Rolling Stone magazine has named Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen as one of “10 Breakthrough Rock Star Chefs of 2016.”
Christensen is the James Beard-award-winning chef who owns a collection of Raleigh restaurants: Poole’s, Death + Taxes, Chuck’s, Beasley’s, Fox Liquor Bar and Joule. (The latter is being taken over in 2017 by an employee, Sunny Gerhart, to become St. Roch Oyster + Bar.) Christensen also published her first cookbook earlier this year, “Poole’s: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner.”
About Christensen, the magazine wrote: “If your idea of Southern food is fried chicken and grits, Ashley Christensen has something to show you. When she opened Poole’s Diner in 2007 she was at the forefront of the New South movement, joining chefs like Sean Brock in celebrating the incredible bounty of the region with heirloom tomato pie, oysters Rockefeller made with turnip greens and pimento cheese. Now her Raleigh empire has grown to include a cocktail bar, farm-to-table burgers and (yes) even fried chicken, all executed with her signature combination of good humor and razor-sharp instincts.”
For Christensen, who once considered a career in the music industry, the mention in the country’s most popular music masgazine is “really cool, and super surprising.”
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“I was a college music rep at age 19, and I was pretty torn for a short while as whether I wanted to be in the business side of music, or in the kitchen,” wrote Christensen in an email Wednesday afternoon. “I love how the paths of music and food cross, and this is a really neat celebration of that idea. As a team of restaurant folks, we’ve had the great honor of being celebrated in a number of incredible local and national publications. I never imagined we’d find ourselves in the pages of the Rolling Stone. The only person more excited than me is my father (who taught me so much about the importance of music, and for whom we named our bar Fox).”
To read the full story and see who else made the list, go to: rollingstone.com/culture/lists/10-breakthrough-rock-star-chefs-of-2016-w450177/roy-choi-locol-la-w450184