Thieves broke into the fence around Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen’s commissary kitchen Wednesday night and stole her custom-made pig cooker.
Christensen wrote about the break-in on social media Thursday morning, explaining that the cooker was a gift and asked friends to keep a look out for the cooker.
“Obviously, someone had an eye on it,” Christensen said Thursday in an interview.
She explained that they had parked the cooker inside the fence at the Brookside Drive facility after cooking a meal for her 260-person staff on New Year’s Day. The thief used tools to destroy the gate and cut the lock off the cooker.
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The double-walled steel cooker was a gift from Nick Pihakis, who owns Jim ‘n Nicks Bar-B-Que, a chain of barbecue restaurants in eight Southern states. Christensen and Pihakis are both members of the Fatback Collective, a group of chefs and restauratuers who hold fundraising events. Pihakis gave the custom-made wood-fired cooker to Christensen after she won best chef in the Southeast from the James Beard Foundation in 2014.
“It’s not just a thing,” Christensen said. “It’s something that is special to us.”