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2 Charlotte chefs nominated for 2017 Beard Awards

Charlotte can claim two chefs nominated for James Beard Awards this year: Davidson’s Joe Kindred of Kindred – who was also nominated in 2016 – and Waxhaw’s Paul Verica of Heritage Food & Drink.

Both are nominated for Best Chef: Southeast, which covers the Carolinas, plus Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. Kindred was nominated last year as well; this is the first time for Verica.

And several Carolinas chefs are up for national awards: In the Outstanding Chef lineup are Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner in Raleigh; Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill, and Mike Lata of FIG in Charleston. Among Rising Star Chef of the Year nominees are Gabe Barker, Pizzeria Mercato, Carrboro; and Shuai Wang, Short Grain, Charleston.

(Perennial powerhouse Charleston has several nominees competing for other national awards, too, though only one in the Southeast lineup.)

The competition for Kindred and Verica (of these, five will be declared finalists March 15 and a winner will be announced April 25):

Colin Bedford, The Fearrington House, Pittsboro

Steven Devereaux Greene, Herons in the Umstead Hotel, Cary

Vivian Howard, Chef & the Farmer, Kinston

Matt Kelly, Mateo, Durham

Cheetie Kumar, Garland, Raleigh

John Fleer, Rhubarb, Asheville

Elliott Moss, Buxton Hall, Asheville

Kevin Johnson, The Grocery, Charleston

Billy Allin, Cakes & Ale, Decatur, GA

Kevin Gillespie, Gunshow, Atlanta

Damian Heath, Lot 12 Public House, Berkeley Springs, WV

Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY

Andy Little, Josephine, Nashville

Ri Liu, Masterpiece, Duluth, GA

Erik Niel, Easy Bistro, Chattanooga, TN

Steven Satterfield, Miller Union, Atlanta

Ryan Smith, Staplehouse, Atlanta

Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis

The other Carolinas nominees up for national awards are:

Outstanding Baker: Phoebe Lawless, Scratch, Durham, and Lionel Vatinet, La Farm Bakery, Cary.

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Cynthia Wong, Butcher & Bee, Charleston.

Outstanding Restaurateur: David Howard, Neighborhood Dining Group, Charleston (Husk, McCrady’s, Minero, and others)

Outstanding Wine Program: FIG, Charleston.

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional: Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall, High Wire Distilling Company, Charleston.