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NRA honors 2012 Restaurant Neighbor Awards winners

NRA honors 2012 Restaurant Neighbor Awards winners


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The National Restaurant Association is honoring the recipients of the 2012 Restaurant Neighbor Awards at a gala dinner Tuesday night in Washington, D.C.

The awards recognize restaurateurs who have performed outstanding charitable services in their communities, the NRA said.

This year’s recipients are:

• Aramark, the Philadelphia-based onsite feeder, in the large business category

• Taste Buds Management in New Orleans, in the mid-size business category

• King Eider’s Pub and Restaurant in Damariscotta, Maine, in the small business category

• Tammy and Noel Cunningham, the owners of Strings Restaurant in Denver, Cornerstone Humanitarian Award

Each of the winners is presented with a $5,000 contribution for their charitable initiatives.

“The recipients of this year’s Restaurant Neighbor Award embody our mission to enhance the quality of life for all we serve,” Dawn Sweeney, the NRA’s president and chief executive, said in a statement. “We are proud to recognize the incredible efforts of this year’s winners, whose generosity and commitment to bettering their communities has touched the lives of countless individuals. Their stories exemplify the restaurant industry’s dedication to community service.”

Aramark’s signature philanthropic and volunteer program, ARAMARK Building Community, was launched in 2008. The program aids families in underserved communities by providing funds, volunteers, programs and professional services to strengthen community centers. Aramark has contributed more than $7 million through grants, product donations and 15,000 employees volunteering their time.

After tornadoes ravaged Alabama and Missouri in 2011, chefs Greg Reggio, Hans Limburgh and Gary Darling of New Orleans-based Taste Buds Management founded Three Chefs One Mission. Recalling the aid they received in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina, the trio sought to give back in kind. The goal of Three Chefs One Mission is to serve hot meals to victims whenever or wherever disaster strikes.

In 2005, Todd Maurer of King Eider’s Pub and Restaurant in Damariscotta, Maine, learned that several of his neighbors might have to go without heat because of the high cost of oil. As a result, he and two business associates launched the Community Energy Fund. Maurer joined forces with other local restaurants to form “Dine in Damariscotta,” which donates a percentage of its proceeds to the fund. The organization, which also offers gas cards to residents, has generated nearly $400,000 to date and has kept 1,200 families warm.

In 2003, Noel and Tammy Cunningham of Strings Restaurant in Denver launched the Cunningham Foundation to help aid impoverished Ethiopians. To date, they have raised $750,000. In addition, the Cunninghams have played a key role in the launch of hunger relief nonprofit Share our Strength’s Taste of the Nation. The Cunningham Foundation encourages young people to raise awareness and money for those who are less fortunate.

American Express is the founding partner of the Restaurant Neighbor Award, which was introduced in 1999 to help raise awareness of the foodservice industry’s contributions around the country and to encourage more operators to become involved in their respective communities.

“Through charitable gifts of food, time and resources, restaurants have a tangible and lasting impact on their communities,” said Curtis L. Wilson, vice president and general manager, Restaurant, Lodging & Insurance Industries, American Express. “We hope these actions inspire others to do the same.”

Contact Paul Frumkin at [email protected]


When many people think of American food, one name often comes to mind: James Beard. Julia Child called him the �n of American Cuisine,” and he was. Three decades after his death, The James Beard Foundation continues his work by recognizing regional chefs who are taking American Cuisine to new heights. So it comes as no surprise to see Asheville’s Foodtopians honored by the Foundation.

James Beard Awards: The Oscars of the Culinary World

Being nominated is an honor many aspire to but few achieve.

In the most recent round of awards (May�), the James Beard Foundation announced that twoਊsheville chefs/restaurants wereਊmong the short list of nominees:

  • Ashleigh Shanti, Benne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year
  • Katie Button, Curate - Best Chef Southeast

There will not be an award cycle in 2021.

Asheville James Beard Nominees, Semifinalists and Winners

In 2010, Jacob Sessoms of Table was the first Asheville chef to be nominated for Best Chef Southeast. Three years later, two Asheville chefs were on the list: Elliott Moss, then at The Admiral, for Best Chef Southeast, and Curate&aposs Katie Button for Rising Star Chef of the Year. 

The number of Asheville nominees has risen exponentially in the years since.

Here&aposs an at-a-glance look at chefs and culinary professionals who have been recognized as James Beard award nominees and semifinalists while working and/or living in Asheville (awards earned before or after their time in Asheville are not reflected below). The list reflects their restaurant affiliation at the time of the award.

  • Jacob Sessoms, Table - Best Chef Southeast (2010)
  • Elliott Moss, Buxton Hall (previously with The Admiral) - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2013, 2017)
  • Katie Button, Curate - Rising Star Chef of the Year (Semifinalist: 2012, 2013 Nominee:�), Best Chef Southeast (Semifinals: 2015 Nominee: 2018, 2019, 2020)
  • John Fleer, Rhubarb - Best Chef Southeast (Nominee: 2015, 2017)
  • Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2014, 2015, 2018 Nominee: 2019)
  • Cynthia Wong, Rhubarb - Best Pastry Chef (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Brian Canipelli, Cucina24 - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Ronni Lundy, Author of Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes - Book of the Year (Winner: 2017)
  • Leah Wong Ashburn, Highland Brewing Company - Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • David Bauer, Farm & Sparrow - Outstanding Baker (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • Ashley Capps, Buxton Hall - Outstanding Pastry Chef (Nominee: 2019)
  • Ashleigh Shanti,ꂾnne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year (2020)

While the list above reflects people who earned recognition while in Asheville, several of those listed were recognized by James Beard before coming to Asheville. Before arriving in Asheville, Eric Gabrynowicz (Tupelo Honey) was a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Rising Star Chef in 2011. He was also a semifinalist for Best Chef Northeast from 2014-16. And, prior to Linton Hopkins (H&F Burger) arrival in Asheville, he won Best Chef Southeast in 2012 (he is also a 4-time James Beard nominee).

The James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour

This prestigious nationwide tour pays homage to the unforgettable meals James Beard served his friends at his Greenwich Village home. In 2014 and 2017, William Dissen, chef/owner of The Market Place, hosted an evening of sublime food and wine at his sleek Wall Street restaurant as part of the Tour.

