Mouthful

Raleigh is one of USA Today’s ‘underrated food cities’ on East Coast

Walter Royal, executive chef of Angus Barn, battled Cat Cora on “Iron Chef America” in 2006. He is mentioned in a USA Today story about why Raleigh is one of the East Coast’s five underrated food cities.
Walter Royal, executive chef of Angus Barn, battled Cat Cora on “Iron Chef America” in 2006. He is mentioned in a USA Today story about why Raleigh is one of the East Coast’s five underrated food cities. Courtesy of Angus Barn

Raleigh is one of the East Coast’s five underrated food cities, according to USA Today.

A recent article notes that travelers should keep cities other than New York and Miami in mind when making travel plans.

Raleigh joins St. Petersburg, Fla., Waltham, Mass., Baltimore and Providence, R.I., as the “unsung heroes” known for “making incredible food every day, with less national recognition.”

The writer notes that Asheville often draws foodies to western North Carolina, but that Raleigh “has been quietly upping its culinary game.”

“Raleigh, North Carolina’s capital, embraces its Southern heritage while continuing to evolve and grow. A prime example is Ashley Christensen, chef and owner of no less than six bars and restaurants in the city, and other pedigreed creators, like ‘Iron Chef America’ winner Walter J. Royal and three-time James Beard Award nominee Lionel Vatinet, also call Raleigh home.”

Royal is executive chef of the Angus Barn and also has worked at the Fearrington House in Pittsboro and Magnolia Grill in Durham (which has since closed). He defeated Iron Chef Cat Cora on the Food Network show, “Iron Chef America” in 2006.

Vatinet owns La Farm Bakery in Cary and has been a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Baker the past two years.

Christensen routinely draws acclaim and won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast in 2014. Her fine dining restaurant, Death and Taxes, was a finalist in 2016 for Best New Restaurant. This year, she was one of 20 semifinalists from around the country for Outstanding Chef.

A photo gallery with the USA Today story also highlights Boulted Bread, Escazu Artisan Chocolates, the State Farmers Market, Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant, Crawford and Son, Bida Manda.

Earlier this year, Forbes Travel Guide named Raleigh one of its “12 Top Destinations of 2017,” citing the city’s food scene as one of the main reasons to visit.

Meanwhile, Durham restaurants were in the spotlight last week when Vogue magazine name-dropped places such as Coca Cinnamon, Piedmont and M Sushi in a story titled, “Why Durham is North Carolina’s Hippest City.”

Jessica Banov: 919-829-4831; @JessicaBanov

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