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Ashley Christensen

Chef/Owner of AC Restaurants

Ashley Christensen is the chef and owner of Poole’s Diner, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Fox Liquor Bar, Death & Taxes, Bridge Club, and Poole’side Pies, all located in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. Ashley’s cooking — hinged on her philosophy of bright, fresh flavors and locally grown, seasonal ingredients — has garnered local and national acclaim. In fall of 2021, she co-founded BB’s Crispy Chicken, a fast-casual fried chicken sandwich concept, with locations slated for all over the Triangle.

Ashley is involved in a number of charities, including the Frankie Lemmon Foundation, the Southern Foodways Alliance, and Share Our Strength.  In 2019, she received her second James Beard Award for the category of “Outstanding Chef,” five years after the foundation first honored her with the award for “Best Chef: Southeast” in 2014. She has also been named Chef of the Year by and Tar Heel of the Year by the News & Observer. In the spring of 2021, Ashley received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from North Carolina State University. She is the author of two cookbooks, Poole’s: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner (2016) and It’s Always Freezer Season (2021).

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