The Chef: Andrea Reusing

The Chef: Andrea Reusing

Cooking Light Editor in Chief [and a 1996 graduate of Chapel Hill High!] Hunter Lewis on why she rocks.

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Andrea Reusing

The New Jersey native has lived in Chapel Hill for 19 years. Her restaurant marries Asian flavors and North Carolina ingredients and has received accolades since it opened in January 2002. In 2011, Andrea won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast and published her cookbook, Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes. She is married to the co-founder of Merge RecordsMac McCaughan, and has two children, daughter Oona, 11, and son Arthur, 7.

“When Lantern came around, there was no other restaurant like it. There are a lot of different inspirations, but just great ingredients at the core of [the dishes]. I’ll never forget this dish we put together for a video when I was at Bon Appétit. She made an unbelievable dish with North Carolina shrimp. It was a perfect Andrea Reusing dish: It had an Asian accent to it; it had local ingredients at the foundation of it; it was smart. She did it all with this effortless ease while being so approachable and serene on camera. But if we’re going to talk about Andrea as a woman, as a leader and as a mom, I think you’ve got to read her cookbook, Cooking in the Moment. You really see the layers beyond the restaurant and understand what kind of teacher she is. I’ll never forget that image of all the coolers in the back of the family car before she goes to the beach. The kind of thought that goes into a family vacation, and this whole back trunk of a station wagon full of coolers going down to the beach – that’s pure love right there. [It] might be a working vacation, but she’s going to be feeding her family and they’re excited about what she’s going to be cooking down there.” – as told to Jessica Stringer