North Carolina institution Crook’s Corner is transitioning to its next phase with new ownership and a new chef. Owner Gene Hamer and executive chef Bill Smith will retire next year and pass the award-winning restaurant to local bar owner Gary Crunkleton (of the Crunkleton fame) and Crook’s Corner’s general manager Shannon Healy. Chef Justin Burdett, formerly of the Admiral and Local Provisions in Asheville, will take over the kitchen. The new teams says that they are dedicated to maintain the legacy of Crook’s Corner that began with legendary chef Bill Neal in 1982.
Smith is an icon of Southern cooking as well. He earned two nominations for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Southeast and the restaurant secured James Beard Foundation’s 2011 America’s Classic Award under him.
“I am incredibly honored to be given the opportunity to help uphold such a huge part of the legacy of Southern food. Working under and learning from chef Smith has been an experience like no other – both personally and professionally,” said Burdett. Basically, all the dishes that fans know and love aren’t going anywhere.
• With Local Provisions closed, Justin Burdett joins The Admiral [The Citizen]