Foodtopians Elliott Moss of Buxton Hall and nationally-acclaimed chocolatier Daniel Rattigan of the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, have joined along with other Southern stars from Raleigh and Louisville.

In May 2018, Posana and Chef Peter Pollay hosted the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour which will include Asheville chefs Katie Button and John Fleer. For more information, please visit the James Beard Foundation web site.

Advocating for Sustainability and Seasonality

When it comes to sustainability and farm-to-table cooking, James Beard was a man ahead of his time, which is why he would feel right at home in Asheville. Before these terms became part of our culinary lexicon, Beard was advocating for both. He likely would appreciate that Asheville was the first city in the U.S. to be certified as a Green Dining Destination. He likely wouldਊpplaud the Asheville independent restaurants that consistently make the list of “greenest restaurants in the U.S."

You would also think򠯪rd would embrace the �-mile diet” that is standard fare for chefs like John Fleer (pictured) whose creations pay homage to Western North Carolina’s seasonal bounty. Thanks to the independent restaurant community, small family farms are thriving.

Asheville is now a city of neighborhood tailgate markets and where regional grocery store chains tout their wide selection of local produce, meat and cheese.

James Beard never visited Asheville, but his influence is evident in every delicious forkful of food prepared by a new generation of Asheville chefs who share his belief that food should be fresh, local, delicious and authentic. It’s what brings guests to Asheville and what keeps them coming back. Proof positive that the legacy of James Beard is alive and well in Foodtopia.


When many people think of American food, one name often comes to mind: James Beard. Julia Child called him the �n of American Cuisine,” and he was. Three decades after his death, The James Beard Foundation continues his work by recognizing regional chefs who are taking American Cuisine to new heights. So it comes as no surprise to see Asheville’s Foodtopians honored by the Foundation.

James Beard Awards: The Oscars of the Culinary World

Being nominated is an honor many aspire to but few achieve.

In the most recent round of awards (May�), the James Beard Foundation announced that twoਊsheville chefs/restaurants wereਊmong the short list of nominees:

  • Ashleigh Shanti, Benne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year
  • Katie Button, Curate - Best Chef Southeast

There will not be an award cycle in 2021.

Asheville James Beard Nominees, Semifinalists and Winners

In 2010, Jacob Sessoms of Table was the first Asheville chef to be nominated for Best Chef Southeast. Three years later, two Asheville chefs were on the list: Elliott Moss, then at The Admiral, for Best Chef Southeast, and Curate&aposs Katie Button for Rising Star Chef of the Year. 

The number of Asheville nominees has risen exponentially in the years since.

Here&aposs an at-a-glance look at chefs and culinary professionals who have been recognized as James Beard award nominees and semifinalists while working and/or living in Asheville (awards earned before or after their time in Asheville are not reflected below). The list reflects their restaurant affiliation at the time of the award.

  • Jacob Sessoms, Table - Best Chef Southeast (2010)
  • Elliott Moss, Buxton Hall (previously with The Admiral) - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2013, 2017)
  • Katie Button, Curate - Rising Star Chef of the Year (Semifinalist: 2012, 2013 Nominee:�), Best Chef Southeast (Semifinals: 2015 Nominee: 2018, 2019, 2020)
  • John Fleer, Rhubarb - Best Chef Southeast (Nominee: 2015, 2017)
  • Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2014, 2015, 2018 Nominee: 2019)
  • Cynthia Wong, Rhubarb - Best Pastry Chef (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Brian Canipelli, Cucina24 - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Ronni Lundy, Author of Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes - Book of the Year (Winner: 2017)
  • Leah Wong Ashburn, Highland Brewing Company - Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • David Bauer, Farm & Sparrow - Outstanding Baker (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • Ashley Capps, Buxton Hall - Outstanding Pastry Chef (Nominee: 2019)
  • Ashleigh Shanti,ꂾnne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year (2020)

While the list above reflects people who earned recognition while in Asheville, several of those listed were recognized by James Beard before coming to Asheville. Before arriving in Asheville, Eric Gabrynowicz (Tupelo Honey) was a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Rising Star Chef in 2011. He was also a semifinalist for Best Chef Northeast from 2014-16. And, prior to Linton Hopkins (H&F Burger) arrival in Asheville, he won Best Chef Southeast in 2012 (he is also a 4-time James Beard nominee).

The James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour

This prestigious nationwide tour pays homage to the unforgettable meals James Beard served his friends at his Greenwich Village home. In 2014 and 2017, William Dissen, chef/owner of The Market Place, hosted an evening of sublime food and wine at his sleek Wall Street restaurant as part of the Tour.

Foodtopians Elliott Moss of Buxton Hall and nationally-acclaimed chocolatier Daniel Rattigan of the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, have joined along with other Southern stars from Raleigh and Louisville.

In May 2018, Posana and Chef Peter Pollay hosted the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour which will include Asheville chefs Katie Button and John Fleer. For more information, please visit the James Beard Foundation web site.

Advocating for Sustainability and Seasonality

When it comes to sustainability and farm-to-table cooking, James Beard was a man ahead of his time, which is why he would feel right at home in Asheville. Before these terms became part of our culinary lexicon, Beard was advocating for both. He likely would appreciate that Asheville was the first city in the U.S. to be certified as a Green Dining Destination. He likely wouldਊpplaud the Asheville independent restaurants that consistently make the list of “greenest restaurants in the U.S."

You would also think򠯪rd would embrace the �-mile diet” that is standard fare for chefs like John Fleer (pictured) whose creations pay homage to Western North Carolina’s seasonal bounty. Thanks to the independent restaurant community, small family farms are thriving.

Asheville is now a city of neighborhood tailgate markets and where regional grocery store chains tout their wide selection of local produce, meat and cheese.

James Beard never visited Asheville, but his influence is evident in every delicious forkful of food prepared by a new generation of Asheville chefs who share his belief that food should be fresh, local, delicious and authentic. It’s what brings guests to Asheville and what keeps them coming back. Proof positive that the legacy of James Beard is alive and well in Foodtopia.


