Apr 3, 2024 - Food and Drink

Raleigh's Crawford & Son is a James Beard finalist

Raleigh chef Scott Crawwford stands with his arms crossed

Raleigh chef Scott Crawford stands inside his newest restaurant Brodeto. Photo: Courtesy of Jessica Crawford

Three North Carolina restaurants landed finalist nominations for the prestigious James Beard Awards — including one of Raleigh's favorite dining destinations.

Why it matters: This year's awards nominations highlight the strong growth of Eastern North Carolina's culinary scene, from the buzz of Raleigh to a small town on the Pamlico River.

Driving the news: Crawford & Son, one of Raleigh's most popular restaurants led by chef Scott Crawford, is a finalist for the James Beard's "Outstanding Hospitality" category. Crawford opened the Southern-inspired restaurant in late 2016.

  • Dean Neff of downtown Wilmington's coastal-infused Seabird is a finalist for "Outstanding Chef."
  • And Jamie Davis, of The Hackney restaurant in the small Pamlico River town of Washington, is a finalist for "Best Chef: Southeast."

Flashback: The Triangle has had a good run at the James Beard Awards in the past decade.

  • Ricky Moore of Durham's Saltbox Seafood Joint won for "Best Chef: Southeast" in 2022; Raleigh's Ashley Christensen won the award in 2014; Chapel Hill's Andrea Reusing in 2011; and Ben Barker won in 2000 for his work at the now-closed Durham restaurant Magnolia Grill.
  • In 2019, Christensen also won the overall "Outstanding Chef."

Several Triangle restaurants had been in contention for awards this season before the list was whittled down to the current finalists.

  • Cheetie Kumar's Five Points restaurant Ajja had been nominated for "Best New Restaurant." Raleigh bar Bittersweet was a semifinalist in the "Outstanding Bar" category and Preeti Waas, head of the Indian restaurant Cheeni, was a seminfinalist for "Best Chef: Southeast."

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