The 2016 James Beard Awards semi-finalists, widely known as the “Oscars” of the culinary world, were announced earlier this week (see the complete list of nominees here). North Carolina chefs and restaurants across the Old North State racked up several nominations, including ones for Best New Restaurant and Outstanding Chef. The finalists will be announced on Tuesday, March 15 in San Francisco.
So, who got the deserving recognition? The following is the list of North Carolina-based chefs and restaurants that received a nod on Feb. 17 for a 2016 James Beard Award:
Best New Restaurant
A restaurant opened in the calendar year before the award will be given that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.
Death and Taxes, Raleigh, NC
A chef or baker who prepares breads, pastries or desserts in a retail bakery, and who serves as a national standard-bearer of excellence. Must have been a baker or pastry chef for at least five years.
Lionel Vatinet, La Farm Bakery, Cary, NC
Phoebe Lawless, Scratch Bakery, Durham, NC
A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Eligible candidates must have been working as a chef for the past five years.
Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Downtown Diner, Raleigh, NC
OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF
A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries or breads in a restaurant, and who serves as a national standard bearer of excellence. Must have been a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.
Cynthia Wong, Rhubarb, Asheville, NC
BEST CHEF: SOUTHEAST
Nate Allen, Knife and 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