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Since making Raleigh her home, Ashley Christensen has sought to foster community through food, philanthropy and the stimulation of the city’s downtown neighborhood. She is chef and owner of Poole's Diner. Ashley’s work has gained national attention from such publications as Bon Appétit, Gourmet, The New York Times, Southern Living and Garden & Gun. She has appeared on Food Network’s popular series Iron Chef America and MSNBC’s Your Business. In 2014, Ashley was awarded the James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Southeast.”

Cheese-Grit Fries

At Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Christensen serves these crisp, cheddar-flavored bites with classic aioli and chow-chow, a Southern relish typically made with cabbage, red bell peppers, onions, and green tomatoes, spiced with mustard seeds and turmeric.

Macaroni and cheese au Gratin from Chef Ashley Christensen's Poole’s Diner

Poole’s Macaroni Au Gratin

Mild cheddar, sharp Grana Padano, and nutty Jarlsberg create a well-rounded flavor in Ashley Christensen’s Macaroni au Gratin, a favorite at Poole’s Diner