When many people think of American food, one name often comes to mind: James Beard. Julia Child called him the �n of American Cuisine,” and he was. Three decades after his death, The James Beard Foundation continues his work by recognizing regional chefs who are taking American Cuisine to new heights. So it comes as no surprise to see Asheville’s Foodtopians honored by the Foundation.

James Beard Awards: The Oscars of the Culinary World

Being nominated is an honor many aspire to but few achieve.

In the most recent round of awards (May�), the James Beard Foundation announced that twoਊsheville chefs/restaurants wereਊmong the short list of nominees:

  • Ashleigh Shanti, Benne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year
  • Katie Button, Curate - Best Chef Southeast

There will not be an award cycle in 2021.

Asheville James Beard Nominees, Semifinalists and Winners

In 2010, Jacob Sessoms of Table was the first Asheville chef to be nominated for Best Chef Southeast. Three years later, two Asheville chefs were on the list: Elliott Moss, then at The Admiral, for Best Chef Southeast, and Curate&aposs Katie Button for Rising Star Chef of the Year. 

The number of Asheville nominees has risen exponentially in the years since.

Here&aposs an at-a-glance look at chefs and culinary professionals who have been recognized as James Beard award nominees and semifinalists while working and/or living in Asheville (awards earned before or after their time in Asheville are not reflected below). The list reflects their restaurant affiliation at the time of the award.

  • Jacob Sessoms, Table - Best Chef Southeast (2010)
  • Elliott Moss, Buxton Hall (previously with The Admiral) - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2013, 2017)
  • Katie Button, Curate - Rising Star Chef of the Year (Semifinalist: 2012, 2013 Nominee:�), Best Chef Southeast (Semifinals: 2015 Nominee: 2018, 2019, 2020)
  • John Fleer, Rhubarb - Best Chef Southeast (Nominee: 2015, 2017)
  • Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2014, 2015, 2018 Nominee: 2019)
  • Cynthia Wong, Rhubarb - Best Pastry Chef (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Brian Canipelli, Cucina24 - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Ronni Lundy, Author of Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes - Book of the Year (Winner: 2017)
  • Leah Wong Ashburn, Highland Brewing Company - Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • David Bauer, Farm & Sparrow - Outstanding Baker (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • Ashley Capps, Buxton Hall - Outstanding Pastry Chef (Nominee: 2019)
  • Ashleigh Shanti,ꂾnne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year (2020)

While the list above reflects people who earned recognition while in Asheville, several of those listed were recognized by James Beard before coming to Asheville. Before arriving in Asheville, Eric Gabrynowicz (Tupelo Honey) was a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Rising Star Chef in 2011. He was also a semifinalist for Best Chef Northeast from 2014-16. And, prior to Linton Hopkins (H&F Burger) arrival in Asheville, he won Best Chef Southeast in 2012 (he is also a 4-time James Beard nominee).

The James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour

This prestigious nationwide tour pays homage to the unforgettable meals James Beard served his friends at his Greenwich Village home. In 2014 and 2017, William Dissen, chef/owner of The Market Place, hosted an evening of sublime food and wine at his sleek Wall Street restaurant as part of the Tour.

Foodtopians Elliott Moss of Buxton Hall and nationally-acclaimed chocolatier Daniel Rattigan of the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, have joined along with other Southern stars from Raleigh and Louisville.

In May 2018, Posana and Chef Peter Pollay hosted the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour which will include Asheville chefs Katie Button and John Fleer. For more information, please visit the James Beard Foundation web site.

Advocating for Sustainability and Seasonality

When it comes to sustainability and farm-to-table cooking, James Beard was a man ahead of his time, which is why he would feel right at home in Asheville. Before these terms became part of our culinary lexicon, Beard was advocating for both. He likely would appreciate that Asheville was the first city in the U.S. to be certified as a Green Dining Destination. He likely wouldਊpplaud the Asheville independent restaurants that consistently make the list of “greenest restaurants in the U.S."

You would also think򠯪rd would embrace the �-mile diet” that is standard fare for chefs like John Fleer (pictured) whose creations pay homage to Western North Carolina’s seasonal bounty. Thanks to the independent restaurant community, small family farms are thriving.

Asheville is now a city of neighborhood tailgate markets and where regional grocery store chains tout their wide selection of local produce, meat and cheese.

James Beard never visited Asheville, but his influence is evident in every delicious forkful of food prepared by a new generation of Asheville chefs who share his belief that food should be fresh, local, delicious and authentic. It’s what brings guests to Asheville and what keeps them coming back. Proof positive that the legacy of James Beard is alive and well in Foodtopia.


When many people think of American food, one name often comes to mind: James Beard. Julia Child called him the �n of American Cuisine,” and he was. Three decades after his death, The James Beard Foundation continues his work by recognizing regional chefs who are taking American Cuisine to new heights. So it comes as no surprise to see Asheville’s Foodtopians honored by the Foundation.

James Beard Awards: The Oscars of the Culinary World

Being nominated is an honor many aspire to but few achieve.

In the most recent round of awards (May�), the James Beard Foundation announced that twoਊsheville chefs/restaurants wereਊmong the short list of nominees:

  • Ashleigh Shanti, Benne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year
  • Katie Button, Curate - Best Chef Southeast

There will not be an award cycle in 2021.

Asheville James Beard Nominees, Semifinalists and Winners

In 2010, Jacob Sessoms of Table was the first Asheville chef to be nominated for Best Chef Southeast. Three years later, two Asheville chefs were on the list: Elliott Moss, then at The Admiral, for Best Chef Southeast, and Curate&aposs Katie Button for Rising Star Chef of the Year. 

The number of Asheville nominees has risen exponentially in the years since.

Here&aposs an at-a-glance look at chefs and culinary professionals who have been recognized as James Beard award nominees and semifinalists while working and/or living in Asheville (awards earned before or after their time in Asheville are not reflected below). The list reflects their restaurant affiliation at the time of the award.

