“Big changes ahead for NC’s beloved – and iconic – restaurant, Crook’s Corner” READ ARTICLE
“Meet the new chef of Crook’s Corner, the third in the storied restaurant’s history” READ ARTICLE
Crook’s Corner was opened in 1982 by Gene Hamer and the late Bill Neal. Chef Neal’s unique approach to Southern dishes and his first cookbook, Bill Neal’s Southern Cooking, attracted national attention. A rave review by Craig Claiborne in the New York Times put the restaurant on the culinary map.
Bill Smith became chef of Crook’s Corner in 1992. He continued to serve Bill Neal’s signature dishes, while also making his own mark in contemporary Southern cuisine. His cookbook, Seasoned in the South, was named a New York Times Notable Book and a Food and Wine Best Book. Smith was twice a finalist for the James Beard Best Chef in the Southeast Award. In 2011 the James Beard Foundation honored Crook’s Corner with the coveted America’s Classic Award.
Although Crook’s Corner closed in 2021, its impact on our community will last a lifetime.