Article Published: Sep. 8, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 8, 2011
The state of North Carolina has a well-earned reputation
as the fine dining Mecca of the Southeast. The problem is, you sometimes have to drive a long way to
experience the culinary skills of a particular chef.
Crippen’s Country Inn
in Blowing Rock has solved that problem this month by hosting three North Carolina “James Beard”
award-winning chefs. All three visiting chefs have been semi-finalists for Best Chef Southeast, a
coveted nomination that includes competition from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky
On Tuesday, Sept. 13, Crippen’s will welcome chef Bruce
Moffett of Barrington’s Restaurant in Charlotte. A James Beard Best Chef Southeast semifinalist in
2009, Moffett is well known for his upscale American dishes, such as roasted chicken with creamy
mashed potatoes, spinach in a garlic pan sauce and veal and porcini mushrooms. Barrington’s, a
45-seat bistro-style restaurant, is a favorite special occasion destination for Charlotte
On Tuesday, Sept. 20, Bill Smith of Crook’s Corner restaurant in
Chapel Hill be the guest chef at Crippen’s. Crook’s Corner, a Chapel Hill institution for more than
three decades, was a 2011 James Beard Foundation “American Classics” award winner. The award is
given to restaurants with timeless appeal, locally owned, and beloved in their regions for quality
food that reflects the quality of their community.
Smith was a semifinalist
for Best Chef Southeast in 2009 and 2010. In addition to cooking at Crippen’s, Smith will sell and
sign his popular cookbook, “Seasoned in the South: Recipes from Crook’s Corner and from
On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Crippen’s welcomes Keith Rhodes from Catch in
Wilmington. Rhodes, a Wilmington native, has been voted the city’s best chef for three consecutive
years. Rhodes’ specialty is seafood, and his passion for what he calls “modern seafood cuisine” is
contagious. He is a stickler for wild caught seafood, and his signature side dishes, North Carolina
sweet potato salad and conch fritters, accompany the catch of the day.
three guest chefs showcase the very best of North Carolina in their restaurants every night,”
restaurant owner Jimmy Crippen said. “Having this kind of talent here in Blowing Rock fuels the fire
of culinary excellence in the High Country. We couldn’t be more excited about hosting these three
guys here in the mountains.”
Each guest chef will shape his unique menu for that
evening only and will be working in concert with Crippen’s team and chef Stan
During each evening, diners will have the opportunity to meet
the guest chefs in person.
The price for the guest chef dinners is $49 per
person plus beverages and tax. For more information, or to make reservations, call Crippen’s at
(828) 295-3487. Crippen’s Country Inn is located at 239 Sunset Drive in Blowing
James Beard Foundation
Established in 1990, the
James Beard Foundation Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in
their fields. The foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture and preserve America’s diverse
culinary heritage and future.
The annual James Beard Foundation Awards honor
the best and brightest talents in the food and beverage industries.