Chef Anne Kearney to continue her culinary career in the Tampa area.

JUST IN: Dayton’s most awarded chef is headed to Florida

The Dayton area’s only James Beard Foundation award-winning chef is headed for Florida — for now, anyway.

“So sorry, sweet city of Dayton, but I am leaving town August 2018. Not forever, but for now,” Former Rue Dumaine chef and co-owner Anne Kearney wrote in an email to followers. 

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Kearney, who has served as a private chef and hosted some “pop-up” events at other restaurants in recent months, said she will “join a few comrades in a restaurant group with the promise of an exciting next chapter of my culinary journey. Of course, more details will follow as I better define this move. Until then I am available to create a personal meal for you and yours or aid you in creating a fantastic dining experience/event for a larger group.”

>> PHOTOS: Mouthwatering dishes and drinks that we’ll miss from Rue Dumaine

The former Rue Dumaine, at 1061 Miamisburg-Centerville Road in Washington Twp., shut down permanently in July 2017 after a decade-long run. The restaurant changed its name to Bar Dumaine shortly before shutting down. 

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Kearney is the Dayton area’s most highly credentialed chef, based on her recognition by the James Beard Foundation, whose awards are regarded as the nation’s most prestigious recognition program for the food and beverage business — the equivalent of the Academy Awards of the restaurant industry.  

RELATED: On the Menu: a tasty rendez-vous with James Beard-lauded Rue Dumaine

In February 2016, the Beard Foundation for the sixth consecutive year named Kearney a semifinalist for its “Best Chefs in America” competition for the Great Lakes region. Kearney was the only chef from the Dayton area, and one of only three in Ohio, to be named in 2016. 

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 The Beard Foundation recognized the restaurant itself in 2008, naming Rue Dumaine a semifinalist for the foundation’s “Best New Restaurant” in the nation. And Kearney was named a James Beard Foundation best-chef award winner in the southeastern U.S. in 2002 when she co-owned the highly regarded Peristyle restaurant in New Orleans.

>> RELATED: Rue Dumaine’s Anne Kearney scores ‘best-chef’ nomination for 6th year running

Kearney still has some events planned before her August departure, including one on May 11 at Crooked Handle Brewing Co. in Springboro. She’ll be preparing beef burgers and meatless burgers for a pop-up event from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. that evening at the brewery.

RELATED: Rue Dumaine chef headed to NCR Country Club

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