “displays exceptional talent, character, and leadership ability, and who is likely to make a significant impact in years to come,” WRAL reports.
Finally, Kaitlyn Goalen, also of Raleigh, is nominated with chef Chris Shepherd for their book, Cook Like a Local: Flavors That Can Change How You Cook and See The World. Their book is in the running for the American category. Goalen is married to Ashley Christensen, last year’s winner of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef, WRAL reports.
Past North Carolina winners include Andrea Reusing of Lantern in 2011, Ben Barker of Magnolia Grill in 2000, and Karen and Ben Barker of Magnolia Grill in 2003 for outstanding pastry chef. Christensen also won best chef in the southeast in 2014, according to WRAL.
Read the full story about North Carolina’s top chefs from WRAL.