  • Jacob Sessoms, Table - Best Chef Southeast (2010)
  • Elliott Moss, Buxton Hall (previously with The Admiral) - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2013, 2017)
  • Katie Button, Curate - Rising Star Chef of the Year (Semifinalist: 2012, 2013 Nominee:�), Best Chef Southeast (Semifinals: 2015 Nominee: 2018, 2019, 2020)
  • John Fleer, Rhubarb - Best Chef Southeast (Nominee: 2015, 2017)
  • Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2014, 2015, 2018 Nominee: 2019)
  • Cynthia Wong, Rhubarb - Best Pastry Chef (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Brian Canipelli, Cucina24 - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Ronni Lundy, Author of Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes - Book of the Year (Winner: 2017)
  • Leah Wong Ashburn, Highland Brewing Company - Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • David Bauer, Farm & Sparrow - Outstanding Baker (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • Ashley Capps, Buxton Hall - Outstanding Pastry Chef (Nominee: 2019)
  • Ashleigh Shanti,ꂾnne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year (2020)

While the list above reflects people who earned recognition while in Asheville, several of those listed were recognized by James Beard before coming to Asheville. Before arriving in Asheville, Eric Gabrynowicz (Tupelo Honey) was a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Rising Star Chef in 2011. He was also a semifinalist for Best Chef Northeast from 2014-16. And, prior to Linton Hopkins (H&F Burger) arrival in Asheville, he won Best Chef Southeast in 2012 (he is also a 4-time James Beard nominee).

The James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour

This prestigious nationwide tour pays homage to the unforgettable meals James Beard served his friends at his Greenwich Village home. In 2014 and 2017, William Dissen, chef/owner of The Market Place, hosted an evening of sublime food and wine at his sleek Wall Street restaurant as part of the Tour.

Foodtopians Elliott Moss of Buxton Hall and nationally-acclaimed chocolatier Daniel Rattigan of the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, have joined along with other Southern stars from Raleigh and Louisville.

In May 2018, Posana and Chef Peter Pollay hosted the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour which will include Asheville chefs Katie Button and John Fleer. For more information, please visit the James Beard Foundation web site.

Advocating for Sustainability and Seasonality

When it comes to sustainability and farm-to-table cooking, James Beard was a man ahead of his time, which is why he would feel right at home in Asheville. Before these terms became part of our culinary lexicon, Beard was advocating for both. He likely would appreciate that Asheville was the first city in the U.S. to be certified as a Green Dining Destination. He likely wouldਊpplaud the Asheville independent restaurants that consistently make the list of “greenest restaurants in the U.S."

You would also think򠯪rd would embrace the �-mile diet” that is standard fare for chefs like John Fleer (pictured) whose creations pay homage to Western North Carolina’s seasonal bounty. Thanks to the independent restaurant community, small family farms are thriving.

Asheville is now a city of neighborhood tailgate markets and where regional grocery store chains tout their wide selection of local produce, meat and cheese.

James Beard never visited Asheville, but his influence is evident in every delicious forkful of food prepared by a new generation of Asheville chefs who share his belief that food should be fresh, local, delicious and authentic. It’s what brings guests to Asheville and what keeps them coming back. Proof positive that the legacy of James Beard is alive and well in Foodtopia.


When many people think of American food, one name often comes to mind: James Beard. Julia Child called him the �n of American Cuisine,” and he was. Three decades after his death, The James Beard Foundation continues his work by recognizing regional chefs who are taking American Cuisine to new heights. So it comes as no surprise to see Asheville’s Foodtopians honored by the Foundation.

James Beard Awards: The Oscars of the Culinary World

Being nominated is an honor many aspire to but few achieve.

In the most recent round of awards (May�), the James Beard Foundation announced that twoਊsheville chefs/restaurants wereਊmong the short list of nominees:

  • Ashleigh Shanti, Benne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year
  • Katie Button, Curate - Best Chef Southeast

There will not be an award cycle in 2021.

Asheville James Beard Nominees, Semifinalists and Winners

In 2010, Jacob Sessoms of Table was the first Asheville chef to be nominated for Best Chef Southeast. Three years later, two Asheville chefs were on the list: Elliott Moss, then at The Admiral, for Best Chef Southeast, and Curate&aposs Katie Button for Rising Star Chef of the Year. 

The number of Asheville nominees has risen exponentially in the years since.

Here&aposs an at-a-glance look at chefs and culinary professionals who have been recognized as James Beard award nominees and semifinalists while working and/or living in Asheville (awards earned before or after their time in Asheville are not reflected below). The list reflects their restaurant affiliation at the time of the award.

  • Jacob Sessoms, Table - Best Chef Southeast (2010)
  • Elliott Moss, Buxton Hall (previously with The Admiral) - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2013, 2017)
  • Katie Button, Curate - Rising Star Chef of the Year (Semifinalist: 2012, 2013 Nominee:�), Best Chef Southeast (Semifinals: 2015 Nominee: 2018, 2019, 2020)
  • John Fleer, Rhubarb - Best Chef Southeast (Nominee: 2015, 2017)
  • Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2014, 2015, 2018 Nominee: 2019)
  • Cynthia Wong, Rhubarb - Best Pastry Chef (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Brian Canipelli, Cucina24 - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Ronni Lundy, Author of Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes - Book of the Year (Winner: 2017)
  • Leah Wong Ashburn, Highland Brewing Company - Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • David Bauer, Farm & Sparrow - Outstanding Baker (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • Ashley Capps, Buxton Hall - Outstanding Pastry Chef (Nominee: 2019)
  • Ashleigh Shanti,ꂾnne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year (2020)

While the list above reflects people who earned recognition while in Asheville, several of those listed were recognized by James Beard before coming to Asheville. Before arriving in Asheville, Eric Gabrynowicz (Tupelo Honey) was a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Rising Star Chef in 2011. He was also a semifinalist for Best Chef Northeast from 2014-16. And, prior to Linton Hopkins (H&F Burger) arrival in Asheville, he won Best Chef Southeast in 2012 (he is also a 4-time James Beard nominee).

The James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour

This prestigious nationwide tour pays homage to the unforgettable meals James Beard served his friends at his Greenwich Village home. In 2014 and 2017, William Dissen, chef/owner of The Market Place, hosted an evening of sublime food and wine at his sleek Wall Street restaurant as part of the Tour.

