NC names pepper James Beard semifinalist lists

(James Beard Foundation)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Several North Carolina chefs have been named semifinalists for the 27th annual James Beard Foundation Awards.

More than 24,000 entries were received by the Foundation for its 21 categories in the 2017 awards.

The awards are considered the top honor one can receive in the culinary world.

Read the full list of semifinalists

Phoebe Lawless of Scratch in Durham in a semifinalist in the Outstanding Baker category. La Farm Bakery’s Lionel Vatinet is also nominated in that category.

Raleigh’s Ashley Christensen was nominated for Outstanding Chef. Christensen won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast in 2014 for her work at Poole’s Diner in downtown Raleigh. She was nominated in the same category in 2013.

Andrea Reusing of Chapel Hill’s Lantern is also a semifinalist in the Outstanding Chef category. She won Best Chef: Southeast in 2011.

Gabe Barker of Pizzeria Mercato in Carrboro is in the Rising Star Chef of the Year category. Nominees in the Rising Star category must be under the age of 30.

The 2017 Best Chef: Southeast has nine North Carolina-based nominees.

  • Colin Bedford, The Fearrington House, Pittsboro
  • Steven Devereaux Greene, Herons in the Umstead Hotel, Cary
  • John Fleer, Rhubarb, Asheville
  • Vivian Howard, Chef & the Farmer, Kinston
  • Matt Kelly, Mateo, Durham
  • Joe Kindred, Kindred, Davidson
  • Cheetie Kumar, Garland, Raleigh
  • Elliott Moss, Buxton Hall, Asheville
  • Paul Verica, Heritage Food and Drink, Waxhaw

Finalist will be named March 15.

The 2017 James Beard Awards Gala will held in Chicago on May 1.

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