ENC chef gets nominated for best chef in the southeast

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Jamie Davis, Executive Chef at “The Hackney” in Washington, received news Wednesday that he says put him through a rush of emotions: his nomination as a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation best chef of the southeast, competing with chefs in 6 states.

“Now you got to live up to everything, said Davis. “It’s cool with me but it’s like a rollercoaster – like you’re on a high note like I can’t wait, it’s awesome…but then it’s also like ok, the journey just started now.”

Davis says he has been in the food industry his whole life. he started as a dishwasher when he was 16, found his passion in cooking, and became a cook in the military in Iraq.

Throughout his culinary journey, he says he might have picked up on a thing or two, the most important lesson being to let the food talk for itself.

“It looks super simple but the sauce takes two or three days to make, you see how we get our fish, that’s going to take a few hours to process,” Davis said.

The owner of The Hackney, Susanne Hackney, says when they created the menu together for the first time, it was a mix of their British roots and Davis’s style.

Now, she proudly says “The Hackney is Jamie.”

“Now, I would say it so has his personality and stamp on it, he’s very methodical,” Hackney said.

Even after all these years, Hackney says she gets more and more impressed.

“His food gets better all the time and he’s always pushing himself more, even that little tweak of innovation, to make it better,” said Hackney.