Local chefs talk childhood dishes that inspire them
Hospitality Management LMRest.com
2 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
EDITOR Shea Carver
ASSISTANT EDITOR Shannon Rae Gentry
ART DIRECTOR Susie Riddle
ADVERTISING Shea Carver, Tiffany Wagner John Hitt
CONTRIBUTORS Gwenyfar Rohler, Joel Finsel, John Burke, Allison Ballard, Fanny Slater, Emily Caulfield, Bethany Turner, Evan Folds, Linda Grattafiori
26-28 | Bill’s Front Porch is ILM’s
Lindsey A. Miller Photography
second brewpub—meaning they make and serve their own beer and food, sometimes utilizing both simultaneously, as tasted in the beer batter of their pretzels.
ON THE COVER 18-20 |
Fanny Slater goes back in time with three local chefs who rewind to their childhood and discuss dishes that stand out as inspirations in the kitchen. Lindsey Miller captured a remake of their childhood photos as comforting reminders of where their journeys began. Featured on our cover is fresh caught fish—a modernized preparation by Dean Neff of PinPoint Restaurant.
6-8 CHEF PROFILES
PHOTOGRAPHY Lindsey A. Miller Photography DEVOUR is published by HP Media seasonally and covers southeastern NC. To subscribe to the print publication, the cost is $15 a year. Folks can sign up to subscribe in print or monthly via e-mail updates at www.devourilm.com. ADVERTISING in Devouris easy! Feel free to call HP Media at 910-791-0688 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a media kit. HP Media also offers advertising packages for Devour and its other publications, encore and AdPak.
32-33 HEALTHY GARDENS
Food! Seasoned Gourmet Culinary Teachers Cleaner Read Evan Folds’ ideas on the scientific approach to growing the healthiest The Seasoned Gourmet relocated six months ago and launched even more culinary classes, including ones led by Gwen Gulliksen and Lisa Andree. Read about their offerings on pages 6-8.
Black River Organic Farms Fresh and vibrant vegetables grow on Ivanhoe’s Black River, and are made available weekly at the downtown farmers’ market.
foods without using chemically-laden products that destroy gut health.
34-35 BOOK REVIEWS
Icelandic Eats and Traditions Gwenyfar Rohler travels north to find out more about the eating habits and the history and traditions that make up Icelandic culture, thanks to a few reads from Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir.
ALSO INSIDE: Restaurateur Profile, pgs. 10-12 • Recipes, pgs. 22-23 Cocktails and Conversations, pgs. 24-25 • Wine Review, pg. 30 • Culinary Calendar, pgs. 36-39 FALL 2016 | DEVOUR 3
Thank you, Wilmington! For voting us Best Thai for 15 years, as well as Best Atmosphere, Restaurant Overall and Outdoor Dining for 10 Years! We appreciate your continued patronage.
Love, Niki and staff
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Inside the Kitchen Behind the scenes at The Seasoned Gourmet with two of its culinarians BY Allison Ballard ● Devour contributor
ince 1994, The Seasoned Gourmet has been enhancing Wilmington’s culinary scene, with offerings of everything from specialty cookware to locally roasted coffee. But in the past two decades, the business has changed. In 2005, Randy Newton bought the shop from original owner Diane Williams. Yet, Newton made the biggest change for The Seasoned Gourmet in 2016 by moving it to a new location at Market Street near Eastwood Road. Originally located on Military Cutoff before switching to a space in the Lumina Commons off Eastwood Road, The Seasoned Gourmet has been used to change. “I really wanted a building that could be set up with a stand-alone kitchen and a location with road visibility,” Newton says. Though a risk, loyal customers have responded well to its relocation. “Once they come in, they love it,” manager Pam Williams tells. There’s more room in the retail space, so customers can browse easier as they check out the spice bar, locally made goodies or the boutique wine selection. Perhaps the biggest change, though, is the addition of the kitchen at the back of the shop. They can expand on the cooking classes they offer through membership to the Cape Fear Food & Wine Club, which has been connected to the Seasoned Gourmet since 2011. “I decided, with some good advice,
• Right: The Seasoned Gourmet’s spice wall. • Next page: Chefs and culinary teachers Gwen Gulliksen and Lisa Andree. Photos by Lindsey A. Miller Photography
6 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
that if I were going to continue the business that the cooking school space would be something Wilmington doesn’t have,” Newton says. Classes now take place any time of day, and they’ve amped up their offerings. About a dozen local food and wine aficionados teach, including Keith Rhodes of Catch and Dean Neff of PinPoint Restaurant. Former manager Susan Boyles teaches hands-on workshops, and personal chef and foodie tour guide Courtney Matheson is starting to offer lessons. Certified sommelier Mike Summerlin is a wine educator there, while Sherry Storms leads classes for kids. Folks who want to experiment with vegan cooking or glutenfree recipes can find special sessions. All in all, the classroom lends itself to a wide variety of uses. The glass doors make it open but separate from the retail area. Students can sit at the counter for an up-close look at food preparation, or tables can be arranged to seat up to 28. It’s also an ideal spot for private functions, like baby showers or wine tastings. “It can be tailored for whatever you’d like to do,” Williams says. “We looked at a number of spaces and tried to envision how we would arrange each space to make it work,” Newton notes. “The Market Street location just seemed to fit what we wanted to do.” Though not the most likely owner of a gourmet business, Newton—who is currently working as a nuclear engineer—grew up in western North Carolina with a farm-to-table lifestyle. He originally bought The Seasoned Gourmet as a partnership and credits his stubborn streak for staying with the shop.
