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​​​Over the last ten years he has been Executive Chef at Treyburn Country Club in Durham and has brought country club dining to a new level–one of fine dining in a casual setting. This led him directly into the Corporate Chef position with McConnell Golf. In his career, he has been featured as one of the top Triangle chefs on TV’s Tarheel Chefs with Jean Almond and has received honors from the renowned Chaînes des Rotisseurs. He also sits on the Board for the North Carolina Restaurant Association. Chef Joe left a long-standing position at McConnell Golf LLC to open his own family friendly sports-themed restaurant and off-premise catering company in Raleigh, called Backyard Bistro.

Chef Joe prepared whole roasted goat, with Moroccan Couscous house made yogurt, toasted garlic naan and chili pickled cucumbers    


Today, after years of cooking on the professional barbecue circuit, Christopher believes he has finally achieved what he considers “barbecue excellence” with his own signature style that fuses together elements of Texas, Kansas City and North Carolina flavors. Christopher was featured on season 5 of the TV program “BBQ Pitmasters” and published his first book with Southern Living titled “Ultimate Book of BBQ:  The Complete Year-Round Guide to Grilling & Smoking.”  You can follow PRIME Barbecue at

Chef Chris prepared whole hog barbecue with golden slaw and pickled red onions!

Chef Kim Hunter

Kimbap Cafe
​Raleigh, North Carolina

Michael Ward is a restaurant and catering entrepreneur that moved to Spring Hope, NC in 2008 after managing restaurants in Maryland, Florida and Raleigh, NC.  Michael learned early in

A native to Raleigh with family roots invested in this capitol city, Jason's passion for the gastronomic world grew from his lifelong exposure to the fine art of southern cooking through his grandmothers' influences and was honed by his worldly, first-rate culinary training.

Chef Aaron Talbot

Michael's  Showside and Michael's Getaway

 Lake Royale, North Carolina

The Passion for cooking for me all began when I was very young in my parents’ house. We all cooked dinner together every night with a cooking lesson attached alongside of each delicious meal being instructed by either my mother or father. 

Like many chefs he prefers doing to studying, and soon landed jobs in Denver restaurants, thriving on the camaraderie of the kitchen and leaving the formal classroom behind for good. Montagne spent three years at the Corner Office Restaurant and Martini Bar working his way up from dishwasher to sous chef, then moved on to Twelve Restaurant in 2012.

In 2014, Montagne moved to North Carolina, where he went to work for James Beard Award winner and 2013 StarChefs Rising Star Vivian Howard at Boiler Room Oyster Bar in Kinston as executive chef. Seafood is one of Montagne’s passions, and he is emphatic that sustainable fishing practices and protections are vital for healthy oceans and fish stocks.

In 2016, Montage joined Standard Foods Restaurant and Grocery in Raleigh as executive chef of the operation. The objective is to reintroduce customers to the food, farmers, and artisanal production methods of the South. The venue has a farm-to-table restaurant on one side and a grocery store and butcher selling sustainably sourced foods on the other.  This will Chef Eric's first year with us at Dinner in the Meadow and we are excited to have him join us. 

Chef Eric prepared Beef Tartare.

Kim came to Raleigh 20 years ago and worked in sales and marketing for a software company before she started catering and selling dumplings at farmers’ markets. She was the manager of the Western Wake Farmers’ Market when it launched and stayed on board for three seasons.

Kimbap – located in Raleigh’s Seabord Marketplace – is the self-taught chef’s first restaurant and marries Kim’s love of Korean food with her passion for local ingredients. The menu includes dumplings, stews, hot pots, Korean barbecue and chicken wings, and homemade kimchi.  Kim has done dinners featuring whole N.C. hogs, and, in the summer, she uses locally grown peppers to make Korean hot sauces.

Although it also plays on Kim’s name, Kimbap is named for the Korean version of sushi – white rice, bulgogi, takuan, spinach, carrots, and odeng wrapped in roasted seaweed. 

Chef Kim prepared Korean Lamb Bulgoli


Born in South Korea, adopted as a baby, and raised near Detroit, Kim has always had a strong interest in food, especially its ability to express love and help her relate to her native culture. 


