A Toast to Raleigh’s Iron Chef as he Celebrates 64th Birthday


Angus Barn

One of North Carolina’s first celebrity chefs, Walter Royal, shines in the halls of Angus Barn.

  May 18 marks a royal date: Iron Chef Walter Royal’s 64th birthday. To commemorate not only his savory contributions, but his incitement of a familial atmosphere and his strengthening of the Triangle community, this article will highlight the prestigious life of the renaissance culinarian. 

  Walter Royal is the Executive Chef at Angus Barn, Raleigh’s largest restaurant. From the time he was a teenager growing up in the deep South, Royal knew what he wanted to do: bring mouthwatering Southern cuisine to the table. 

  Winning Iron Chef America 2006 for his creative use of the “secret ingredient,” ostrich, Royal received the highest score ever awarded to a chef on the show. Facing off against phenomenal celebrity chef Cat Cora, Royal came out victorious.

  “I was scared to death,” shares Royal in an interview with The North State Journal regarding the competition, “I’m a country boy in a stadium in New York City, and it was every piece of equipment you could imagine. A lot of it I didn’t even know how to turn on and I was intimidated by all of these stars. And then I told myself, ‘do what you do every day which is good, clean and simple food.’ That’s what we did.”

  Since his victory, he’s cooked with notable chefs such as Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’ Guy Fieri, and skillful restaurateur Bobby Flay.

  In addition, the inventive extraordinair has numerous recognitive awards under his belt, being honored as one of the Top Five Chefs in the Southeast, Top Black Chef in America, and the Best Chef in the Triangle region of North Carolina.

  Royal has seared, sauteed, chopped, and glazed at some of the most prominent restaurants in the region, including Magnolia Grill, Crescent Cafe, and eventually, the world famous Angus Barn.

  “I’ve celebrated a number of birthdays and milestones [at Angus Barn],” comments community member Alice Batts on what the restaurant means to her, “We love to go at Thanksgiving. The buffet is fabulous and the setting is beautiful.” 

  Batts is among the thousands of loyal locals who frequent the eatery. Angus Barn is known for their collection of flawlessly grilled steaks, award-winning wine cellars, and decadent chocolate chess pie. Visitors can attest to the fact that it is more than just a place to savor superb sustenance—it is a haven for families and friends alike.

  Assuredly, Batts herself became engaged at the historical pavilion and recently celebrated her daughter’s 16th birthday under the same roof. It is a memorable sanctuary for people who dine there, and chefs like Walter Royal are key to igniting those reverberative experiences.

  Hungry North Carolinians and passersby can pay Royal a visit by dining at the Big Red. Be sure to experiment with some of the ostrich-based meals that still punctuate the dinner menu to savor a taste of history.