“I think it has a place and serves a purpose in Wilmington,” he says. “What I like about owning the shop is I hope that I offer a comfortable, friendly place for foodies, where the staff is anything but pretentious. I know from my early years that good food and wine doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy. Some of the best food in the world came straight out of the garden and passed through Grandma’s hands. It’s also just nice and comforting to talk and share some time with customers.” The Seasoned Gourmet celebrated its sixth month anniversary in August at 5500 Market Center, which hosted a reopening of sorts with tenants such as Tongy’s Shmackhouse, Adam & Eve and JohnnyLukes KitchenBar near the corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Market Street. In addition to samples and coupons available to passersby, Cape Fear Food & Wine Club members could learn how to make meals at The Seasoned Gourmet cooking classes. Their current class schedule includes more than 30 offerings through December, and they focus on everything from authentic curries to gluten-free biscotti to mother sauces to vegan holiday meals. One on the docket is “Date Night with Gwen Gulliksen.” It was while she was a student of art history and studying the Renaissance in Italy and France that Gwen Gulliksen learned to appreciate food. As she awaited to begin a Ph.D. program, she took her first culinary class. Now, with a 30-year career in the food industry, Gulliksen has traveled around the world. She studied with Madeleine Kamman at the School for American Chefs, and was chef at Robert Mondavi Winery and the Getty Center in Los Angeles, where she managed a staff of more than 100 that sometimes served 26,000 people a day. She’s FALL 2016 | DEVOUR 7
worked in many aspects of the culinary business and developed a passion for sustainable local food and for teaching. “Teaching food is my dream job,” she said. “I love seeing the light bulb go on.” She recently saw that spark with a student who learned to make a difficult, classic walnut cake—one which turned out perfectly. “You could see the smile and the twinkle in the eye,” she said.
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Gulliksen gradually settled in NC with her husband and children. She moved to the area three years ago and has since become an instructor for the culinary program at Cape Fear Community College. She’s been teaching at Seasoned Gourmet for two-and-a-half years. On one recent Friday-night class—typically called “Date Night”—she demystified seafood preparation for six couples, who sipped wine and socialized while Gullisken prepared a saffron potato-leek soup with smoked salmon. She walked attendees through the steps for individual berry brown-butter cakes, too. They then sat at a 12-person table to enjoy their meal while the chef talked with them about buying local seafood and making a simple fish entree topped with seafood imperial (a mix of shellfish). Although there were new faces in the class, it wasn’t the first Gulliksen experience for George and Judy Scott. “She’s a favorite of ours,” Judy says. “It’s all very accessible, and her recipes are great. They always work.” Gulliksen is very conscientious, and meticulous, in writing and testing her recipes. She wants to equip her students with classic techniques and the confidence to know they can succeed in the kitchen, too. Depending on her work schedule, she often teaches two to four classes a month at Seasoned Gourmet. Longer Saturday sessions allow for more intensive preparations, such as duck confit or slow braising. Lisa Andree often works as an assistant and helper for classes at The Seasoned Gourmet, including for Gulliksen’s. But she wanted to take on her own classes to share her interest in vegan cooking. An avid home cook—who has to balance vegan meals for one son and carnivorous ones for the other—Andree has been a vegan for seven years. She teaches “Learning Vegan Basics,” and on a recent Sunday, a handful of students lined up at the counter for her “ABCs of Being Vegan” course. Most only had thought about eating more vegan dishes. Andree took them through some of her favorite techniques and substitutions used in vegan cooking, as she shared her favorite products, cookbooks and resources that make the lifestyle more interesting and fun. “It’s so much easier now than it used to be,” Andree says. The seven-page handout for the class included information using flax seeds as an egg substitute and a page on cooking with aquafaba (or the bean water than comes with a can of chick peas). The aquafaba mayonnaise made in class was a revelation to some. “It’s really good,” says Paula Hammac, who eats a vegan diet but doesn’t always have time to cook.
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5046 New Centre Dr. (910) 859-7374 8 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
There was also a taste-test of vegan cheese, two of which were made by Andree and two purchased from local stores. Students got to try a variety of dishes, including a quinoa salad with roasted beets, a lentil version of barbecue with cole slaw and a veganized carrot cake. For Barbara Bombar, who is considering eating more plant-based meals, it made the idea easier. “I just didn’t know where to start,” she says. “But here you can try things and know if you like them.”
The Seasoned Gourmet is located at 5500 Market St. #110, (910) 256-9488. www.theseasonedgourmet.com.
More Than Tradition: Aside from sushi, Genki also serves traditional Japanese fare, like Age Tofu BY Shannon Rae Gentry ● Devour assistant editor
“I’m so bad at so many things,” Lana Ke, co-owner of Genki Sushi, quips, “but ‘people’ is my thing.” According to her husband, Chef Danny Ke, they’re goal as restaurateurs is to make every customer feel like family. While sitting across from the husband and wife duo in their quaint restaurant on New Centre Drive, the idea of “family” comes up a lot—maybe more than the traditional Japanese cuisine they’re so known for. The longer we talk, the more clearly intertwined the two become. ● Above: Genki’s Age Tofu. Photo by Lindsey A. Miller Photography 10 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
INDUSTRY The Kes have owned Genki for more than two years now, but have been (in some way or another) in the sushi business for much longer. Chef Danny has been working on his craft for more than two decades. After moving from China to New York City, he started busing tables and worked his way up to “assistant” to his Japanese mentor. He soon became sous chef before relocating to Myrtle Beach, SC, where he met Lana—a native to the area. “He worked at this place called Sugami and he had this wild, crazy blonde hair,” she describes of Danny’s ever-so brief time away from his normally clean-cut, dark quaff. They were married within six months. The couple moved from Myrtle Beach in 2003 so Danny could help open Hiro. Genki (then located in the current Wasabi Sushi on S. College Road) always was a favorite spot for their “date night.” “We had a good relationship with [the previous owners],” Lana tells. “In 2005 (after they moved to the New Centre location), I applied for a job.” While Lana was serving tables, her boss at the time heard a lot about Chef Danny over at Hiro’s. It wasn’t long before he was “head hunted” and brought on to Genki as well. “She told me, ‘I know Danny is very good at sushi,’” Lana recalls upon Danny’s hire. A few years went by and hints of the owners retiring began. When it came down to “passing the torch,” it wasn’t as simple as writing a check and signing the deed. Though the four were close, there was an extensive interview process to ensure a few things: the traditional menu would be preserved and loyal customers would be taken care of. “This was their baby, it was personal,” Lana explains. “And we didn’t want to change anything. This was our favorite restaurant [and] they already had an