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Chef Jason Smith

18 Seaboard
​Raleigh, North Carolina

in life that he loved the creative side of cooking and creating an interesting atmosphere, to include weekend entertainment for his customers.  He purchased the existing Showside Restaurant and renamed it Michael’s Showside Grill. 

He very quickly added his personal touch with unique décor and upscale dining.  In November 2014 he opened Michael’s Getaway Restaurant at Lake Royale in Lake Royale, NC.  Then in November 2015 he opened Desserts by Contagious Confections, also located in Spring Hope, NC.

Michael promotes the use of locally grown food by purchasing from the local farmers throughout the year and this is reflected in the quality and freshness of his meal creations.  Michael also enjoys the opportunity to let his chefs use their own creative imagination in preparing daily meals. 

Chef Michael prepared appetizers of Salty Catch Shrimp and Roasted Corn and Tomato Salsa ~ Blueberry Truffles & Blueberry Cobbler! 

Chef Michael Ward

Michael's Showside Grill
Spring Hope, North Carolina

Born and raised in the Pittsburgh area, Chef David comes from a family of steel workers but chose a different path early on. A graduate of the International Culinary Academy, he began his career working for Hyatt Regency hotels and at restaurants on Hilton Head Island. After a stint in his Pennsylvania hometown, he moved to North Carolina in 1998 and worked primarily in country clubs, rising to Executive Chef at Club Corp of America’s Carolina Club in Chapel Hill.

Serving as North Carolina’s official chef means the focus is always on quality, rather than production. Chef David’s kitchen at the mansion is also a dynamic working classroom where inexperienced staff has the opportunity to develop marketable culinary skills. Outside of work, he gives generously of his time and talents to community organizations and is often a featured celebrity chef at charitable events in the region.

Chef David prepared a Kale Salad with Toasted Pistachios, Sweet Onions and Drunken Goat Cheese dressed with Sweet Potato Vinaigrette... & Spicy Acorn Squash Chili with Jalapeno Biscuits

Chef John Oliver Evans
​Chef Eric Rowsey

Funky Fresh Food Truck
​Goldsboro, North Carolina

Chef Eric Montagne

Standard Foods Restaurant & Grocery
​Raleigh, North Carolina

After training with the culinary elite in his field, including at Magnolia Grill in Durham, NC, at Danny Meyer's Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern in New York City, and the Peninsula Grill in Charleston, SC, Chef Jason Smith returned to his native city, Raleigh, and invested in his community. 18 Restaurant Group was formed with the opening of 18 Seaboard in 2006, followed by Cantina 18 in 2010, and Harvest 18 in 2014.  

Chef Jason prepared Pulled Pork Goyza! 

Chef John Oliver Evans cooks with style, sophistication and a touch of “Funkiness.” He is the visionary behind the culinary ingenuity of 

photo by: Felicia Perry-Trujillo of

Funky Fresh Food Truck. Chef Evans and his partner Chef Eric Rowsey have redefined the typical food truck model and uses the truck as an onsite kitchen in which they create unique experiences. Funky Fresh prides itself on bridging the gap between farm and fork. Growing up in Eastern North Carolina, Chef Evans stays true to his southern roots but adds depth to each of his culinary creations.

Chef Chris Prieto

PRIME Barbecue

 Knightdale, North Carolina

I was fifteen when I applied to Michael’s Showside Grill for a dish-washing position. I started out just working a few nights per week. Seeing my love for working with food, Chef Mike started to train me in the culinary arts on the restaurant side of the plate. After learning the basics of line cooking I started to create dishes of my own. My style of food is a little edgy and “far out.” I don’t believe there should be set rules to any protein. Food is art and each person has their own form.

As time passed and my skills sharpened, I was graced with the pleasure of becoming the Head Chef and Creator at Michael’s Getaway, our location at Lake Royale. That has been the chance of a lifetime... to be given free range to come up with daily specials. The lake residents are excited to see what is “new” and a little “Far Out There” for the day. The feedback, along with the constructive criticism from the patrons and fellow chefs, has helped me grow by leaps and bounds in the past two years.  At twenty, only the sky is the limit.   

