By Cameron Lee
December 21, 2015
We at CLTure have had the pleasure of dining at some extraordinary restaurants and food events in the past couple of years. One of those experiences happened earlier in May, when the James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour came to Bonterra Dining & Wine Room and featured several outstanding North Carolina chefs including Paul Verica (Heritage Food & Drink), Luca Annunziata (Passion8), Blake Hartwick (Bonterra), Jon Fortes (Flipside Cafe), and more.
We were also fortunate to have a private menu tasting at Kindred Restaurant in Davidson, soon after the opening in February. They were recently named one of the “The Hot 10: America’s Best New Restaurants 2015” by Bon Appétit. Since launching our blog in late 2013, we’ve also had the privilege of dining with Chefs Luca Annunziata (Passion8), Clark Barlowe (Heirloom), Paul Verica (Heritage Food and Drink), Chris Coleman (The Asbury), Ben Philpott (Block & Grinder), Chef Rocco Whalen (Fahrenheit) among others. The talent of chefs and restaurants in Charlotte is growing and it’s vital in a city with sky-rocketing commercial real estate prices that we support the chefs and restaurants that continue to push our food scene to new heights, while supporting our local and regional farmers.
There has been a bit of an uprising in chef-driven farm-to-table restaurants in the Charlotte area. Back in August we spotlighted veteran Charlotte chef and restaurateur Bruce Moffett and his #CharlotteCooksToo campaign which focused on bringing more attention to Charlotte’s growing independent restaurant and food scene.
The prestigious James Beard Foundation awards created in 1990 is presented by the James Beard Foundation rewarding excellence in cuisine, culinary writing and education.
20 semi-finalists in each category are announced in mid February. Five nominees are announced in each category in March, and the winners are announced in May at the James Beard Foundation Awards Gala in Chicago.
As the end of the year approaches, the submission deadline for the 2016 James Beard Award nears as well. Is this the year a Charlotte area chef or restaurant is nominated for the prestigious honor? The deadline is December 31 and the Piedmont Culinary Guild has launched a campaign for the super talented, Chef Paul Verica of Heritage Food & Drink in Waxhaw.
Anyone can submit a chef or restaurant for consideration during the online open call for entries, and there is no entry fee.
Let’s make some noise and the let the foundation know that Charlotte is on the rise and we can indeed cook, too. Here are some of our suggested nominees.
Best New Restaurant
Kindred Restaurant – Davidson, NC
Best Chefs in America – Southeast
Chef Paul Verica – Heritage Food & Drink
Chef Bruce Moffett – Moffett Restaurant Group (Barrington’s, Stagioni and Good Food on Montford)
Rising Star Chef of The Year
Chef Clark Barlowe – Heirloom
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Ashley Bivens Boyd – 300 East and Heritage Food & Drink
Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional
Bob Peters – The Punch Room
Outstanding Bar Program
Bob Peters – The Punch Room
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