established clientele that ate with them every week.” At the end of the day, and a meal between the two couples, a simple gesture gave an informal approval. “Danny said in the car on the way home, ‘I think it’s going to be OK because they gave me the last piece of sushi,’” Lana remembers. “For Danny, that was them signaling, ‘I approve of you.’” About three months later Lana and Chef Danny walked through Genki’s doors as its new owners. Lana says it was an almost seamless transfer from the previous owners, who also took time to train her in the kitchen. It’s been an invaluable skill expected in the restaurant industry to help when short-handed at the last minute. “It has been a lifesaver,” she tells. “I learned how to do everything in the kitchen the Japanese way, too—the Japanese-style. I learned a lot about the culture that way.” The philosophy with which Lana was trained, and one she and Chef Danny still subscribe to, is that people eat with their eyes, hands and nose before their mouths. It also provided reasoning and the “why” behind the process. At the end of the day, Lana is front-house leader of the operation and Chef Danny handles back of the house and what’s on the menu. Everything is authentic on Genki’s traditional menu, with very few fried offerings or mayo-based sauces found at many modern hibachi/sushi restaurants. Dishes like Hijiki seaweed salad are favorites for many who seek a taste of authenticity. “Hijiki is an old traditional way,” Chef Danny says. “You can go into a hundred restaurants and people don’t do it anymore. You don’t see it.” The specials lists allow them to cater to diners looking for nontraditional items, like the crunchy crab roll. “My honey made that for me,” Lana says while hugging Danny’s arm. In fact, it’s her favorite roll. “It’s made with pink soy paper— kind of a spin off of crunchy lobster . . . because I like cilantro, which some people don’t like, but he puts extra on mine.” Aside from daily specials, not a lot has changed with the main
menu. The chef’s favorite buckwheat soba noodles is still a healthy option of spinach, green onion, crabstick, and boiled egg in a broth made fresh daily. Chef Danny creates practically everything in house, including his own soy-sauce blend based on a traditional Japanese recipe. It starts with a salty concentrated base and is mixed with various (secret) ingredients—a process which brings its sodium level lower than store-bought low-sodium sauce. It’s a blend especially for sushi. “It’s not overpowering,” Chef Danny adds, “but not too light to bring the taste out of the fish. If it’s too strong, it takes over the fish.” Chef Danny has a fine palate for seafood. He can tell how long a tuna’s been out of water just by looking at its eyeballs. “Eyes, the skin,” he clarifies. “The eyes should be shiny; when they’re cloudy, it’s not sashimi grade. . . . You still can eat it, but it’s not sashimi grade.” “He’s very particular,” Lana continues. “I’ve seen him turn away a 400-pound tuna when we needed tuna that week. . . . Quality means so much; he’s willing to not serve it or turn it away if it’s not up to par.” Chef Danny says a fish’s taste can change even with the slightest rise in temperature. Not just in taste or smell but texture—even if the rice the fish sits upon is too warm. “It tastes different from there traveling to here,” Chef Danny says, gesturing from the sushi bar back to the table in the dining area. “When you take it to go, also the tastes change because the temperatures change.” Quality standards don’t end at fresh fish and vegetables, either. Chef Danny uses his own favorite (undisclosed) brand of shortgrain rice. While any brand, and perhaps longer-grain rice, could be used for sushi, none of it would be found in Genki’s kitchen. “The brand that we use specializes in sushi rice only,” Chef Danny divulges. “It’s more fat, plumper; the texture is better. The quality is better than the other brand of rice.” Assembly and cooking method are just as important as quality of ingredients. If Chef Danny’s too-heavy handed or forceful with the rice, it could break down. Measurements, too, are key. Finding the right ratios of rice to other ingredients isn’t always easy for a novice, but Danny’s able to eyeball the process. “I can control and figure it out by hand,” he describes with gestures that mimick his process. They are techniques he teaches students in sushi workshops at the restaurant. For folks who want to learn more about the artistry of sushi, Danny emphasizes everything from how to eat sushi to preparation details, which start with proper tools. “Just like when teaching people from beginning to the end, preparation is very important for the food,” he says. “If the knife is not sharp enough, you not cut the veggie. I squeeze the veggie . . . When the knife is good, I can cut the veggies very fine and the texture in the end is different.” Lana and Danny have been married for 15 years now. The two seem to effortlessly complement one another; finishing each other’s sentences. However, marriage and owning a restaurant are admittedly not always ideal bedfellows. “It has added stress,” Lana admits, “but it’s also helped us in the sense that we get to spend more time with each other. We never used to see each other. Now we have to figure out when we have a day off [laughs].” “[Lana’s] sometime difficult to work with,” Chef Danny jokes. Lana snickers beside him. “It’s a different kind of mind, and how we do stuff. I have my way and she has her ways of doing things. She’s tough.” “I’m a tough boss?” Lana interjects. “I think he’s a tough boss. I’m tactful.” Lana jokes she has to warn new hires of Danny’s blunt, straightFALL 2016 | DEVOUR 11
INDUSTRY forward feedback and particular standards and work ethic. In a way, it makes it tough to find people when there are vacancies within, but all worthwhile once they find a good fit. What she’s been most thankful for in these past few years has been stellar staffing. “I cannot even begin to tell you about the people who God has put in my path to help me with our restaurant,” she tells. “They want to work, they care about us, we care about them; they have become a part of our family.” Those relationships, Lana says, continue to grow and thrive because of a few reasons. There’s no micromanaging and they all have fun as a team. Genki staff also are paid a living wage. Sustainable income equals a sustainable workforce. “We don’t have a lot of people, but we pay them well,” Lana states, “so they hang out with us for a long time. We tell them our numbers, and they help us reach our goals. Every night when we close out, they’ll say, ‘What did we make?’ And if we’ve missed [our goal,] they’re upset. If we’ve met or exceeded it, we all jump and have a party. . . . That just makes my heart jump because they care that much.” As the self-proclaimed “people person,” Lana is also Genki’s full-time customer-service department. She’ll stop by a table to make sure there was nothing wrong with two pieces of sushi left on a platter. If an online review is negative, she’ll reach out to understand what happened and rectify the situation if she can. “Nobody is allowed to leave unhappy,” Lana asserts. “Just trying to make sure every person has a good time and has nothing bad
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● Genki sushi sampler. Photo by Lindsey A. Miller Photography to say is so important to me. It’s important you care enough about your customers because you’re customers are your business.” “You care for people first, money will come,” Chef Danny adds. A lot of restaurants would take regular business, loyal staff and clientele as a sign to open another location. Right now their 14-year-old daughter Sophia and younger son Levi keep the restaurateurs busy as well. Chef Danny teases the idea of expansion, but until he and Lana can be in two kitchens at once, folks will have to wait indefinitely for another Genki.
