James Beard 2022 finalists: NC chefs, nominated restaurants

The restaurant and chef finalists for the prestigious 2022 James Beard Awards were announced on Wednesday, and North Carolina stands out among them.

The Triangle has two of five nominees for Best Chef in the Southeast and one nominee for Outstanding Bar Program.

Cheetie Kumar of Garland in Raleigh and Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood Joint in Durham both advance in the Best Chef in the Southeast category. The category represents restaurants in North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Four of the five nominees are from North Carolina.

Alley Twenty Six, owned by Shannon Healy, Durham, is a finalist in the Best Bar scheme.

Several Asheville restaurants also qualify for the list of finalists, including Cúrate, whose chef Katie Button is nominated for Best Chef in the Southeast. Cúrate is also nominated for the award for best hospitality.

This is Kumar’s second runner-up snap. She was a finalist in 2020 and a semi-finalist three years prior.

This is the first time Moore has been a finalist. He was a semi-finalist in 2020.

Here’s a look at the categories with North Carolina represented. Each category started with 20 semi-finalists and was narrowed down to five finalists.

The winners will be named on June 13 at a ceremony at the Lyric Opera in Chicago.

Best Southeast Chef

Cheetie Kumar from Garland, Raleigh

Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood Joint, Durham

Katie Button of Curate, Asheville

Greg Collier of Leah & Louise, Charlotte

Philip Krajeck, Rolf and his daughters, Nashville

Cheetie Kumar.jpeg
Cheetie Kumar, owner of Garland’s restaurant in downtown Raleigh, is a James Beard Award finalist. Juli Leonard jleonard@newsobserver.com

Outstanding Barre Program

Alley Twenty Six, Durham

Attaboy, Nashville

barmini by José Andrés, Washington, DC

Julep, Houston

Nobody’s darling, Chicago

Outstanding restaurant

Chai Pani in Asheville

Brennan’s, New Orleans

Butcher and Bee, Charleston, South Carolina

Parachute, Chicago

The Walrus and the Carpenter, Seattle

Durham chef Ricky Moore, owner of the Saltbox Seafood Joint in Durham April 27, 2016. He is a James Beard Award finalist. Juli Leonard jleonard@newsobserver.com

Emerging leader

Cleophus Hethington of Tipper on Eagle in Asheville

Angel Barreto, Anju, Washington

Calvin Eng, Bonnie’s, New York

Serigne Mbaye, Dakar Nola, New Orleans

Edgar Rico, Nixta Taqueria, Austin

Crystal Wahpepah, Wahpepah’s Kitchen, Oakland, CA.

Exceptional hospitality

Cure, Asheville

Prime Rib House, San Francisco

Hugo, Houston

Sylvia’s Restaurant, New York

Ticonderoga Club, Atlanta

Shannon Healy’s Durham Alley Twenty Six Cocktail Bar is a finalist for the James Beard Awards for Outstanding Bar Program in the Country. Juli Leonard jleonard@newsobserver.com

Durham’s first cocktail bar nomination

This is the first year that Alley Twenty Six has been nominated for a James Beard, and Healy, the owner, said he was stunned to learn that the Durham establishment had made it to the shortlist.

“I was shocked,” Healy told The News & Observer in a phone interview Wednesday after learning of the nomination.

When Alley Twenty Six was nominated last month as a semi-finalist in the Outstanding Bar Program category, Healy remembers thinking, “We’ll consider this a win. Because we have no chance of being finalists.

“Now I have no idea what’s going on,” Healy said. “That’s lovely.”

Alley Twenty Six is ​​the first bar in North Carolina to be nominated in this national category created in 2012.

Healy said his surprise was due to the fact that he “was an outsider” and that other finalist bars were from larger cities with more exposure, he said, especially after two years of the pandemic affecting bars. .

“For us, it’s very humbling, because there are a lot of friends and colleagues that we represent,” Healy said. “We can carry the North Carolina flag for this class and are proud to do so as representatives of many other outstanding bar programs in the state.

“It’s our tenth year here and it’s really nice to have something to share not only with our current staff…I get messages from people who have worked here over the past year. It’s something anyone who’s been here can be proud of,” Healy said.

The James Beard Awards have not taken place in two years due to the pandemic and amid efforts to diversify the nominees.

Previous winners of The Triangle’s James Beard Award include Ben and Karen Barker of Magnolia Grill in Durham, who won Best Chef: Southeast and Outstanding Pastry Chef.

Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill and Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner in Raleigh also won Best Chef: Southeast.

In 2019, Christensen won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in the Country.

This story was originally published March 16, 2022 3:06 p.m.

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Aaron Sánchez-Guerra is a breaking news reporter for The News & Observer and previously covered business and real estate for the paper. His experience includes reporting for WLRN Public Media in Miami and as a freelance journalist in Raleigh and Charlotte covering Latin American communities. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University, a native Spanish speaker, and was born in Mexico. You can follow his work on Twitter at @aaronsguerra.

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