Ashley Christensen, one of Raleigh’s most well-known chefs/restauranteurs, has been awarded one of the nation’s top culinary prizes. The James Beard Foundation, considered the highest culinary authority in the country, named Christensen as the top chef in the Southeast. Only two other Triangle-area chefs have won this honor. Christensen competed against chefs in Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia to win the award. Christensen owns several of Raleigh’s top eateries including Poole’s Diner, Beasley’s, Chuck’s, Joule and Fox Liquor Bar. She is also planning to open a new restaurant called Death And Taxes this summer. A big congratulations to the chef; it’s a great sign for the Triangle restaurant scene. Be sure to check out one of her fantastic establishments! Click here to see the full list of 2014 James Beard award winners.