Genki is located at 4724 New Centre Dr. #5; (910) 796-8687. www.genkisushiwilmington.com
FALL 2016 | DEVOUR 13
Leading the Organic Way: Ivanhoe farm sets the standard for organic farming for 15 years BY Linda Grattafiori ● Devour contributor
Stefan Hartmann—owner and operator of the 16-acre certified Black River Organic Farm in Ivanhoe, NC—has set the bar for organic and local farmers in southeastern North Carolina for more than 15 years. Using scientific methods of composting and rotation, Hartmann and his staff plant a selection of traditional and heirloom vegetables, which give the best quality and taste. His hard and thoughtful work has inspired a large community response, including a devoted following at the Downtown Wilmington’s Riverfront Farmers’ Market. ● Above: Janet Hosey works the Riverfront Farmers’ Market for Black River Organic Farm; (right) a bounty of peppers are ready for market. 14 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
INDUSTRY “Every Saturday morning (at the corner of Princess and Water streets), I have a following of regular customers who make a beeline for my produce stand,” Hartmann says. “Supporting local organic farmers is the best thing people can do if they really want to help promote the small farmer and sustain regional agriculture. Otherwise, the excess has to go to our wholesale company (ECO-HUB in Durham), and the local farmer has a hard time making any profits.” This fall Black River’s produce at the market includes pumpkins, sweet potatoes, Asian mustards, arugula, kohlrabi, kale, collards, lettuce mix, braising greens, radishes, turnips, and broccoli. Several local restaurant chefs also use Hartmann’s veggies in their recipes. Executive chef Dean Neff of PinPoint (114 Market St.) is a big fan and makes a special called “Black River Organics Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple Soup,” made with sweet-potato green-pumpkin seed pesto and urfa chili. “We have seen a real increase in restaurant sales,” Hartmann says. “Brasserie du Soleil and Circa 1922 are big supporters. James and William Doss of Rx and Pembroke are staunch advocates of organic and local farmers and are extremely dedicated. Dean Neff has made PinPoint Restaurant one of the best eateries in our area.” Lovey’s Natural Foods and Café and Tidal Creek Co-op also buy produce from Hartmann. Both offer a hot bar and salad bar, with vegan and vegetarian choices. Just as well, Hartmann has motivated the Southeastern NC Food Systems program (SENCFS), known as “Feast Down East.” The nonprofit helps small farmers sustain and build their farms, and connects them with local markets and restaurants. “We work with about 40 farmers in a 100-mile radius from our home base at UNCW,” executive director Jane Steigerwald says. “We deliver every Tuesday and Thursday at the Food Hub in Burgaw at the historic train depot. We use an 80/20-percent system, with the higher figure going back to the farmer. Stefan has been with us since the beginning.” One SENCFS member, Brittany Taggart, organized Crop Mob—a group of wannabe farmers and other volunteers who harvested elephant garlic at Black River this past June in return for “a very good meal.” Hartmann’s concerns for the environment extend both world and state-wide, and he is one of the 70 farm members to comprise ECOHUB in Durham, N.C. ECO-HUB markets and distributes wholesale Carolina organic farm produce to retailers, restaurants and buying clubs. Hartmann has helped ECO-HUB grow from a $240,000 business in 2004 to a $3 million-plus operation today, with 80 percent of sales going right back to the growers. Buyers get fresh organic veggies, herbs and fruits, along with the knowledge they’re helping farmers protect their family land. Hartmann has encouraged interns from “all over the place,” and right now has Justin Stocks Brill from Washington, D.C., working as his apprentice. A grateful young man, Brill says, “Stefan is like the Yoda of organic farming. He successfully keeps things simple and practical and is a master of efficiency. His heart is not just in his work, but in the community around him. I consider it a privilege: the days I get to spend on his farm, learning from him.” “Farmers’ markets have exploded and organic farming has increased dramatically during the past 10 years because people are demanding healthier food,” Hartmann tells. “In the Rose Hill area alone, there are several large farms, some as big as 300 acres.” While the impact of the Farmer’s Almanac or the position of the moon in planting affects some farmers, Hartmann is dedicated to cultivating and overseeing the land daily. “The moon does impact germination of seed, but in this farmer’s life, I plant every week,” he clari-
fies. “I grow 50 different vegetables, using meticulous crop rotation. Rye, clover and fetch are used as cover crops to control weeds, and being good stewards, we do not irrigate if we’ve had sufficient rain.” The “we” includes Nadia Garcia, Black River Organic’s foreman, her sons and a few other part-time staff. During harvest, seasonal workers are hired to make the job timely.
The flooding of Black River due to Hurricane Matthew was devastating to Black River Organic Farm. Greenhouses are nearly full of water and parts of the farm totally are submerged. They are now collecting donations via Go Fund Me at www.gofundme.com/save-black-riverorganic-farm-2u3zyvg.
