WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — The James Beard Foundation announced the semi-finalists for the 2023 James Beard Awards on Wednesday, and North Carolina was well represented in numerous categories.

Preeti Waas, of Cheeni Indian Food Emporium in Raleigh, received a nod for Best Chef: Southeast Region while Durham’s Kingfisher is up for Outstanding Bar.

“Congratulations to all our 2023 James Beard Award Semifinalists! This is always an exhilarating moment as we kick off the Awards cycle and recognize the outstanding achievements of individuals and teams across the country,” said Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation.

The James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards — established in 1990 and first
awarded in 1991 — are one of five separate recognition programs of the Awards. This Awards
program celebrates excellence across a range of experiences, from fine-dining establishments to
casual gems, and emerging talents to established masters.

The North Carolina semi-finalists:

Outstanding Chef:

  • Greg Collier, Leah & Louise, Charlotte, NC

Best New Restaurant:

  • Heff’s Burger Club, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Neng Jr.’s, Asheville, NC

Outstanding Bar

  • Kingfisher, Durham, NC
  • Salud Cerveceria, Charlotte, NC

Best Chef: Southeast Region

  • Sam Hart, Counter-, Charlotte, NC
  • Josiah McGaughey, Vivian, Asheville, NC
  • Dean Neff, Seabird, Wilmington, NC
  • Keith Rhodes, Catch, Wilmington, NC
  • Stephanie Tyson, Sweet Potatoes, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Preeti Waas, Cheeni Indian Food Emporium, Raleigh, NC

A full listing of semi-finalists can be found here.

Winners will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony on June 5.