Justin Burdett joins the team at Crook’s Corner with an already impressive culinary career focused on Southern food and ingredients. Working alongside Southern food icon Bill Smith, Burdett will take the reins in the kitchen at Crook’s Corner in January 2019.. Burdett will be the 3 rd chef at the 36-year-old Southern food institution as it enters its next generation.
Born and raised in Snellville, Georgia, Burdett began cooking with his grandmother at an early age. Taking his first official industry job at only 14 years old at Glen’s BBQ in Snellville, he began as a dishwasher and worked his way to the pit. Following graduation, Burdett moved to Athens, Georgia, working in corporate kitchens. Craving more culinary experience and a more creative menu, Burdett approached chef Hugh Acheson at his celebrated Southern restaurant 5 & 10, offering his services for free in exchange for experience. Acheson took a chance on Burdett, awarding him with the position that began his formal culinary career in 2005.
In 2006, Burdett relocated to Asheville, N.C., where he worked his way up the ranks at various local restaurants, including The Market Place, Table Restaurant, The Richmond Hill Inn, where he expanded the fine cuisine tasting menu, and as executive chef at Nova. In 2009, Burdett accepted an opening position at Miller Union under executive chef Steven Satterfield and served as the chef de cuisine for nearly three years.
Craving a return to North Carolina, Burdett took the executive chef position at Ruka’s Table in Highlands, North Carolina in 2012, where he received national attention for his modern work with local ingredients and flavor profiles. Among his many accolades, Burdett received a Carolina Rising Star award from StarChefs in 2013, was named by Food & Wine magazine as one of the top ten chefs in the Southeast in 2013 and 2014 and was highlighted in 2014 as one of Plate’s Top 30 Chefs to Watch.
In December 2015, Burdett opened Local Provisions in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. Acting as chef-owner, Local Provisions gained instant national recognition for Burdett’s innovative use of local ingredients and technique. In 2016, Local Provisions was recognized by Eater as one of the 21 Best New Restaurants in America and was included on Southern Living’s list of The Best New Restaurants in the South.
In August 2018, Burdett joined the team at Crook’s Corner to work alongside executive chef Bill Smith, who will pass the executive chef torch to Burdett upon his retirement.
When he’s not in the kitchen, Burdett enjoys spending time with his wife, Brooke, his daughter, Olive, and their pets. He also enjoys reading about culinary history and collecting a broad range of cookbooks.