Chef and the Farmer
photograph by Stacey Van Berkel

It’s no secret that North Carolina hosts some of the best restaurants and chefs in the Southeast, but a few of our favorites were recently recognized on a national level. The James Beard Foundation, whose mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage, announced its 2016 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists on February 17, and 13 restaurants, chefs, and bakers from all over the state were nominated for this honor.

Best New Restaurant
Death & Taxes, Raleigh, NC

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

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Cynthia Wong, Rhubarb, Asheville, NC

Best Chef: Southeast
Nate Allen, Knife & Fork, Spruce Pine, NC
Brian Canipelli, Cucina 24, Asheville, NC
Scott Crawford, Standard Foods, Raleigh, NC
Steven Devereaux Greene, Herons in the Umstead Hotel, Cary, NC
Vivian Howard, Chef & the Farmer, Kinston, NC
Matthew Kelly, Mateo, Durham, NC
Joe Kindred, Kindred, Davidson, NC
Aaron Vandemark, Panciuto, Hillsborough, NC

The James Beard Foundation will announce the final nominees in San Francisco on March 15, and we will be rooting for our state’s contenders.

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Rosalie Catanoso is the digital assistant at Our State. She is a graduate of Appalachian State University, and developed a freelance editing career while living in Philadelphia for two years. Now back in North Carolina, she enjoys exploring her home by way of its breweries, live music, and above all else — barbecue.