Chef Aaron prepared Sweet Pinot Noir Slow Roasted Sliced Brisket and Rib over a bed of Ghost Pepper Squash Purée topped with Fried Smoked Gouda

2017 Dinner in the Meadow Chefs

Each year, we are blessed with a lineup of outstanding chefs from our area who give of their time to support our efforts, and 2017 was no exception. We encourage you to patronize their businesses
​and offer gratitude for being a part of our event.
See each chef's creations with their bio.

When the restaurant was sold in 2007, he and his wife Samantha decided to move across the pond to her hometown in Raleigh with their son, Jack.

Falcoz-Vigne was thrilled about the opportunity to expand his knowledge and experience by coming to the United States to work. His passion is to create new recipes based on classic, traditional cuisine using modern and local flavor with century old techniques. Serge believes that la cuisine is an international language, as everyone, all over the world, understands the pleasure of eating something that is delicious and created with love.

Serge first established himself in the U.S. in October of 2009 as an Executive Chef in the Triangle area for 411 West in Chapel Hill. He’s since furthered his career working in this capacity for Raleigh restaurants, 518 West and 18 Seaboard. Presently, he is the General Manager and Chef of Saint Jacques French Cuisine, where he enjoys offering his guests the most authentic French experience possible.

Chef Serge prepared "Tacos du Boucher"  ~local beef pot au feu taco salad, old world vinaigrette, dry slaw and chipotle cream!

Meet Our Chefs!

David Gaydeski is Executive Chef for North Carolina’s Executive Mansion in Raleigh. He prides himself on his extensive use of local and North Carolina products for the many events and state functions at the mansion. Because of the state’s diverse geography – Farmland, coastal waters, estuarine systems, rivers and mountain streams – Chef David has access to an abundance of North Carolina finfish, crustaceans, and shellfish, as well as beef, pork, poultry, dairy and produce. In addition, the Executive Mansion gardens and nearby State Farmer’s Market allow him to develop fresh, seasonally-inspired menus.

Funky Fresh Food Truck ​Website               Facebook                Instagram

Serge Falcoz-Vigne is from Grenoble, France. In 1984, at the age of 16, he started his cooking apprenticeship. As a young man he followed his heart to the culinary capital of the world and went to Paris to pursue his dream of becoming a chef. After several years of cooking and sous-chef experience, his dream became a reality — he owned and operated a restaurant in Paris, called “Au Passé Retrouvé.”

Christopher Prieto is a champion pitmaster, author, instructor, bbq judge and owner of PRIME Barbecue in Knightdale, N.C.  His journey into cooking and the world of barbecue began when he was a child.  Fond memories of Texas and his desire to find the “soul” of barbecue sent him on a personal quest to perfect the art and science of slow-smoked meats.  

Chef Serge Falcoz-Vigne

Saint Jacques French Cuisine

Raleigh, North Carolina

Kimbap Cafe Web Page            Facebook              Twitter               Instagram

Leading his team in the pursuit of perfection, Chef Evans believes in the importance of quality not quantity. Funky Fresh specializes in onsite weddings, corporate events and galas. Chef Evans and his fiancé Pamela recently purchased an historic home in Goldsboro where they plan to utilize the onsite greenhouse and eventually host notable events.

Chef John prepared Duo of Shredded Beef Brisket Tacos with House Kimchi and Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms and Teriyaki... AND, Ole South Sliders of Ground Beef Patty, Brioche Bun, House Pickle, Pimento Cheese, Tomato Jam and “Carter Sauce”

Hailing from Miami, Eric Montagne grew up hunting, fishing, cooking, and eating with family. He tried a couple of traditional colleges before realizing he wanted to continue to build on that family culture and construct a career he was passionate about.  So, Montagne headed west to Johnson and Wales University in Denver. 

Chef Joe, a native of Canastota, New York, is a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. His early years in the kitchen were spent at the Stouffer Grand Beach Resort in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands and the Hotel Intercontinental in New York City, as well as four years at The Carolina Club in Chapel Hill.  

Chef David Gaydeski

Dinner in the Meadow Chef Coordinator

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Chef Joe Lumbrazo

Backyard Bistro
​Raleigh, North Carolina

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