Black River Organics Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple Soup
Courtesy of Dean Neff, PinPoint Restaurant Sweet Potato Green Pesto 1 c cleaned and blanched sweet-potato greens (see instructions on big pot blanching) ½ c toasted pumpkin seeds 1 c olive oil (may be cut ½ and ½ with pumpkin seed oil) 1 tsp chopped thyme 1 tbsp chopped sage 2 tbsp chopped parsley
FALL 2016 | DEVOUR 15
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2 tsp lemon juice ½ tsp lemon zest Big pot blanching: This technique is especially important when blanching green vegetables. The goal is to quickly cook the green vegetables and still retain the brilliant green color. Big pot blanching requires three important steps: First, the water needs to be at a rolling boil. Avoid putting too much of the greens in the boiling water at a time, as not to cool down the boil and have the green color fade to brown. Second, salt the water at a ratio of ¼ cup of kosher salt to 1 gallon of water. Third, quickly and totally submerge the greens into iced water. With leafy items, squeeze out all of the residual water before using.
Sweet Potato Soup 2 tbsp olive oil 1 quart medium diced sweet potatoes 1 tart apple, peeled, cored and diced 1 large white leek, chopped 2 stalks chopped celery 1 bay leaf, star anise pod, small bunch of thyme, and rosemary tied with twine 2 quarts low sodium vegetable stock plus 1 c reserved 1 c of cream ¼ c honey ½ tsp orange zest Salt and pepper to taste Directions: In a large non-reactive soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil and the diced sweet potatoes. Gently cook the sweet potatoes, and stir only when they are beginning to brown (about 8 minutes). Add the apple, leek and celery, and cook for another 8 minutes over mediumlow heat. Add the herb and spice bouquet, stock, cream, honey, and orange zest. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove the bouquet, and puree as finely as possible. Press and strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve. Adjust the consistency if needed with reserved vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper. Top with sweet potato pesto and a light sprinkle of mild dark chili flakes, like urfa or ancho. Serve piping hot!
16 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
Black River Organic Farm is located at 4457 Ivanhoe Rd, Ivanhoe, NC. (910) 532-2437. www.blackriverorganicfarm.com
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* Unaffiliated with Porter's neck location.
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FALL 2016 | DEVOUR 17
Local chefs talk childhood dishes that inspire them BY Fanny Slater ● Devour contributor
everal years ago I submitted an application for a national cookbook competition held by the world’s most well-known food television personality. I focused my potential book on a theme I called “Tastes like Childhood,” and I’ll never forget that shaky, surreal moment on the Riverwalk when my cell phone rang and Rachael Ray was on the other end. “You’re in,” she said. I made the top five. My concept wasn’t groundbreaking. I knew it; she knew it. It was simply a universal idea that everyone could relate to. After several rounds of televised competition, I won the grand prize. I spent the next few years manifesting a recipe scrapbook of my life that recreated and told the anecdotes of my deliciously weird youth (embarrassing photos included). As I dug into my thoughts for the fall edition of Devour, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of our beloved Wilmington chefs had similar stories to tell. I know firsthand that foodies don’t just sprout out of nowhere. We’re often sparked by mouth-watering memories that have stuck with us though our food-obsessed lives. So I set out on a mission to discover which nostalgic flavors “tasted like childhood” for our town’s most renowned culinarians. Most importantly: What
• Right: Dean Neff hooking the daily catch at Wrightsville Beach, just like in the days of his youth (inset; courtesy photo). • Next page: Jessica Cabo still gets messy with her mom’s homemade spaghetti, just as she did when she was in diapers (inset; courtesy photo). Photos by Lindsey A. Miller Photography
18 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
would those dishes look like today? •
Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day. Teach a boy to fish, and he’ll eventually be featured in Southern Living Magazine. I asked PinPoint’s chef, Dean Neff, to evoke one of his most cherished food moments, and an earnest grin—about as wide as a 6-foot bluefish—unfolded across his face. I later sat down to reflect on our seafood-centric conversation, but couldn’t stop his words “sweet jorts” from ringing in my ears. As a kid who wore sweet jorts and happily devoured sardines, this Georgia boy never has been a stranger to the ocean’s bounty. In fact, his earliest recollection of reeling in (and dishing out) fresh catch stems from the very picture illustrated on the previous page, showcasing his first seaside score. Some might see the vintage snapshot of a proud fisher-boy on Tybee Island as nothing more than a vacation memory. But for Neff the precious moment caught in time laid the groundwork for what would ultimately be his life’s calling. From one flavorful burst of words to another, Neff reminisced on the original preparation that took place once the shutter lens closed. “Seared, broiled, lemon, black pepper, butter,” he noted. From that point on, he was hooked. Diners can literally taste his passion in every bite of the thoughtfully prepared food he creates at PinPoint. To pay homage to his first salt-water victory—and his childhood neighborhood’s signature scent (burning pine needles)—Neff serves an eclectic composition of grilled and pine-straw-smoked bluefish with tangy shrimp escabeche, citrus radish, roasted peanut Romesco, and charred shishito peppers, with lemon-herb vinaigrette. As the youngest of four, Neff found his happy place in front of the stove to fuse whatever ingredients he could find. Although he admits some of these early attempts may not be as masterful as PinPoint’s local beef tartare with soy-pickled beech mushrooms and caper aioli his customers go gaga for, his fire was lit nonetheless. • • • • • In an extra tall highball glass, combine one-part Southern homeboy with two parts rock star and a dash of local seafood. Shake, strain, and garnish with sliced tomatoes. I call this concoction: One Bad Chef. “All of my parents and grandparents have been gone for 20
