1. Brian Helleberg, Chef/Owner at Fleurie Restaurant and Owner at Petit Pois Restaurant
Brian Helleberg, the Head Chef and Owner at Fleurie Restaurant, and his staff have created a memorable contemporary French dining experience. Located just off Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall on 3rd Street, Fleurie Restaurant’s elegant atmosphere, stellar wine list and innovative menu are sure to produce an unforgettable meal. Fleurie is perfect for special occasions, date night or an evening with loved ones!
2. Dean Maupin, Chef/Owner at C&O Restaurant
Years ago, Chef Dean Maupin worked at the C&O for Dave Simpson. He went on to work at many other fine dining establishments, from Greenbrier Resort to Boar’s Head and Clifton Inn. Now he’s back at C&O Restaurant and enjoying pleasing the most demanding foodies.
3. Tomas Rahal, Chef/Owner at Mas Tapas
Mas was conceived by chef Tomas Rahal both as an antidote for the growing corporate fast-food presence in Charlottesville, and as an opportunity to feature slow, organic, artisanal foods and wines, especially those from spain. emphasizing simple, well-made ingredients served in a casual neighborhood setting. Mas features much of the traditional fare of Spanish tapas, a bite-sized dish eaten between larger meals. These snacks are often eaten in groups, sharing dishes communally and without any pretense or formality.
4. Craig Hartman, Pit-Master/Owner at BBQ Exchange
Craig Hartman’s love of all things cooking, and especially over a live fire, led them to a deep love for old school, slow-cooked BBQ. Inspired by the pit masters they have met over the years, from the Blue Ridge to the Outer Banks, Craig and Donna set out to open a real barbeque joint of their own. Craig’s background in fine dining cuisine has honed his palate and taught him the significance of great food and great company.
5. Chris Humphrey, Executive Chef at Rapture Restaurant
Rapture’s cuisine not only features local ingredients, but local flavor as well: chef Chris Humphrey specializes in Southern Cookin’, playfully riffing on the cuisine of his Virginia upbringing by bringing his extensive French culinary and haute cuisine experience to bear on familiar southern classics. The resultant creole, soul, and low country gourmet dishes are made even more delicious by Chris’s use of fine ingredients and local sources.
6. Harrison Keevil, Chef/Owner at Brookville Restaurant
It wasn’t until early 2010 that Harrison decided it was time to open his own restaurant. With a business plan in place and timing on his side, a turnkey space in Charlottesville’s historic district became available and Harrison jumped on it. He opened the charming 60-seat restaurant in July 2010 with wife Jennifer as co-owner and front-of house manager. Cooking a menu that changes almost nightly, Harrison’s New American cuisine is inspired solely by what’s new and fresh at the markets.
7. Jason Alley, Chef/Owner at Pasture Restaurant
For Chef Jason Alley, Southern food is about sharing, fresh ingredients, family and friends, and conversation around the table. At Pasture, he works to bring all of those things together for a newer experience in Southern dining. Instead of the more traditional large portions, he puts together a menu of small plates and some big plates to share and be enjoyed by the whole table.
8. Walter Slawski, Chef/Owner at The Shebeen Pub & Braai
Walter Slawski styled Shebeen Bup & Braai after the Cape wineries as a way to offer unique food in an engaging setting. Presented with peerless South African hospitality, his menu reflects the multiculturalism of the Southern African palate.
9. Christian Kelly, Chef/Owner at Maya Restaurant
Christian Kelly, a former chef at Clifton Inn, was lured away in 2006. The next year he and Peter Castiglione opened Maya, named after Kelly’s duaghter, and a star was born. Showcasing the regions produce through simple preparations of Southern cuisine, great food and affordable prices have made Maya what it is today.
10. Brian Ashworth, Pit-Master/Owner at Ace Biscuit & BBQ
In 1988, twelve year old Brian Ashworth wandered off JP Burely Middle School grounds to clear his head. Crossing Rose Hill Drive against school rules, he walked down Henry Avenue. Only getting about two blocks, he saw Dotties Cafe.
The place was small but bustling! In went Ashworth. Being greeted by Dottie made him feel welcome. All the way through high school at Murray, young Brian would frequent Dotties for sandwiches. Two decades later Brian Ashworth opened Ace Biscuit & Barbecue, bringing back to the Rose Hill.
If you liked this article, you might also enjoy Who Serves The Best Burger In Charlottesville? and 9 Charlottesville Restaurants To Try Over The Holidays.
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