What They’re Saying About Chef Ashley Christensen

Read through some of the reviews of Chef Ashley Christensen, and you quickly get an idea of just how well-regarded her work is.

One example:

“Ashley Christensen does with food what Bob Dylan has done with song.”

“Ashley Christensen does with food what Bob Dylan has done with song.”

Christensen, a James Beard Award-winner, will headline Pinehurst’s second Chef & Maker series event from July 7-9, serving a decadent four-course meal at the series’ featured event, the Chef Dinner on Saturday night.

Chef & Maker Weekends

Christensen is the owner and executive chef of acclaimed downtown Raleigh restaurants Poole’s Diner, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Death & Taxes, Chuck’s and Fox Liquor Bar. Christensen is also the author of the cookbook, Poole’s: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner, which every Pinehurst Chef & Maker guest will receive when booking a package.

Here is a sampling of some of the glowing reviews Christensen has earned recently. (The full reviews are linked within each title.)

Garden and Gun magazine 

“Christensen aims to elevate everything she touches, up to and including her customers, who feel in the moment that, yes, this is what food should taste like—loved, respected, realized. And this exquisite visceral contentment is about nothing so much as it is Christensen, who infuses every dish not just with impeccably balanced flavor but also her decency. If Gregory Peck were a comely blonde chef, he would be Ashley Christensen.”

Rolling Stone magazine 

“If your idea of Southern food is fried chicken and grits, Ashley Christensen has something to show you. When she opened Poole’s Diner in 2007 she was at the forefront of the New South movement, joining chefs like Sean Brock in celebrating the incredible bounty of the region with heirloom tomato pie, oysters Rockefeller made with turnip greens and pimento cheese. Now her Raleigh empire has grown to include a cocktail bar, farm-to-table burgers and (yes) even fried chicken, all executed with her signature combination of good humor and razor-sharp instincts.”

New York Times Review of Poole’s: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner 

“Most cookbooks fall into one of two categories: the aspirational and the useful, those that are flipped through on lazy Sundays, then returned to the top shelf, and those that live a dog-eared life on the counter.

With “Poole’s: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner,” Ashley Christensen has written the rare cookbook that begs to be labeled as both.

For instance, in her hands, a pimento cheese sandwich, traditionally made with white bread, veers artisanal and elegant.”

Ashley Christensen’s famed mac & cheese.

bon appetite magazine

“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death, taxes, and (if we may be allowed to improvise here) our love for Ashley Christensen. From her flagship Poole’s Diner to Chuck’s Burgers to Joule Coffee & Table, the reigning chef of the Raleigh-Durham scene is unstoppable.”


“The greatness of Ashley Christensen’s flagship begins with her macaroni au gratin. Made with cheddar, Jarlsberg, and Grano Padano and broiled to a crusty, bubbly bronze, its a mingling of French and Southern sensibilities, and there may be no better version of mac and cheese anywhere. Christensen has firmly planted herself at the crossroads of high-low dining: beyond the macaroni, her menu changes nightly, offering dishes homey in flavor and meticulous in execution.”