Posts Tagged ‘Chefs of the Triangle’

Restaurants not to be missed in the NC mountains

October 9, 2012

If you love going to the North Carolina mountains and good eatin’ (and who doesn’t?), you need this book: “Chefs of the Mountains: Restaurants & Recipes from Western North Carolina” (John F. Blair, $19.95), by food critic John E. Batchelor. John doesn’t know it, but he helped me with researching my guidebook, “Farm Fresh North Carolina,” because I learned about tons of restaurants in the Triad region from his stories in the Greensboro and Winston-Salem papers. Thank you, John!

The book came at the right time for me, as I’ll be in Boone in a month and haven’t been there for several years. I think I’ve picked out the place, thanks to John: Vidalia. We’ll see. If you happen to be in the state already, John will be promoting the book – with chefs in tow – at several bookstores around the state. Check out the schedule here and keep in mind you’ll probably be treated to some nibbles, too, but no guarantee.

Author John E. Batchelor

 “Chefs of the Mountains” is part of a series started by my friend Ann Prospero, who wrote “Chefs of the Triangle.” Like Ann did, John gives us tasty morsels about each chef’s personal and professional life, followed by several recipes. There is a big difference: color photographs grace this book. Lucky John! The only thing missing is a price key. Maybe next edition?

John says all 40 chefs use fresh, local ingredients, and in sidebars in highlights some of the farmers and artisanal producers, such as Imladris Farm in Fairview and Sunburst Trout Farms in Canton. You can learn more about visiting those farms in my guidebook. Geez, we’re so complimentary and complementary!

My one word of warning: don’t traverse the twisting, turning NC mountain roads on too full of a stomach!

 

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NC chefs tell all, with recipes

October 5, 2009

200910_04_book Ann ProsperoChefs are like rock stars and athletes. They switch from place to place, working their way up the food-service pyramid. A writer pal of mine, Ann Prospero, has interviewed the best chefs in my area of North Carolina in her “Chefs of the Triangle: Their Lives, Recipes, and Restaurants.” We learn how they moved up, over, and around to become forces in food. We’re even treated to a few recipes from each.

Ann, by the way, is a wise author — for her book signings, she brings along chefs, and they bring along samples. The reading I went to, at Regulator Bookshop, featured Durham restaurateurs Jim Anile from Revolution, not yet a year old but buzz-worthy, and Shane Ingram, whose celebrated Four Square Restaurant turns an impressive 10 years old this month. It was great to hear them talk about their work and even better to sample their wares — fig gazpacho from Shane (the recipe is in the book) and, from Jim, butterbean hummus crustini with marinated octopus. Yum!

Author Ann Prospero

Durham author Ann Prospero

While I realize most of my readers live far from my home state, you should know that we have some mighty fine restaurants here in Durham and environs. In 2008, Bon Appetit magazine rightly named us “America’s Foodiest Small Town,” although they were talking about two towns, Durham and Chapel Hill, but whatever. We’ll take it.

Chefs Jim Anile and Shane Ingram co-hosted the book reading

Chefs Jim Anile, left, and Shane Ingram spoke and served food at the reading

As Ann points out, it was the late chef Bill Neal of Crook’s Corner who really got the dough rolling by mentoring and inspiring others, who in turn did the same thing for their colleagues in the kitchen. Crook’s is still going strong under chef and cookbook writer Bill Smith, a culinary force in his own right. Lucky us!