Walter Royal

Angus Barn  | Raleigh, NC

Walter got his passion for Southern food from his grandmother and mother. At 14, he decided he wanted to cook professionally. His family, concerned that becoming a black chef in the South was risky business, insisted that he go to college instead. He attended LaGrange College and Auburn University. Later, he went on to Nathalie Dupree’s Cooking School in Atlanta.

Before joining Angus Barn in September 1996, Walter developed his skills at a number of top restaurants in the Triangle area. In 1982, he joined the Fearrington House in Pittsboro, working as sous chef under the famed Edna Lewis. In 1986, he moved to Durham’s Magnolia Grill, working with Ben Barker as sous chef and kitchen manager.

In 1997, the Restaurant Guild International named Walter the Five Star Chef of the Year. He is the first black chef to have received this prestigious award. Other awards have included Best Chef in the Triangle, James Beard Rising Star, Top Black Chef in America and one of the Top Five Chefs in the Southeast. Walter competed and won as a guest chef on “Iron Chef America” in December 2006.


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Walter is participating in the Edna Lewis Tribute dinner on 10/19.