In 2002, Andrea Reusing and her brother, Brendan, opened Lantern restaurant, in Chapel Hill. Both had been in the restaurant business—Andrea had made waves (the good kind) as executive chef and general manager of Raleigh’s Enoteca Vin.
They created an ingredients-driven menu of Asian dishes (“there was a niche to fill,” says Andrea, whose family grew up loving Asian flavors). The Reusings, who originally hail from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, cultivated relationships with the many farmers in the area. Now, says Andrea, there are about 300 small farms within an hour of the restaurant, many of whom supply Lantern.
Lantern has been named one of America’s Top 50 Restaurants and one of the “best farm-to-table restaurants” by Gourmet magazine, as one of America’s 50 Most Amazing Wine Experiences by Food & Wine, and as Restaurant of the Year in 2009 by The News & Observer. Andrea was named one of 15 Green Chefs on Grist’s international list, and won the 2011 James Beard Award for Best Chef Southeast. Her first book, Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes, was named one of 2011’s most notable cookbooks by The New York Times.
In 2015, Andrea signed on to be executive chef at the Restaurant at the Durham Hotel, where she focuses on American regional cooking and on southern dishes like fried wild catfish, hog scrapple, and North Carolina trout roe (southern caviar!).