The James Beard Foundation announced the recipients of the 2013 Restaurant and Chef Awards on Monday night. Raleigh’s Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner was in the running for Best Chef in the Southeast, but the final award for that category went to Joseph Lenn of The Barn at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. Christensen was North Carolina’s only James Beard Award Nominee (finalist) this year, out of 13 semi-finalists in the state. Hear her interview with WUNC's State of Things.
Other overall winners included San Francisco's State Bird Provisions for Best New Restaurant and New York City’s Blue Hill for Outstanding Restaurant. David Chang of NYC’s Momofuku Noodle Bar and Paul Kahan of Blackbird in Chicago tied for Best Chef. See a complete list of award recipients here.
The James Beard Awards are considered the highest honors given in the food industry, and Christensen was the fourth chef in the state to ever receive a nomination in the Restaurant and Chef category. The others are Ben and Karen Barker of the late Magnolia Grill and Andrea Reusing of Lantern. All three previous nominees proceeded to win a James Beard Award.