Last year, the James Beard Foundation's "Best chef in the Southeast" award went to Ashley Christensen of Poole's Downtown Diner in Raleigh. This year, Asheville chefs John Fleer, Maherwan Irani and Katie Button are in the running for the region, which includes Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia in addition to our state. Image from

Trio of Asheville chefs make semifinals for ‘Best Chef in the Southeast’

Founded in honor of cookbook author, educator and American cuisine enthusiast James Beard, the James Beard Foundation’s mission is “to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage…” And three Asheville chefs — John Fleer of Rhubarb, Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani and MG Road and Katie Button of Nightbell and Curate — also have […]

F3 project aims to close the sustainability loop with canola-attachment0

F3 project aims to close the sustainabi­lity loop with canola

Advantage West held the “Fry Party” last week at a kitchen at Blue Ridge Food Ventures, located on AB-Tech’s Enka campus, to bring local attention to F3, an effort, according to project director Ron Townley, that pilots a new business model for the production of biodiesel from locally grown canola. The program, he says, is aimed at ultimately reducing Western North Carolina’s dependence on imported fuels by creating a partnership among area farmers, restaurants and biofuel producers.

WNC dominates Star Chefs awards

“Star Chefs” has been recognizing the best and brightest culinarians in specified pockets across the country since 2002, and they turned their gaze to the Carolinas this fall. In the end, more than a third of all the Rising Stars awards for both North and South Carolina were handed to WNC chefs and artisans.

Star Chefs magazine scouts Asheville talent for awards

Since 2002, the folks at Star Chefs have been roving the country seeking out top-notch food. Having profiled and issued their awards everywhere from cities like New York to regions as broad as South Florida, Star Chefs has now decided to profile North and South Carolina for its latest cluster of honors, the Rising Star awards, which are given to stand-out industry professionals younger than 40.

Katie Button owns Cúrate with her family. Though Button has worked with some of the world’s best chefs, she’s not afraid to admit she has a soft spot for greasy food. Photo by Jonathan Welch

Chef talk

It's like an accountant doing their own taxes, or a lead singer going to a Karaoke bar on a night off — sometimes what you do for a living is not what you want to do with your spare time. Case in point: chefs often don't want to be in charge of cooking when they […]