Hickory Chef Scores National Recognition for Good Food Awards

Highland Avenue Restaurant Chef Kyle McKnight and Virginia’s EcoFriendly Foods Co-founder, Bev Eggleston have scored their second nomination for a Good Food Award. The awards, which recognize the best of America’s growing movement of socially conscious food entrepreneurs, were handed out in San Francisco on January 8. The duo previously won a Good Food Award in 2013 for their Iberico Americana Long Leg Ham (aged 20 Months).

McKnight and Eggleston are finalists once again in the Charcuterie category for their Iberico Americana Long Leg Ham (aged 20 Months). The Good Food Awards recognize the tasty, authentic and responsibly produced food being crafted across the Country. McKnight and Eggleston’s product was among 1,462 entries and chosen as one of 207 Good Food Award finalists. That number was narrowed to 150 Good Food Award winners officially announced January 8, 2015 at a gala in the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

Voting for the Good Food Awards took place on September 7, 2014 when 180 chefs, retailers, food writers, farmers and food crafters gathered for a marathon tasting and judging session. Judges sampled entries from 11 categories including beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, honey, oils, preserves, pickles, and spirits. The top scorers were further vetted to confirm environmentally sound agriculture, good animal husbandry, transparency, and fair treatment at all stages of the supply chain.

“It was not easy to make it onto this list,” says Sarah Weiner, co-founder and Executive Director of Seedling Projects, the 501 (c) 3 behind the Good Food Awards. “The quality of entries increases every year, and even amongst the highest scoring, nearly two dozen entries didn’t quite meet the high bar we set for sustainability. The 2015 Finalists are truly the leaders in their fields, epitomizing taste, authenticity and responsible production.”

McKnight appreciates the accolade, but says the pig deserves all the credit. “It is always nice to be recognized but it is better to see progress concerning local foods take shape. People are more conscientious of where their food comes from and the Good Food Awards are a big part of that process.”

For further information, please contact: Kyle McKnight at 828-267-9800 (Mon to Fri, 10am to 3pm) or Bev Eggleston at 540-525-0352

For more information on the Good Food Awards, visit www.goodfoodawards.org

Chef Kyle McKnight, Highland Avenue Restaurant (Hickory, NC)
Chef Kyle McKnightA graduate of Johnson and Wales University, Kyle McKnight’s career led him through Europe, Charleston, Miami, St. John and Argentina before he found a home at Hickory, North Carolina’s acclaimed Highland Avenue Restaurant. McKnight has cooked alongside notable chefs Tom Colicchio, Sean Brock, Chris Edwards, Theirry Vergnalut and Phil Corr. He was named a Best Chef America 2012 to 2014 for his commitment to the slow food movement and his advocacy of local farmers in both Wilmington and Hickory, North Carolina. McKnight won a Good Food Award with Bev Eggelston in 2013. He participated in Charleston Wine and Food Festival in 2013 and will be a featured chef in the North Carolina Seafood Festival in 2015. McKnight is creating inspiring cuisine from the bounty of North Carolina land and sea.

Bev Eggelston, EcoFriendly Foods (Moneta, VA)
Bev Eggelston farmed for 12 years in Mendota, Virginia before founding EcoFriendly Foods in 2001. Although his life is dedicated to the mission of EcoFriendly Foods and his company supplies some of the top restaurants in the country with meat and charcuterie, this award winning food producer’s first love is farming. Bev networks and lobbies tirelessly for national and local legislation to support farmers who utilize regenerative, responsible approaches to growing, harvesting and marketing their products. He has testified before Congress’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and currently sits on the Advisory Committee for AGree, whose mission is “to drive positive change in the food and agriculture system by connecting and challenging leaders from diverse communities to catalyze action and elevate food and agriculture policy as a national priority.” Bev and EcoFriendly Foods have been featured in the nation’s top publications including TIME Magazine , The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Edible Manhattan, Food and Wine, Bon Appétit, Saveur, and Gourmet Magazine, just to name a few. His company continues to grow in strength and recognition as a leader in sustainable meats and regional food systems. Eggleston spends as much time as he can raising pigs, chickens, turkeys, goats, and whatever else finds its way onto his farm in his spare time.

About Highland Avenue

Highland Avenue changed the culinary landscape of Hickory, North Carolina when the farm-to-table restaurant opened in 2013. Executive Chef Kyle McKnight has garnered national praise for his passion for locally sourced foods, and Highland Avenue, is quickly becoming a destination for people who love good food. Located on the second floor of the beautifully renovated former Holler Hosiery Mill in the up and coming Southeast District of Hickory, Highland Avenue pays homage to the city’s rich manufacturing history while focusing on New American cuisine. For more information, please call 828-267-9800 or visit www.highlandavenuerestaurant.com.

Press Release