plus years,” Catch’s restaurateur and chef, Keith Rhodes, said. “This meal brings me back to their company.” I watched the glow in Rhodes’ kind eyes brighten as we dove head first into his earliest edible memories. “They say you can’t go back in time,” he declared, as he shook his head while vividly recalling a blaring spot filet being lifted from a pan of glistening oil. It seemed he was proving that time travel does, in fact, exist. “Back then, there was always a whole fish crispy fried with buttery grits, sliced tomatoes, and a jar of pepper vinegar on the table,” he continued. A native of the Port City and an advocate for all ingredients our land and sea have to offer, Keith made his mark as a leader in the community’s food scene during his early days at Deluxe—Wilmington’s fine dining restaurant once located where PinPoint now resides. Yet, he branched out on his own with Catch, opened a few more restaurants thereafter and even made a stint on Top Chef Texas in the early 2010s. Today, between the always-lively Catch Restaurant and its mobile sister Catch the Food Truck (known for zipping around town slinging crazy fresh eats like fried catfish tacos), it’s clear this is a dude who digs seafood. At 19, Keith married his sweetheart, Angela—who now handles the marketing for Catch. In their home kitchen, he stuck to the rhythm of the fish-and-grits basics his grandfather taught him. Once he entered the restaurant industry, his culinary curiosity took flight. As Rhodes schooled me on authentic eastern Carolina fare, he announced, “To me, catfish is home—and it’s all about fish and grits!” Most Southern chefs elect shrimp to pile atop a mound of the creamy cornmeal blend, but not this hometown hero. As an ode to his grandfather’s classic preparation of fish and grits, which was “cooked with love and seasoned to perfection,” Rhodes whipped up tangy tartar sauce-topped, cornmeal-crusted spot filets and vibrant heirloom tomatoes (to mimic the red rounds from back-in-the-day). However, if he were serving it at Catch, he would modernize it with butternut squash, Vervain-Basil pistou and pippin apple. •
What better way to extract adolescent food stories from a friend, who also happens to be of one Wilmington’s most talented chefs, than over a couple of afternoon brews on Front Street? I clinked my fizzy golden IPA into Jessica Cabo’s maroon-tinted Elderberry Sour. Cabo—executive chef of East Oceanfront Dining at the Wrightsville Beach Blockade Runner—swigged her dark beer and snickered as she yanked a faded photograph from between the pages of a book. “And I’m not even Italian!” she shouted as we doubled over laughing at the image of an adorable, curly-haired blonde baby in the midst of a marinara-and-meat-sauce explosion. FALL 2016 | DEVOUR 19
EAT Growing up on Long Island, Cabo was familiar with coastal cuisine always. But no way in hell would fish sticks be found on this kid’s plate. As she recounts never having glanced at a children’s menu, a tale of one of her earliest and most favorite food memories comes at age 6—when she ordered a rich, garlicky platter of ... escargot? “It’s likely I also asked for a Shirley Temple,” she said, “and I swiped bread through every last bite of that buttery sauce! It’s not like it was a Happy Meal.” Cabo adored watching her mom (a self-taught kitchen connoisseur) prepare everything from Hungarian goulash to tuna casserole. Both parents had a hand in producing some of Cabo’s most delectable moments. As she summonsed memories of her dad’s mussel-and-clam-infused boils, I felt her gaze extend beyond me and land in the past (most likely inside a giant seafood-perfumed pot). After bouncing from East to West Coast and back, and honing her culinary skills under superior mentors, Cabo’s cuisine became as fun, fresh and funky as the imaginative kitchen wizard herself. “I’m most definitely an experimental chef,” she proclaimed. Tinkering with techniques and ingredients from different genres, like Californian fare, Asian eats, and vegetarian diets, her colorful modern-day creations can only be described as “art you can eat.” To Cabo her childhood tastes like her mom’s signature pasta and meat sauce (no canned Spaghettio’s here). So with a helping hand from tons of local herbs, she now re-interprets this dish by
• Keith Rhodes taking a seat in his restaurant, Catch, instead of at his family’s kitchen table, like he did in childhood (inset; courtesy photo). Lindsey A. Miller Photography
Mon. - Fri. 1/2 OFF Appetizers 4-6pm
Sunday Brunch 11-3pm
Friday Live Music on Patio 6-9pm
5500 Market St. • 910-769-1798 www.johnnylukeskb.com 20 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
using varying ground proteins and a scratch-made red sauce perfumed with vibrant opal basil and earthy, garden-fresh oregano. Each time Cabo steps foot in the kitchen, she finds it’s an opportunity to educate herself on different methods of cooking. “I switch from beef to lamb to pork to chorizo, and recently I’ve even (successfully) tried out vegetarian meatballs with spinach, artichoke, and quinoa.” Despite her non-Italian roots, Cabo’s marinara-infused memories are the catalyst for a lifelong respect of finding creativity and comfort in the kitchen.
Catch Modern Seafood is located at 6623 Market St. (910) 7993847. www.catchwilmington.com Blockade Runner’s East Oceanfront Dining is located at 275 Waynick Blvd., Wrightsville Beach, NC. (910) 256-2251. www. blockade-runner.com/dining-br/east-oceanfront-dining PinPoint Restaurant is located downtown at 114 Market St. (910) 769-2972. www.pinpointrestaurant.com
Interested in having your food photographed for Devour? Call Tiffany(910-791-0688) to find out how to reserve your space in our Food Porn section, and have Lindsey Miller Photography take exclusive photos of your decadent dishes.
EAT! Recipes to try at home
Food Your Feelings: Local blogger shares latest round of recipes from her kitchen BY Emily Caulfield ● Devour contributor, Food Your Feelings blogger, http://dearemilycaulfield.wordpress.com.
It is a mad scientist’s power that comes from making something wonderful and brand new. A singular dish that was just a grocery list of disparate ingredients, moments or hours before. The golden, shimmering alchemy of cooking is one of the ways I fill my life with warmth and light. I cook home food; no molecular gastronomics, no loopy swirls on the plate. It is a remarkable thing to be confident in providing for yourself—not just surviving, but creating, often out of very little, a feast, nourishing and magnificent in its rustic simplicity. AUTUMN APPLE TART WITH HERBS AND SPICES This isn’t really a recipe as much as it is an invitation—to a harvest-time ritual, a celebration of the earth’s and local farmers’ hard work, a deeply warming, easily made way to show yourself and those around you dearness and affection.
