Wilmington chef Dean Neff named as James Beard Semifinalist

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Chef Dean Neff formerly of PinPoint Restaurant in downtown Wilmington. (Photo: Ken Blevins/StarNews)

WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) — Wilmington chef Dean Neff was named as one of the James Beard Award semi-finalists for, “Best Chef: Southeast,” Wednesday.

Neff, who recently announced he would be leaving PinPoint Restaurant downtown, said the news came as a shock Wednesday. He received a text about the news while he was baking at his fiancé, Lydia Clopton’s bakery, Love, Lydia.

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The James Beard Awards honor culinary professionals, food writers, and restaurants each year and are known to some as the, “Oscars,” of the food world.

“I am very honored and the news is just sinking in,” said Neff.

The Wilmington chef is among 20 other semifinalists in the category including Mashama Bailey of The Grey in Savannah, Georgia. Neff is one of eight chefs from North Carolina.



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