More than a dozen North Carolina restaurants and chefs earned a spot on the James Beard Award semifinalist list this year, but only one is advancing to the nominee (finalist) category: Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner in Raleigh. Christensen was nominated for Best Chef: Southeast, a position she shares with four other chefs in the region. Here is her reaction on twitter this morning:
Pretty much in tears right now. Wow.
— Ashley Christensen (@poolesdiner) March 18, 2013
The James Beard Awards are considered the highest honors given in the food industry, and Christensen is 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.
The James Beard Foundation will announce the winners of its Restaurant and Chef Awards on May 3.