Luca Annunziata, executive chef and owner of Charlotte’s Passion8 Fine Dining, has received the highest honor bestowed by Georgia-based poultry producer Springer Mountain Farms—its Celebrate the Chef Award. The award is presented to a select handful of chefs that demonstrate culinary excellence, consistency in the dining experience and a commitment to the use of fresh and local ingredients.

"Chef Annunziata has worked in Michelin starred restaurants, and it shows in his cuisine. He seamlessly pairs bold flavors with their perfect counterparts and is a huge proponent of the local food movement, which is important to us at Springer Mountain Farms," says Dale Faunce, marketing director at Springer Mountain Farms.

With over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Italian-born Chef Luca has worked in some of the finest kitchens across the globe, including Four Stars and Five Diamond Restaurants, Leading Hotels of The World, and Don Alfonso's 1890 in Sant'Agata, Italy, a two-Michelin-star restaurant. After finishing his training in San Moritz, Switzerland at the Suvretta House, Annunziata went on to work at the Dorchester Hotel in London. He then traveled to Germany, France, and eventually New York came calling, where he manned the test kitchen at Good Housekeeping Magazine with Hearst Corporation.

Chef Luca and his wife Jessica believe a great meal is one of life’s greatest celebrations, and in 2006 they opened Passion8’s first location, which they quickly outgrew. In late 2014, Passion8 reopened in Charlotte’s vibrant Elizabeth neighborhood where Annunziata has added exciting new dishes to his menu like the Infamous Calamari tossed in a jalapeno citrus butter, coriander crusted scallops and Springer Mountain Farms chicken.

“I believe that food created with passion enhances life in an incredible way,” Annunziata says. “Springer Mountain Farms has the same commitment to raising their chickens, and it comes through on the plate.”

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