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Raleigh Chef Ashley Christensen Hires Up in the New Year to Keep Her Empire Growing

Updates on one of Raleigh’s favorite chefs

Retro Feast Dinner Hosted By Ben Ford, Ashley Christensen And Jonathan Lane - Part Of The New York Times Dinner Series - 2015 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival
Ashley Christensen
Photo by Nicolas Stipcianos/Getty Images For SOBEWFF

Those craving a dining experience at the hands of Ashley Christensen should make plans to steer their cars toward Raleigh. So should those who want to work for her. There, the 2014 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Southeast and 2018 James Beard Award finalist for Outstanding Chef oversees her five AC Restaurants, catering business and events venue.

Here are three updates to know about:

Christensen was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans, and Chefs.

She appeared at the Fellowship’s annual Taste of the South event at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee Jan. 10-13. The three-day eating extravaganza featured the Fellowship through demonstrations, tastings, group meals, and speakers to benefit Southern Foodways Alliance. Christensen was joined by chefs Tandy Wilson and Sarah Grueneberg, vintners Mark McWilliams and Matt Courtney, and scholar-in-residence Julia Turshen.

While she has previously cooked at Taste of the South to celebrate the induction of new fellows like Sean Brock and Frank Stitt, Christensen posted on her Instagram account Jan. 12, “So it’s overwhelming and deeply humbling to be here this weekend as the fellow being inducted. I am forever grateful to be a part of the @southfoodways community, which continues to widen our perspective and fuel our dreams for creating a diverse, inclusive, evolving, enriching South.”

AC Restaurants is heavily hiring.

According to the website, the business is hiring “talented and passionate people” for more than 40 positions across its brands. That includes a line cook and host for Christensen’s very first restaurant, Poole’s Diner, which opened in 2007. “It’s a new year, and there are so many great things on the horizon,” she posted on her Instagram account Jan. 4. “Join our growing team of badasses in hospitality—we have open roles in kitchen and service positions. Honestly, I can’t say enough about the amazing folks that I get to work with every day.”

Interested? Apply here.

Chuck’s has a “secret” menu item.

The burger-heavy establishment in the AC Restaurants lineup serves playfully named signature items like the Olde Raleigh burger with tomato, bacon, shredded iceberg lettuce and blue cheese dressing, as well as the Day Tripper burger with griddled mushrooms and onions, mozzarella, and comeback sauce. But Chuck’s Instagram account just revealed an item not listed on the menu: a year-round paleo burger option featuring a grass-fed beef patty, tomatoes, avocado, and griddled onions. Good for those still battling through their New Year’s resolutions.