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November 6, 2023

Culinary community mourns death of William-Allen Peterson

Executive chef of Foxcroft Wine Co./Waverly was 31 years old

by Kristen Wile

Foxcroft/Waverly executive chef William Peterson passed away last week at the age of 31. Photo courtesy

The Charlotte culinary community lost a young talent last week. William-Allen Peterson, executive chef at Foxcroft Wine Co. in Waverly, passed away last week. He was 31 years old, and had recently married Catie Van Slyke, a local pastry chef.

“We lost a great Foxcroft Wine Co. family member, Chef William Peterson,” says Foxcroft Wine Co. CEO Conrad Hunter. “No words can express our loss and deep sorrow. Will had recently married the love of his life, Catie, and honeymooned in Ireland. He was preparing to take on a new role with the company. Everything was looking up for them and now he’s gone. We’re all devastated and still processing the news and grieving this great loss. We will miss Will’s positive energy and enthusiasm.”

Peterson, a Virginia native, graduated from Johnson & Wales in Charlotte in 2017. His love of cooking with and for family led him to pursue a culinary career. He worked at Raintree Country Club, before joining the culinary team at Dot Dot Dot as a line cook. He then took a lead line cook position at Foxcroft Waverly, he quickly moved up the kitchen until becoming Executive Chef, a position he held for two years.

William Peterson had an affinity for “forest-to-fork” cooking. Photo courtesy

Like his mentor chefs David Quintana (formerly Dot Dot Dot, currently Eurest) and Justin Solomon (Foxcroft Wine Co.), Peterson’s style of cooking centered around using local ingredients, though he also had a special affinity for using wild game; what he called “forest -to-fork.” Even outside of working hours, he loved to cook for his family. He also was an avid outdoorsman.

“Will was an unwavering source of positivity both in and out of the kitchen,” says Soloman. “His commitment to making everyone and everything around him better cannot be overstated. He instilled confidence in all of us even when circumstances looked difficult. He was the heart of Foxcroft.”

“The bond of an Executive Chef and Sous Chef is one forged through many challenges — you spend countless hours, holidays, nights, and weekends side by side working diligently,” says Peterson’s sous chef, Jacob Hujar. “Getting along isn’t an option, it’s required. But that was never an issue with Will. His positive attitude was infectious, and his smile was always present. Chef Will was truly one of a kind, a master of his craft, and a teacher to so many. Over our two years working together he taught me countless lessons, not only in the kitchen but in life. He was my mentor, my sounding board, and my best friend. He will be missed by so many.”

Friends have set up a Meal Train for Peterson’s family. A visitation will be held on Nov. 10 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home. The funeral service will be held on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at St. Peter Catholic Church in Uptown Charlotte. Following Saturday’s service, an Irish wake will take place at Foxcroft Waverly.

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