Foodtopians Elliott Moss of Buxton Hall and nationally-acclaimed chocolatier Daniel Rattigan of the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, have joined along with other Southern stars from Raleigh and Louisville.

In May 2018, Posana and Chef Peter Pollay hosted the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour which will include Asheville chefs Katie Button and John Fleer. For more information, please visit the James Beard Foundation web site.

Advocating for Sustainability and Seasonality

When it comes to sustainability and farm-to-table cooking, James Beard was a man ahead of his time, which is why he would feel right at home in Asheville. Before these terms became part of our culinary lexicon, Beard was advocating for both. He likely would appreciate that Asheville was the first city in the U.S. to be certified as a Green Dining Destination. He likely wouldਊpplaud the Asheville independent restaurants that consistently make the list of “greenest restaurants in the U.S."

You would also think򠯪rd would embrace the �-mile diet” that is standard fare for chefs like John Fleer (pictured) whose creations pay homage to Western North Carolina’s seasonal bounty. Thanks to the independent restaurant community, small family farms are thriving.

Asheville is now a city of neighborhood tailgate markets and where regional grocery store chains tout their wide selection of local produce, meat and cheese.

James Beard never visited Asheville, but his influence is evident in every delicious forkful of food prepared by a new generation of Asheville chefs who share his belief that food should be fresh, local, delicious and authentic. It’s what brings guests to Asheville and what keeps them coming back. Proof positive that the legacy of James Beard is alive and well in Foodtopia.


When many people think of American food, one name often comes to mind: James Beard. Julia Child called him the �n of American Cuisine,” and he was. Three decades after his death, The James Beard Foundation continues his work by recognizing regional chefs who are taking American Cuisine to new heights. So it comes as no surprise to see Asheville’s Foodtopians honored by the Foundation.

James Beard Awards: The Oscars of the Culinary World

Being nominated is an honor many aspire to but few achieve.

In the most recent round of awards (May�), the James Beard Foundation announced that twoਊsheville chefs/restaurants wereਊmong the short list of nominees:

  • Ashleigh Shanti, Benne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year
  • Katie Button, Curate - Best Chef Southeast

There will not be an award cycle in 2021.

Asheville James Beard Nominees, Semifinalists and Winners

In 2010, Jacob Sessoms of Table was the first Asheville chef to be nominated for Best Chef Southeast. Three years later, two Asheville chefs were on the list: Elliott Moss, then at The Admiral, for Best Chef Southeast, and Curate&aposs Katie Button for Rising Star Chef of the Year. 

The number of Asheville nominees has risen exponentially in the years since.

Here&aposs an at-a-glance look at chefs and culinary professionals who have been recognized as James Beard award nominees and semifinalists while working and/or living in Asheville (awards earned before or after their time in Asheville are not reflected below). The list reflects their restaurant affiliation at the time of the award.

  • Jacob Sessoms, Table - Best Chef Southeast (2010)
  • Elliott Moss, Buxton Hall (previously with The Admiral) - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2013, 2017)
  • Katie Button, Curate - Rising Star Chef of the Year (Semifinalist: 2012, 2013 Nominee:�), Best Chef Southeast (Semifinals: 2015 Nominee: 2018, 2019, 2020)
  • John Fleer, Rhubarb - Best Chef Southeast (Nominee: 2015, 2017)
  • Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2014, 2015, 2018 Nominee: 2019)
  • Cynthia Wong, Rhubarb - Best Pastry Chef (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Brian Canipelli, Cucina24 - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Ronni Lundy, Author of Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes - Book of the Year (Winner: 2017)
  • Leah Wong Ashburn, Highland Brewing Company - Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • David Bauer, Farm & Sparrow - Outstanding Baker (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • Ashley Capps, Buxton Hall - Outstanding Pastry Chef (Nominee: 2019)
  • Ashleigh Shanti,ꂾnne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year (2020)

While the list above reflects people who earned recognition while in Asheville, several of those listed were recognized by James Beard before coming to Asheville. Before arriving in Asheville, Eric Gabrynowicz (Tupelo Honey) was a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Rising Star Chef in 2011. He was also a semifinalist for Best Chef Northeast from 2014-16. And, prior to Linton Hopkins (H&F Burger) arrival in Asheville, he won Best Chef Southeast in 2012 (he is also a 4-time James Beard nominee).

The James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour

This prestigious nationwide tour pays homage to the unforgettable meals James Beard served his friends at his Greenwich Village home. In 2014 and 2017, William Dissen, chef/owner of The Market Place, hosted an evening of sublime food and wine at his sleek Wall Street restaurant as part of the Tour.

Foodtopians Elliott Moss of Buxton Hall and nationally-acclaimed chocolatier Daniel Rattigan of the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, have joined along with other Southern stars from Raleigh and Louisville.

In May 2018, Posana and Chef Peter Pollay hosted the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour which will include Asheville chefs Katie Button and John Fleer. For more information, please visit the James Beard Foundation web site.

Advocating for Sustainability and Seasonality

When it comes to sustainability and farm-to-table cooking, James Beard was a man ahead of his time, which is why he would feel right at home in Asheville. Before these terms became part of our culinary lexicon, Beard was advocating for both. He likely would appreciate that Asheville was the first city in the U.S. to be certified as a Green Dining Destination. He likely wouldਊpplaud the Asheville independent restaurants that consistently make the list of “greenest restaurants in the U.S."

You would also think򠯪rd would embrace the �-mile diet” that is standard fare for chefs like John Fleer (pictured) whose creations pay homage to Western North Carolina’s seasonal bounty. Thanks to the independent restaurant community, small family farms are thriving.

Asheville is now a city of neighborhood tailgate markets and where regional grocery store chains tout their wide selection of local produce, meat and cheese.

James Beard never visited Asheville, but his influence is evident in every delicious forkful of food prepared by a new generation of Asheville chefs who share his belief that food should be fresh, local, delicious and authentic. It’s what brings guests to Asheville and what keeps them coming back. Proof positive that the legacy of James Beard is alive and well in Foodtopia.


