Two Asheville Chefs Net James Beard Recognition

Two Asheville Chefs Net James Beard Recognition
Button, Irani both named among JBF semifinalists


Two local chefs have something to celebrate following today's announcement from the James Beard Foundation.

The foundation announced a list of semifinalists for its coveted awards, often considered the Oscars of the culinary world. Katie Button of Curate tapas bar and Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani were named among the group of lucky chefs.

Button, nominated for the third time, is in the running for Rising Star Chef, recognizing younger culinary professionals across the nation. Her first Asheville restaurant, Curate features authentic Spanish small plates and remains among the most popular in town. She and her family recently opened Nightbell, a contemporary, speakeasy-style nightclub in downtown.

Irani, nominated for Best Chef in the Southeast, opened Chai Pani in downtown Asheville with his wife, Molly, and partners in 2009. They describe the restaurant's concept as "mindblasting" Indian street food. The Iranis also opened a popular bar and lounge concept called MG Road in 2012.

Both chefs have received plenty of coverage in the press,  and both were included in a Food & Wine magazine article this past year.

Congratulations, Katie & Meherwan! Stay tuned--the foundation will announce the list of finalists next month.

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