Bill Smith stands out as the only James Beard Foundation “America’s Classic Restaurant” chef ever to have been named a final-five finalist for Best Chef in the Southeast—and twice.

Continually interpreting found heirloom recipes, Bill Smith’s recipes have their way of becoming iconic dishes, first served at the Chapel Hill, NC, restaurant Crook’s Corner.

Recognized by Chefs Collaborative as a Southeastern finalist for an award given to chefs who are leaders in incorporating local foods into their menus, Chef Bill Smith has long worked with farmers and also homestead gardeners and foraged himself for ingredients that gather season by season on the Crook’s Corner menu. 

A foremost chef-expert in Southern foodways, he has served now for years on the board for the Southern Foodways Alliance.

Also notable, his grounded commentary on Mexican immigrants has been featured in CNN’s Eatocracy, in Southern Cultures, in the Brett Anderson-edited edition of the SFA’s Cornbread Nation, and in Garden & Gun.

Crook’s Corner