When many people think of American food, one name often comes to mind: James Beard. Julia Child called him the �n of American Cuisine,” and he was. Three decades after his death, The James Beard Foundation continues his work by recognizing regional chefs who are taking American Cuisine to new heights. So it comes as no surprise to see Asheville’s Foodtopians honored by the Foundation.

James Beard Awards: The Oscars of the Culinary World

Being nominated is an honor many aspire to but few achieve.

In the most recent round of awards (May�), the James Beard Foundation announced that twoਊsheville chefs/restaurants wereਊmong the short list of nominees:

  • Ashleigh Shanti, Benne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year
  • Katie Button, Curate - Best Chef Southeast

There will not be an award cycle in 2021.

Asheville James Beard Nominees, Semifinalists and Winners

In 2010, Jacob Sessoms of Table was the first Asheville chef to be nominated for Best Chef Southeast. Three years later, two Asheville chefs were on the list: Elliott Moss, then at The Admiral, for Best Chef Southeast, and Curate&aposs Katie Button for Rising Star Chef of the Year. 

The number of Asheville nominees has risen exponentially in the years since.

Here&aposs an at-a-glance look at chefs and culinary professionals who have been recognized as James Beard award nominees and semifinalists while working and/or living in Asheville (awards earned before or after their time in Asheville are not reflected below). The list reflects their restaurant affiliation at the time of the award.

  • Jacob Sessoms, Table - Best Chef Southeast (2010)
  • Elliott Moss, Buxton Hall (previously with The Admiral) - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2013, 2017)
  • Katie Button, Curate - Rising Star Chef of the Year (Semifinalist: 2012, 2013 Nominee:�), Best Chef Southeast (Semifinals: 2015 Nominee: 2018, 2019, 2020)
  • John Fleer, Rhubarb - Best Chef Southeast (Nominee: 2015, 2017)
  • Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2014, 2015, 2018 Nominee: 2019)
  • Cynthia Wong, Rhubarb - Best Pastry Chef (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Brian Canipelli, Cucina24 - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Ronni Lundy, Author of Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes - Book of the Year (Winner: 2017)
  • Leah Wong Ashburn, Highland Brewing Company - Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • David Bauer, Farm & Sparrow - Outstanding Baker (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • Ashley Capps, Buxton Hall - Outstanding Pastry Chef (Nominee: 2019)
  • Ashleigh Shanti,ꂾnne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year (2020)

While the list above reflects people who earned recognition while in Asheville, several of those listed were recognized by James Beard before coming to Asheville. Before arriving in Asheville, Eric Gabrynowicz (Tupelo Honey) was a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Rising Star Chef in 2011. He was also a semifinalist for Best Chef Northeast from 2014-16. And, prior to Linton Hopkins (H&F Burger) arrival in Asheville, he won Best Chef Southeast in 2012 (he is also a 4-time James Beard nominee).

The James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour

This prestigious nationwide tour pays homage to the unforgettable meals James Beard served his friends at his Greenwich Village home. In 2014 and 2017, William Dissen, chef/owner of The Market Place, hosted an evening of sublime food and wine at his sleek Wall Street restaurant as part of the Tour.

Foodtopians Elliott Moss of Buxton Hall and nationally-acclaimed chocolatier Daniel Rattigan of the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, have joined along with other Southern stars from Raleigh and Louisville.

In May 2018, Posana and Chef Peter Pollay hosted the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour which will include Asheville chefs Katie Button and John Fleer. For more information, please visit the James Beard Foundation web site.

Advocating for Sustainability and Seasonality

When it comes to sustainability and farm-to-table cooking, James Beard was a man ahead of his time, which is why he would feel right at home in Asheville. Before these terms became part of our culinary lexicon, Beard was advocating for both. He likely would appreciate that Asheville was the first city in the U.S. to be certified as a Green Dining Destination. He likely wouldਊpplaud the Asheville independent restaurants that consistently make the list of “greenest restaurants in the U.S."

You would also think򠯪rd would embrace the �-mile diet” that is standard fare for chefs like John Fleer (pictured) whose creations pay homage to Western North Carolina’s seasonal bounty. Thanks to the independent restaurant community, small family farms are thriving.

Asheville is now a city of neighborhood tailgate markets and where regional grocery store chains tout their wide selection of local produce, meat and cheese.

James Beard never visited Asheville, but his influence is evident in every delicious forkful of food prepared by a new generation of Asheville chefs who share his belief that food should be fresh, local, delicious and authentic. It’s what brings guests to Asheville and what keeps them coming back. Proof positive that the legacy of James Beard is alive and well in Foodtopia.


When many people think of American food, one name often comes to mind: James Beard. Julia Child called him the �n of American Cuisine,” and he was. Three decades after his death, The James Beard Foundation continues his work by recognizing regional chefs who are taking American Cuisine to new heights. So it comes as no surprise to see Asheville’s Foodtopians honored by the Foundation.

James Beard Awards: The Oscars of the Culinary World

Being nominated is an honor many aspire to but few achieve.

In the most recent round of awards (May�), the James Beard Foundation announced that twoਊsheville chefs/restaurants wereਊmong the short list of nominees:

  • Ashleigh Shanti, Benne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year
  • Katie Button, Curate - Best Chef Southeast

There will not be an award cycle in 2021.

Asheville James Beard Nominees, Semifinalists and Winners

In 2010, Jacob Sessoms of Table was the first Asheville chef to be nominated for Best Chef Southeast. Three years later, two Asheville chefs were on the list: Elliott Moss, then at The Admiral, for Best Chef Southeast, and Curate&aposs Katie Button for Rising Star Chef of the Year. 

The number of Asheville nominees has risen exponentially in the years since.

Here&aposs an at-a-glance look at chefs and culinary professionals who have been recognized as James Beard award nominees and semifinalists while working and/or living in Asheville (awards earned before or after their time in Asheville are not reflected below). The list reflects their restaurant affiliation at the time of the award.

