Top Chef Dinner

Wednesday October 18th, 2023

Top Chef Dinner + Cocktails with Ricky Moore, Katsuji Tanabe, and Lamar Moore

Join us on Wednesday, October 18th, at 6:30pm as we welcome Bravo TV #TopChef Alums, Chef Katsuji Tanabe, and Lamar Moore, as well as James Beard Winner of Best Chef Southeast, Ricky Moore to Bluewater for a collaborative 5-course menu and cocktail experience.

Guests will enjoy an exciting evening full of creative dishes, craft cocktails, and meet & greets with Award-Winning Celebrity Chefs.

A ticket to our Top Chef Dinner includes 5-courses with a focus on seafood, each prepared and presented by each Chef in their signature style. Each course will be paired with a craft cocktail from Bluewater’s talented bar team.

Reserve your seat HERE !

Meet The Chefs

Katsuji Tanabe

Partner Chef and Culinary Innovator, a’Verde Cocina and Tequila Library


Top Chef Boston, Mexico, Charleston

Born in Mexico City to Mexican and Japanese parents, Chef Katsuji Tanabe is the Executive Chef and creative force behind a’Verde in Cary, North Carolina. Like many growing up in Mexico City, food played an integral part in Katsuji’s upbringing via his family’s table.

Passionate about hospitality from a young age, Katsuji started his restaurant journey as adishwasher at a fine-dining catering company. As a Top Chef, NBC Food Fighters, and PBS

Cooking Under Fire alum, as well as Chopped champion (just to name a few), additional stops along the way included immigrating to the U.S. at the age of 18, working as a pastry chef, and graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in California.

Always drawing inspiration from other cultures, Katsuji has used his own heritage, travels, experience, and passions to lead his culinary journey. This includes creating the first-ever Kosher Mexican restaurant in New York City, serving heritage-inspired dishes while living in Chicago, working in the fine-dining scene of Los Angeles, and pursuing self-guided work studies in Japan and fine-dining restaurants across the U.S.

Recently relocated to the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina, Katsuji enjoys the bountiful produce found throughout the region, which helps him carry out his vision for a’Verde, his mostpersonal project to date.

At a’Verde, Katsuji proudly introduces the South to his unique marriage of Mexican cuisine alongside the largest tequila library in the region. Utilizing equal parts traditional and modern flavors and styles, Katsuji presents surprising dishes that lack pretension while delivering authenticity. Beyond the cuisine and equally important to his vision is the restaurant experience, where he injects a celebratory atmosphere in a whimsical, yet comfortable space.

While spearheading a’Verde, which is part of the LM Restaurant family, Katsuji proudly serves as the group’s Culinary Innovator, bringing renewed life and fresh ideas to LM Restaurant’s variety of restaurants throughout the Southeast.

Ricky Moore


Winner of Best Chef Southeast, James Beard Foundation

Chef Ricky Moore – the self-professed evangelist of North Carolina seafood and James Beard Foundation Winner for “Best Chef Southeast” – is the owner of the popular Saltbox Seafood Joint® in Durham, North Carolina – praised by Saveur as “a tiny but mighty seafood shack.” Taking inspiration from the famous wet markets in Singapore, Moore focuses purely on the food inspired by his native Carolina coast, and its traditional roadside fish shacks and camps.

Moore opened Saltbox Seafood Joint® in Durham, NC in 2012. Accolades in Garden & Gun, Our State and Travel + Leisure followed, and in 2019, Moore debuted the Saltbox Seafood Joint® Cookbook – with 60 recipes celebrating his coastal culinary heritage. In 2020, as one of the region’s most admired chefs, Moore received his first nomination for “Best Chef” in the Southeast and Discover awarded Saltbox Seafood Joint® $25,000 as part of its #EatItForward campaign for black-owned restaurateurs. Today, Saltbox Seafood is included in MOFAD’s Black History Month exhibit, “African/American: Making the Nation’s Table.” And in 2007, as Executive Chef at Agraia in Washington DC (now known as Founding Farmers), Moore’s reputation earned him a spot competing against Chef Michael Symon on “Iron Chef America.” Today Moore continues to fulfill his lifelong dream as an entrepreneur, professional, and preserver of North Carolina fisherman and foodways.

Ricky Moore was born and raised in the North Carolina coastal town of New Bern, where catching and eating fresh fish and shellfish is a way of life. He draws inspiration from his Eastern North Carolina culinary background, as well as from culinary experiences across the globe. Moore was introduced to German cooking at a young age as a “Military Brat,” growing up in Germany, and from his German Mother-in-law, and he served as a cook in the US Army for a decade before attending and graduating from the esteemed Culinary Institute of America. Kitchen stints from some of the world’s most prestigious kitchens across the globe followed – including Le Tarbouche, IndeBleu, Vidalia, Lespinasse, Equinox, Agraria (now called Founding Farmers) in Washington, DC, and Frontera Grill, Charlie Trotter’s, and Tru in Chicago. Moore also served as Executive chef and Instructor at the Parrot Cage Restaurant in the Washburne Culinary Institute, and Executive Chef of South Water Kitchen. Moore’s tenure at two-star Michelin-rated Apicius in Paris with Jean-Pierre Vigato, Le Cerf in Alsace with Michel Husser, and Le Violin d’Ingres in Paris with Christian Constant, Daniel in New York City, and Cuisine of India in Toronto with Shishir Sharma, further polished his culinary technique, perspective and ambition to own restaurants of his own.

Saltbox Seafood Joint is located at 2637 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. and is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11-8pm.

Follow Chef Ricky Moore and Saltbox Seafood Joint® on Instagram and Facebook @SaltboxSeafoodJoint, on Twitter @SaltboxSeafood, and

Lamar Moore


Bravo TV’s Welcome to Waverly, Food Network’s Chopped, Vegas Chef Prizefight

Chef at Bronzeville Winery

Chef Lamar Moore was born and raised in Chicago, IL and began showing his love for culinary arts as early as age 8. In his formative years, Chef Lamar learned the importance of cooking with love, taking care of people, and giving back to those less fortunate while spending the summers and cooking alongside his grandmother in Tupelo Mississippi. Today, he maintains a progressive culinary career with more than 15 years of experience working in sports stadiums, restaurants and hotels. As Head chef of the all new Bugsy & Meyers steak house in the Flamingo Hotel Moore adds a soulful flair to bar food classics including original flavors and heirloom recipes specifically from the South’s “All American City.”

As a qualified Professional Chef, he holds a degree in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago. He has traveled the world to Europe, Greece, and throughout the United States extending his knowledge and expertise of international cuisine — ranging from Latin American to Peruvian as well as American and French fine dining. As a proud member of the American Culinary Federation, Chef Lamar has leveraged the platform to mentor aspiring chefs and serve as the keynote Speaker at the National Restaurant Association Show. He is also a chef mentor and leader for ProStart, a two-year educational program for teens through the National Restaurant Association, where he shares his culinary experience with local Chicago Public School students by conducting demonstrations and workshops.

Previously, Chef Lamar has worked at Smoke Daddy and Currency Exchange Café., Tanta Peruvian Cuisine, Restaurant,Hotel Sax. He’s has also been featured in media outlets including Zagat News Weekly, Chicago Reader,, and the Chicago Tribune and was also featured on a national Bravo TV show program “Welcome To Waverly, and Food Network’s “Chopped”, and Vegas Chef Prizefight