14 NC Restaurants Recognized by James Beard Foundation
photograph by Lissa Gotwals & Peter Taylor

Asian fusion, barbecue, Spanish tapas, you name it and there’s a good chance you’ll find a restaurant serving it somewhere between North Carolina’s mountains and coast. North Carolina’s culinary reputation is impressive, so its no surprise that several restaurants have gained national attention. The James Beard Foundation, whose mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage, announced its 2017 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists on February 15, and 14 restaurants, chefs, and bakers from all over the state were nominated for several prestigious awards.

Outstanding Baker
Phoebe Lawless, Scratch Bakery, Durham, NC
Lionel Vatinet, La Farm Bakery, Cary, NC

Outstanding Chef
Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Downtown Diner, Raleigh, NC
Andrea Reusing, Lantern, Chapel Hill, NC

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Gabe Barker, Pizzeria Mercato, Carrboro, NC

Best Chef: Southeast
Colin Bedford, The Fearrington House, Pittsboro, NC
Steven Devereaux Greene, Herons in the Umstead Hotel, Cary, NC
John Fleer, Rhubarb, Asheville, NC
Vivian Howard, Chef & the Farmer, Kinston, NC
Matt Kelly, Mateo, Durham, NC
Joe Kindred, Kindred, Davidson, NC
Cheetie Kumar, Garland, Raleigh, NC
Elliott Moss, Buxton Hall Barbecue, Asheville, NC
Paul Verica, Heritage Food and Drink, Waxhaw, NC

The James Beard Foundation will announce the final nominees in Los Angeles on March 15 with real-time updates on Facebook Live and Twitter. Best of luck to all of our North Carolina contenders!

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K McKay was the digital content writer at Our State. She is a graduate of Elon University, and was the spring 2017 digital intern at Our State.