  • Jacob Sessoms, Table - Best Chef Southeast (2010)
  • Elliott Moss, Buxton Hall (previously with The Admiral) - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2013, 2017)
  • Katie Button, Curate - Rising Star Chef of the Year (Semifinalist: 2012, 2013 Nominee:�), Best Chef Southeast (Semifinals: 2015 Nominee: 2018, 2019, 2020)
  • John Fleer, Rhubarb - Best Chef Southeast (Nominee: 2015, 2017)
  • Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2014, 2015, 2018 Nominee: 2019)
  • Cynthia Wong, Rhubarb - Best Pastry Chef (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Brian Canipelli, Cucina24 - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Ronni Lundy, Author of Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes - Book of the Year (Winner: 2017)
  • Leah Wong Ashburn, Highland Brewing Company - Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • David Bauer, Farm & Sparrow - Outstanding Baker (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • Ashley Capps, Buxton Hall - Outstanding Pastry Chef (Nominee: 2019)
  • Ashleigh Shanti,ꂾnne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year (2020)

While the list above reflects people who earned recognition while in Asheville, several of those listed were recognized by James Beard before coming to Asheville. Before arriving in Asheville, Eric Gabrynowicz (Tupelo Honey) was a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Rising Star Chef in 2011. He was also a semifinalist for Best Chef Northeast from 2014-16. And, prior to Linton Hopkins (H&F Burger) arrival in Asheville, he won Best Chef Southeast in 2012 (he is also a 4-time James Beard nominee).

The James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour

This prestigious nationwide tour pays homage to the unforgettable meals James Beard served his friends at his Greenwich Village home. In 2014 and 2017, William Dissen, chef/owner of The Market Place, hosted an evening of sublime food and wine at his sleek Wall Street restaurant as part of the Tour.

Foodtopians Elliott Moss of Buxton Hall and nationally-acclaimed chocolatier Daniel Rattigan of the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, have joined along with other Southern stars from Raleigh and Louisville.

In May 2018, Posana and Chef Peter Pollay hosted the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour which will include Asheville chefs Katie Button and John Fleer. For more information, please visit the James Beard Foundation web site.

Advocating for Sustainability and Seasonality

When it comes to sustainability and farm-to-table cooking, James Beard was a man ahead of his time, which is why he would feel right at home in Asheville. Before these terms became part of our culinary lexicon, Beard was advocating for both. He likely would appreciate that Asheville was the first city in the U.S. to be certified as a Green Dining Destination. He likely wouldਊpplaud the Asheville independent restaurants that consistently make the list of “greenest restaurants in the U.S."

You would also think򠯪rd would embrace the �-mile diet” that is standard fare for chefs like John Fleer (pictured) whose creations pay homage to Western North Carolina’s seasonal bounty. Thanks to the independent restaurant community, small family farms are thriving.

Asheville is now a city of neighborhood tailgate markets and where regional grocery store chains tout their wide selection of local produce, meat and cheese.

James Beard never visited Asheville, but his influence is evident in every delicious forkful of food prepared by a new generation of Asheville chefs who share his belief that food should be fresh, local, delicious and authentic. It’s what brings guests to Asheville and what keeps them coming back. Proof positive that the legacy of James Beard is alive and well in Foodtopia.


When many people think of American food, one name often comes to mind: James Beard. Julia Child called him the �n of American Cuisine,” and he was. Three decades after his death, The James Beard Foundation continues his work by recognizing regional chefs who are taking American Cuisine to new heights. So it comes as no surprise to see Asheville’s Foodtopians honored by the Foundation.

James Beard Awards: The Oscars of the Culinary World

Being nominated is an honor many aspire to but few achieve.

In the most recent round of awards (May�), the James Beard Foundation announced that twoਊsheville chefs/restaurants wereਊmong the short list of nominees:

  • Ashleigh Shanti, Benne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year
  • Katie Button, Curate - Best Chef Southeast

There will not be an award cycle in 2021.

Asheville James Beard Nominees, Semifinalists and Winners

In 2010, Jacob Sessoms of Table was the first Asheville chef to be nominated for Best Chef Southeast. Three years later, two Asheville chefs were on the list: Elliott Moss, then at The Admiral, for Best Chef Southeast, and Curate&aposs Katie Button for Rising Star Chef of the Year. 

The number of Asheville nominees has risen exponentially in the years since.

Here&aposs an at-a-glance look at chefs and culinary professionals who have been recognized as James Beard award nominees and semifinalists while working and/or living in Asheville (awards earned before or after their time in Asheville are not reflected below). The list reflects their restaurant affiliation at the time of the award.

  • Jacob Sessoms, Table - Best Chef Southeast (2010)
  • Elliott Moss, Buxton Hall (previously with The Admiral) - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2013, 2017)
  • Katie Button, Curate - Rising Star Chef of the Year (Semifinalist: 2012, 2013 Nominee:�), Best Chef Southeast (Semifinals: 2015 Nominee: 2018, 2019, 2020)
  • John Fleer, Rhubarb - Best Chef Southeast (Nominee: 2015, 2017)
  • Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2014, 2015, 2018 Nominee: 2019)
  • Cynthia Wong, Rhubarb - Best Pastry Chef (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Brian Canipelli, Cucina24 - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Ronni Lundy, Author of Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes - Book of the Year (Winner: 2017)
  • Leah Wong Ashburn, Highland Brewing Company - Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • David Bauer, Farm & Sparrow - Outstanding Baker (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • Ashley Capps, Buxton Hall - Outstanding Pastry Chef (Nominee: 2019)
  • Ashleigh Shanti,ꂾnne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year (2020)

While the list above reflects people who earned recognition while in Asheville, several of those listed were recognized by James Beard before coming to Asheville. Before arriving in Asheville, Eric Gabrynowicz (Tupelo Honey) was a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Rising Star Chef in 2011. He was also a semifinalist for Best Chef Northeast from 2014-16. And, prior to Linton Hopkins (H&F Burger) arrival in Asheville, he won Best Chef Southeast in 2012 (he is also a 4-time James Beard nominee).

The James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour

This prestigious nationwide tour pays homage to the unforgettable meals James Beard served his friends at his Greenwich Village home. In 2014 and 2017, William Dissen, chef/owner of The Market Place, hosted an evening of sublime food and wine at his sleek Wall Street restaurant as part of the Tour.

