ÃN Asian Cuisines is one of the finest restaurants in Cary, right behind the intersection of Weston Parkway and Harrison Avenue. Operating as a sister restaurant to The Umstead’s Herons Restaurant, the esteem from its name alone should be a telltale sign of the inventive and decadent meal to come. ÃN Asian Cuisines’ culinary team is multifaceted, with Chef Steven Devereaux Greene serving as Culinary Director and Chef Josh Hughes as its Chef de Cuisine. This chef duo has been working together since their days in South Carolina nearly 10 years ago.
Chef Josh is a Greenville, South Carolina native. He remembers, “always being excited when my grandma cooked. She always had snacks ready for me when she’d pick me up after school.” Chef Josh’s interest in cooking continued to grow as he started to watch “Great Chefs Great Cities” with his grandmother and learning the diversity and opportunities cooking had to offer. Chef Josh says, “Food and cooking became more than just eating for me. It was fulfilling to me to spend time together with good company over a meal.”
Chef Josh cooked as a hobby throughout high school with industry jobs here and there in small family run businesses. After graduating high school, he worked at the Peddler Steakhouse, initially working in the front of the house. He was able to see the action from the kitchen and he craved more. Chef Josh didn’t have any formal culinary training, but was soon taken under the wings of a friend whose family owned a restaurant. Chef Josh went to work with his chef friend and learned skills across all areas of the kitchen. However, this place soon shut down and Chef Josh was in need of a new job.
Chef Josh had met Chef Steven several times while in Greenville. Chef Steven was opening his own restaurant, Devereaux’s, and wanted Chef Josh to join his crew. Between timing and other job opportunities, they didn’t end up working together until several months later. Chef Josh and Chef Steven clicked immediately, from their passion for food and their mutual love of music.
Chef Josh initially started at Devereaux’s in the pastry section. Chef Josh says, “Working in pastry really opened my eyes to the kitchen world. The teamwork and products being put together in that kitchen were unlike anything I’d ever done before. The level of quality in knife skills, ingredients and plating were amazing.” Chef Josh was “bitten by the bug” and continued working in Devereaux’s for four years and moved his way up to sous chef. It wasn’t long before Chef Josh felt like he hit a “glass roof” as to the level of culinary experience he had gained in Greenville.
Chef Steven had started a consulting position in North Carolina and didn’t forget his South Carolina jam session buddy and fellow culinarian, Chef Josh. It took mere months from when Chef Josh staged in The Umstead’s kitchen before moving his family up to North Carolina in the summer of 2011. These two chefs continue to work together to this day. Chef Josh says they work together on the operations of the restaurant and when developing menus, but at the end of the day, still respects Chef Steven’s position as Culinary Director of ÃN Asian Cuisines.
Shortcuts are unheard of in ÃN Asian Cuisines’ kitchen. Items are made from scratch and only the best ingredients are sourced and used through the menus. As Chef Josh says, “We like to make food taste good. We want to use the simplest form of each ingredient so as to pay attention to the detail and quality of each item. We want our diners to feel taken care of and feel like they’re invited into our home to enjoy a great meal.”
Our dining experience at ÃN Asian Cuisines was nothing short of memorable. It is also one of the few places where the experience is truly fine dining without the pretenses or stuffiness that often follow. From the service to the food to the ambiance, this is a must-stop when dining in Cary. With their tastefully compiled dishes, there is something for everyone to enjoy at ÃN Asian Cuisines.
Tessa Nguyen is a chef and registered dietitian working in the Triangle area. She is an alumna of Johnson & Wales University and Meredith College. When Tessa isn’t traveling and discovering new food spots, she teaches culinary nutrition cooking classes at Duke and works as a consultant in the health and wellness industry. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter @