NC chef in spotlight at James Beard event

RALEIGH, N.C. — Being nominated for an award from the James Beard Foundation is one thing, but cooking for the organization’s annual ceremony is something entirely different.

Back in January, Raleigh chef Preeti Waas was not expecting to receive an email from the foundation inviting her to cook for the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards post-reception.

“I was pretty gobsmacked to be asked,” said Waas, who has twice been nominated for a James Beard Award — in 2023 and 2024 — in the Best Chef: Southeast category.

Waas is one of 16 chefs from across the country presenting their food for the event on Monday in Chicago. Each chef had the task of preparing 1,100 tasting bites for event guests, she said.

“You can imagine, in a room full of that kind of talent, you want that one bite to be extremely memorable,” Waas said.

Waas recently sat for an interview where she discussed her preparations for this challenge, why she closed her Raleigh restaurant and what might be next.

Read the full story on CBJ’s website here.

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