Foodtopians Elliott Moss of Buxton Hall and nationally-acclaimed chocolatier Daniel Rattigan of the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, have joined along with other Southern stars from Raleigh and Louisville.

In May 2018, Posana and Chef Peter Pollay hosted the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour which will include Asheville chefs Katie Button and John Fleer. For more information, please visit the James Beard Foundation web site.

Advocating for Sustainability and Seasonality

When it comes to sustainability and farm-to-table cooking, James Beard was a man ahead of his time, which is why he would feel right at home in Asheville. Before these terms became part of our culinary lexicon, Beard was advocating for both. He likely would appreciate that Asheville was the first city in the U.S. to be certified as a Green Dining Destination. He likely wouldਊpplaud the Asheville independent restaurants that consistently make the list of “greenest restaurants in the U.S."

You would also think򠯪rd would embrace the �-mile diet” that is standard fare for chefs like John Fleer (pictured) whose creations pay homage to Western North Carolina’s seasonal bounty. Thanks to the independent restaurant community, small family farms are thriving.

Asheville is now a city of neighborhood tailgate markets and where regional grocery store chains tout their wide selection of local produce, meat and cheese.

James Beard never visited Asheville, but his influence is evident in every delicious forkful of food prepared by a new generation of Asheville chefs who share his belief that food should be fresh, local, delicious and authentic. It’s what brings guests to Asheville and what keeps them coming back. Proof positive that the legacy of James Beard is alive and well in Foodtopia.


When many people think of American food, one name often comes to mind: James Beard. Julia Child called him the �n of American Cuisine,” and he was. Three decades after his death, The James Beard Foundation continues his work by recognizing regional chefs who are taking American Cuisine to new heights. So it comes as no surprise to see Asheville’s Foodtopians honored by the Foundation.

James Beard Awards: The Oscars of the Culinary World

Being nominated is an honor many aspire to but few achieve.

In the most recent round of awards (May�), the James Beard Foundation announced that twoਊsheville chefs/restaurants wereਊmong the short list of nominees:

  • Ashleigh Shanti, Benne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year
  • Katie Button, Curate - Best Chef Southeast

There will not be an award cycle in 2021.

Asheville James Beard Nominees, Semifinalists and Winners

In 2010, Jacob Sessoms of Table was the first Asheville chef to be nominated for Best Chef Southeast. Three years later, two Asheville chefs were on the list: Elliott Moss, then at The Admiral, for Best Chef Southeast, and Curate&aposs Katie Button for Rising Star Chef of the Year. 

The number of Asheville nominees has risen exponentially in the years since.

Here&aposs an at-a-glance look at chefs and culinary professionals who have been recognized as James Beard award nominees and semifinalists while working and/or living in Asheville (awards earned before or after their time in Asheville are not reflected below). The list reflects their restaurant affiliation at the time of the award.

  • Jacob Sessoms, Table - Best Chef Southeast (2010)
  • Elliott Moss, Buxton Hall (previously with The Admiral) - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2013, 2017)
  • Katie Button, Curate - Rising Star Chef of the Year (Semifinalist: 2012, 2013 Nominee:�), Best Chef Southeast (Semifinals: 2015 Nominee: 2018, 2019, 2020)
  • John Fleer, Rhubarb - Best Chef Southeast (Nominee: 2015, 2017)
  • Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2014, 2015, 2018 Nominee: 2019)
  • Cynthia Wong, Rhubarb - Best Pastry Chef (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Brian Canipelli, Cucina24 - Best Chef Southeast (Semifinalist: 2016)
  • Ronni Lundy, Author of Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes - Book of the Year (Winner: 2017)
  • Leah Wong Ashburn, Highland Brewing Company - Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • David Bauer, Farm & Sparrow - Outstanding Baker (Semifinalist: 2018)
  • Ashley Capps, Buxton Hall - Outstanding Pastry Chef (Nominee: 2019)
  • Ashleigh Shanti,ꂾnne on Eagle - National Rising Chef Star of the Year (2020)

While the list above reflects people who earned recognition while in Asheville, several of those listed were recognized by James Beard before coming to Asheville. Before arriving in Asheville, Eric Gabrynowicz (Tupelo Honey) was a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Rising Star Chef in 2011. He was also a semifinalist for Best Chef Northeast from 2014-16. And, prior to Linton Hopkins (H&F Burger) arrival in Asheville, he won Best Chef Southeast in 2012 (he is also a 4-time James Beard nominee).

The James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour

This prestigious nationwide tour pays homage to the unforgettable meals James Beard served his friends at his Greenwich Village home. In 2014 and 2017, William Dissen, chef/owner of The Market Place, hosted an evening of sublime food and wine at his sleek Wall Street restaurant as part of the Tour.

Foodtopians Elliott Moss of Buxton Hall and nationally-acclaimed chocolatier Daniel Rattigan of the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, have joined along with other Southern stars from Raleigh and Louisville.

In May 2018, Posana and Chef Peter Pollay hosted the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour which will include Asheville chefs Katie Button and John Fleer. For more information, please visit the James Beard Foundation web site.

Advocating for Sustainability and Seasonality

When it comes to sustainability and farm-to-table cooking, James Beard was a man ahead of his time, which is why he would feel right at home in Asheville. Before these terms became part of our culinary lexicon, Beard was advocating for both. He likely would appreciate that Asheville was the first city in the U.S. to be certified as a Green Dining Destination. He likely wouldਊpplaud the Asheville independent restaurants that consistently make the list of “greenest restaurants in the U.S."

You would also think򠯪rd would embrace the �-mile diet” that is standard fare for chefs like John Fleer (pictured) whose creations pay homage to Western North Carolina’s seasonal bounty. Thanks to the independent restaurant community, small family farms are thriving.

Asheville is now a city of neighborhood tailgate markets and where regional grocery store chains tout their wide selection of local produce, meat and cheese.

James Beard never visited Asheville, but his influence is evident in every delicious forkful of food prepared by a new generation of Asheville chefs who share his belief that food should be fresh, local, delicious and authentic. It’s what brings guests to Asheville and what keeps them coming back. Proof positive that the legacy of James Beard is alive and well in Foodtopia.


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