Ingredients: Classic Tart Dough 2 c flour ½ tsp salt 1 ½ sticks ice cold unsalted butter, cubed ½ c ice water for the tart 2-3 lbs apples, sliced quarter-inch thick Spices, herbs (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, thyme, rosemary, whatever you love) 4 tbsps sugar 1 egg, lightly beaten with a splash of cold water Method: Cut the butter into the flour and salt mixture with your hands. Just rub the cubes of butter into the flour with your thumbs and index fingers until the mixture is crumbly like sand, leaving a few biggish lumps. Next, slowly pour about ¾ of the ice water down the sides of the bowl, and rake the mixture with a fork until the dough begins to form large clumps. Pat the clumps into a ball and split it in two. Wrap each half in plastic and let them chill in the fridge for a half hour; you’ll only be using one for this tart. Meanwhile, core and peel at least five apples. Sierra Beauties, Pippins, Pink Ladies, Cameos, Granny Smith. Maybe a medley. Whatever you want, whatever’s your favorite, whatever you can rustle up. Toss the apples with ground cinnamon and cloves, ginger and lemon, rosemary and thyme. A couple big spoonfuls of sugar help bring out their natural sweetness, but don’t overdo it. Let them souse while you roll out the dough. 22 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
Roll dough out on a cool, lightly floured surface with a rolling pin or a clean wine bottle. Start in the center and roll outward. It’s OK if it cracks! Brush the disk with your egg wash before you lay down any apples, that will help the dough stand up to the fruit’s juiciness without getting soggy. Preheat the oven to 400 and get to it! Arrange the apples in rows or a wreath—again, whatever you like. Just make sure the fruit is overlapping, and covers enough: It will shrink in the oven. When you’re finished, fold up the edges of the dough over the fruit, and brush with melted butter. Dollop melted butter on the apples, too, and then sprinkle sugar over the crust and fruit. Bake it on the lowest rack in the oven for 45 minutes or so until the apples are baked and steamy, and the bottom of the pastry is golden brown. That’s it! Eat up. And don’t forget to share.
GEORGIAN EGGPLANT AND TOMATO STEW WITH SOFT HERBS Rather than play a supporting character, herbs really co-star in this tra-
EAT 2 tbsps fish sauce (nam pla) 2 c seafood stock 1 tbsp white sugar 1 1/2 tsp turmeric 1 bunch bok choy, julienned 1 bunch cilantro, chopped finely juice of 1-2 limes
ditional Georgian stew called “Ajapsandali.” It’s light yet flavorful, tremendously satisfying and perfect for late-summer, early-fall evenings as the weather begins to turn a bit cool.
Ingredients: 1 large eggplant, skinned and diced 1 can diced tomatoes 1 red bell pepper, diced 6 oz new potatoes 1 large sweet onion, diced 1 dried bay leaf 1 small bunch fresh spinach 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley 1 small bunch dill Minced garlic clove Few glugs olive oil Salt and pepper Method: In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium and add onions and bay leaf; cook 2-3 minutes until onions begin to soften. Add the eggplant, potatoes, and garlic; cook for 5-10 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Stir gently to combine and cook another 5 minutes. The red pepper goes in next. Tthen cover the pot and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are tender but not mush. Meanwhile, chop your dill and parsley, and julienne your spinach. When you’re ready to eat (and make sure you have fresh crispy, crunchy soppin’ bread on deck!), remove from heat, and fold in the greens. Bon appetit! Or maybe I should say, “modit chama.” Either way, it’s good eats in Tiblisi. THAI SQUASH AND SALMON CURRY I adapted this recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Pumpkin and Seafood Curry—something I’ve long wanted to try but never got around to for some insane reason. It’s totally simple and crazy fast to make, and yet as exotic and exciting as a trip down the Mekong.
Ingredients: 1 lb wild caught salmon, skinned and cubed 3/4 lb butternut squash, diced medium 2 tbsps hot red Thai curry paste 1 can coconut milk 3 stalks lemon grass, bruised and split with the flat of your knife 3 kaffir lime leaves, snipped into strips
Method: Heat a large pot or dutch oven to medium, and whisk together the coconut milk and curry paste until combined. Add the stock, fish sauce, sugar, turmeric, lime leaves, and lemongrass. Bring all this goodness just to a boil; then add the squash. Simmer for about 15 minutes and add the salmon. The fish should only take about 4 or 5 minutes to cook, and when that’s done, gently fold in the shredded bok choy until it’s wilted through. Take it off the heat and stir in the juice of one lime—sometimes, you need a little extra, in which case add the juice of one more. Sprinkle the cilantro before serving and buckle up! It’s a wild ride down the Mekong. SMASHBURGERS This isn’t my recipe or idea, but it’s very possibly the most important food breakthrough I’ve made this past year. It’s going to change your burger life, so listen up! Kenji Lopez Alt of Serious Eats Food Lab explains it like this: “Duh, you’re never supposed to press on your burger, lest you lose all those beautiful, burgery juices. But what if you smash it down as soon as it hits the hot pan or griddle, before it has a chance to plump up and gain juices to lose? This way, you gain exponentially more surface area on which to maximize the best part about a burger: that flavorful, wonderful crust.”
