Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen is one of five finalists for a James Beard award: Best Chef in the Southeast. Go HERE to read the entire list.
Christensen is the only North Carolina chef to be a finalist. More than a dozen chefs, restaurants and beverage professionals with N.C. ties were among the semifinalists.
Christensen is traveling today and so far has been unavailable for a reaction. Although she tweeted: "Pretty much in tears right now. Wow."
The other finalists include Edward Lee, Joseph Lenn, Steven Satterfield and Tandy Wilson.
Christensen owns Poole's Diner, Beasley's Chicken + Honey, Chucks and Fox Liquor Bar. She's also recently took over the closed Wilmoore Cafe and has another restaurant project in the works. For information about her restaurants, go to ac-restaurants.com.
The James Beard Foundation is a nonprofit that recognizes excellence among chefs, restaurants, food journalism and cookbook authors. James Beard was a cookbook author and champion of regional American food. The foundation was created after his death and now hands out what are considered the "Oscars" of the food world.
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