Print
Achievers & Accolades

Rhodes, Clark Earn Tourism Awards

By Staff Reports, posted May 29, 2023

The Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau recently announced the winners of two major tourism awards.

 This year’s Tourism Star winner is Ali Clark, Customer Service Specialist at End of Days Distillery, and the 2023 Jane Peterson Tourism Legacy honoree is Chef Keith Rhodes, co-owner and executive chef of CATCH Modern Seafood restaurant, according to a CVB news release.

Established in 2017, the Tourism Star Award recognizes hospitality and tourism industry professionals "who demonstrate pride and commitment to the hospitality industry and exemplify a selfless spirit of service and leadership that enhances the visitor experience," the release stated.

Clark (pictured at right) is described by employer Beth Faulkner as a "'true bright light' whose positive and enthusiastic spirit shines through with every guest who enters End of Days Distillery. During daily tours, Ali spends as much time sharing why she loves calling Wilmington home as she spends showcasing distillery spirits and the building’s award-winning preservation efforts.

"Ali also encourages distillery guests to explore neighboring small businesses in the up-and-coming Cargo District and makes recommendations on ways to enjoy all that Wilmington has to offer.  Her excellent communication and customer service skills garner consistent positive feedback from guests. Committed to sharing the same Southern hospitality that she experienced upon moving to Wilmington from Ohio, Ali’s greatest thrill is when a guest walks away happy with their experience."

The Tourism Legacy Award (formerly the Tourism Pioneer Award) was established in 2018 in honor of the late Jane Peterson, the CVB’s first executive director, to recognize "visionary leadership and significant contributions" to the hospitality industry, according to the release.

Rhodes, an Eastern North Carolina native worked as executive chef in Wilmington’s top restaurants before opening his own flagship restaurant, Catch Modern Seafood, with his partner and wife, Angela in 2006. They have since expanded the business to include CATCH the Food Truck and TackleBox Food Truck. 

A 2023 James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southeast semi-finalist who also holds the distinction of being Wilmington’s first and only Bravo TV Top Chef contestant, Rhodes "has played a key role in elevating the dining scene in Wilmington and our Island Beaches. Wilmington recently made its global culinary debut when a YouTube video by food vlogger Mark Wiens featuring Chef Rhodes went viral with 3 million views, inspiring visitors to travel to Wilmington from as far away as Canada, Texas, Minnesota, Atlanta, New York and states in-between to sample Catch’s New Southern Cuisine," the release stated. 

He has been featured in regional publications such as Our State and Garden & Gun magazines. During filming of Iron Man 3, actress Gwyneth Paltrow featured a cooking lesson with Chef Rhodes on her wildly popular blog Goop.com. Most recently, Rhodes was named an official Gullah Culinarian by the National Park Service and he currently serves on the N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association Board of Trustees.

The release also stated, "Chef Rhodes has further proven his commitment to the tourism industry by hosting numerous food/travel writers and representing Visit North Carolina and the Wilmington and Beaches CVB at media missions and tourism conferences."

Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Unknown 7112393341

Why Feasibility is Paramount to Success

Holly Segur - Lead Intuitively – Corporate Coaching
Untitleddesign5

The Transformation and Evolution of Leadership

John Monahan - Vistage
Untitleddesign2 4523114356

Cybersecurity and Productivity: Striking the Perfect Balance for Business Success

Barrett Earney - EarneyIT

Trending News

Equipment Financing Company Moves Into New Downtown Office

Emma Dill - Jul 22, 2024

Young Financial Technology Firm Secures New Seed Capital

Jenny Callison - Jul 22, 2024

In The Current Issue

Duo Builds Surfboard Business

Savage Surfboards sells its products wholesale up and down the East Coast and locally at its factory showroom....


Artist Navigates Evolving Business

The Wilmington-based artist and illustrator has been in the art business since 1982 when he started as a freelance illustrator with his loca...


At Local Eateries, Dining And Art Blend

“Art dates back to prehistoric times. So I’m pretty sure people have always had some kind of art surrounding them when eating....

Book On Business

The 2024 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2024 Power Breakfast: The Next Season