RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Raleigh's restaurant scene is one of the hottest in the nation right now fueled in part by Ashley Christensen taking home the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in America this year.
Celebrity chef Katsuji Tanabe, who gained popularity with appearances on Bravo's Top Chef and winning Food Network's Chopped, moved his family from L.A. to Raleigh and opened his first North Carolina restaurant, High Horse.
"I came over here and started hanging out walking and the people were so nice and the place was super beautiful," Tanabe said.
"The quality of life here is much nicer. You can really tell you're in the south and it's sweet tea on the porch type of thing," he added.
Tanabe said you can expect a fun atmosphere at High Horse with dishes that combine influences from his childhood spent in a Jewish section of Mexico City with parents of both Mexican and Japanese descent.
"The food it is not Mexican, it's not Japanese, it's not fusion," Tanabe said. "It's just the way I was raised in this country as a chef. I took the Mexican flavors, the Japanese flavors and I build my style of cooking.
High Horse, it's all about the wood fire. There's no stove, no fryer, no oven, and it's a stage, so these seats here it's like the chefs' table," Tanabe said about the seats around the kitchen.
"I'm going to be there talking to the guests making sure they're having a great experience," Tanabe added.
High Horse is located at 208 Wolfe St. in historic City Market in downtown Raleigh.
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. (open to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays)
Reservations can be made on Resy.
Top Chef alum, Chopped winner Katsuji Tanabe opens High Horse in Raleigh