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June 5, 2023

No James Beard Award for Charlotte

No award again for the Queen City

Sam Hart and his Vounter- team on the red carpet at the 2023 James Beard Awards. Photo courtesy

Terry Koval of The Deer and the Dove in Decatur, Georgia won the 2023 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast, marking another year a Charlotte chef was shut out of the prestigious award.

Finalist Sam Hart of Counter- was one of the finalists along with Sam Fore, Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites, Lexington, KY; Josh Habiger, Bastion, Nashville, TN; and Paul Smith, 1010 Bridge, Charleston, WV.
Hart took his team with him to Chicago to share the experience.

“Not taking this home pales in comparison to the incredible fortune of spending this brief moment of bliss with our team. This restaurant is just beginning, and this is a showcase of what lies ahead. I’m so incredibly proud,” Hart says.

This is the second straight year a Charlotte chef made it to the finalist level. Last year, four-time JBF nominee Greg Collier of Leah and Louise lost to Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood Joint in Durham. Charlotte has yet to be home to a JBF winner.

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