Ingredients (for one burger): 4 ounces grassfed ground beef, split into two 2-oz patties 2 tsp dijon mustard 1 hamburger bun, buttered and toasted 1 or 2 slices melting cheese (American, cheddar, fontina...) Salt and pepper Toppings: I’d keep it classic: lettuce, tomato, and/or onion and that’ssss about it. Method: Get that pan nice and hot, and pop in those two little patties! With a metal spatula, smash each patty until it’s super thin without breaking up entirely. They should be slightly larger than the bun. Season with salt and pepper as soon as they’re flattened. While they cook, spread dijon on each one. Cook about 1 1/2-2 minutes, until they’re browned. Flip both and cook another 2 minutes while you get your bun and toppings ready on your plate. Place cheese slices on top of one patty and stack the other on top. Pull them both and place on the bun. Add toppings if you want, then cap it all off with the top of that gorgeous toasty bun. That’s it! The best fast-food burger imaginable, and I cannot stress this more. I can’t sing the praises enough! Please, try it. You’ll never look back. FALL 2016 | DEVOUR 23
Cocktails and Conversations History from behind the pine BY Joel Finsel ● Devour contributor, mixologist and author of ‘Cockatils and Conversations from the Astral Plane’
come from a long line of bartenders. My older brother, Josh, always had a paint can full of loose change and lit his cigarettes from the burner of the gas stove. He tended bar in his 20s. I idolized him. He even helped me land my first job, washing dishes at a restaurant called Trainer’s Inn, while he entertained his regulars out front. I was 16 and wasn’t going to come by money any other way. I realized this after asking Dad for a few dollars to take a girl to the movies. He reached into his jeans and gave me all he had: mostly change. “Here,” he said, offering the coins. “It should be enough for an ice cream.” I knew if I wanted a girlfriend, I needed a job. I showed up at the restaurant after high school let out. The chef was in his early 30s. He liked heavy-metal music and wore an eyebrow ring. On my first day, he pointed to two huge sinks, a Tetris-maze of pot-and-pan-handles protruding out of brown-congealed muck. I held my nose and sunk my hand in deep to probe the bottom for a plug to pull but found only gooey chunks blocking the drain. Gagging, I cleared the line. The disgusting water gurgled its way down. Chef occasionally sniffed cocaine as he worked. After tweaking a line, he often came at me with his personality enlarged, egging me on to invite girls from my class to hang out in his hot-tub after hours. Sometimes he ordered me to make pomme frites. I would first have to peel the eyes off the potatoes and scrub them with a brush. The cutter looked like an indus-
• Right: Joel Finsel • Next page: Finsel’s grandfather, Oscar Dotter, behind the bar at his speakeasy.
24 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
trial garlic press mounted on a wall in the basement. I stuck the spud inside and pulled down a kind of sharp metal grid that cut the Yukon gold into long thin pieces. Once the guests started to arrive, I would move to the machine near the servers’ dirty dish drop-off station. It was fun at first—to shoot water using the overhead rinsing wand—but it got old. I was working one afternoon when my brother’s girlfriend peeked in the back to see if the rumors were true. “You work here?” she asked, her eyes scanning my wet apron. It hit me, suddenly, that I was being judged. “Inglorious scullery,” I cursed. I knew then if I wanted a girlfriend, I needed to get out of the kitchen and behind the bar as soon as I was legal. It didn’t occur to me then, but long before my brother shook his first drink, our parents once co-owned a dive bar in the Pocono Mountains. It was in the town of White Haven, which is basically a single commercial street up on the banks of the Lehigh River. Their bar was on the far end, near a trailhead with a path that wound along the river where the old railroad tracks used to be. If you followed it for a few miles outside of town, it led to a quartz mine. The bar had a pool table and a photo on the wall of George Thorogood playing pool—the local claim to fame. “Bad to the Bone” was definitely on the jukebox. It also had a video poker machine that paid out cash; although, I’m pretty sure I knew, even at my prepubescent age, that it was illegal. My parents smoked cigarettes by the pack back then, the butts piling up in the black ashtray on the cement step outside. They rarely let us inside the place, unless the sun was still out. One of my few memories is of an old man wetting himself one afternoon while sitting on a stool and my aunt escorting him out. I think my parents had fun with the business for a while. They once hired a car to drive them all the way to Philadelphia for a Grateful Dead show with their partners. Then, after the night one hell-bent customer shot his gun through the glass door, they sold their share. It’s even crazier to think my grandparents before them once owned a roadhouse, the Fireside Inn—the perfect mountain getaway for all their old Philadelphia friends. They had a good run for a while, attracting those seeking weekend escapes. Some ran a tab for the entire weekend, including meals and accommodation upstairs. For an extra fee, my grandfather would sometimes hunt, skin, and butcher a deer for select friends and send them home
with a cooler of fresh meat. When I asked my grandmother about the place recently, she said she once had to make over a hundred ham sandwiches for a parade of Hells Angels who just happened to stop in one afternoon for lunch. The bikers were even kind enough to send one of their own prospects in the kitchen to help her prepare the food. My grandparents lost the place after my grandmother stabbed a customer with a grill-fork. The drunk was making lewd gestures toward her and got a little too close, she said. His lawyer saw it differently. My grandparents were forced to sell. When I brought up the story to my mother, she went on to tell me about how my great-grandparents owned a speakeasy. All she knew about it was from a pair of grainy photographs. The bar looked like the cross-section of a locomotive inside a narrow room. A man wearing a suit stood beside it with a rack of what looked like postcards on the wall. All I could notice was the absence of bottles.
1.5 oz. your favorite bourbon 1 oz. Carpano Antica sweet vermouth 1 oz. Campari
Pour the above ingredients over ice in a mixing glass and stir for about 20 seconds. Either strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass, or serve up in a pre-chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with a Luxardo cherry and a generous swatch of orange peel twisted on the top of the drink to expel all of its essential oils. Lighting the oils on fire for a flaming twist is a crowd-pleasing option. Veteran bartender Joel Finser is the author of “Cocktails and Conversations from the Astral Plane.” Feel free to send questions or comments to email@example.com.
ie Want to list your food ganization, or event, tour, class, or xt edition? fundraiser in our ne Post your event online by Jan. 1 through encore’s calendar, which populates Devour’s calendar. Head to www.encorepub.com, click calendar, add event, and follow the directions. FALL 2016 | DEVOUR 25
THE KEG! Reviews and rambles on brew
ILM’s Second Brewpub Opens: Bill’s Front Porch serves up homemade brews and food BY Bethany Turner ● Devour contributor “If you’re not having fun doing this, you’re in the wrong profession,” quips Donnie Stone, one part of the familyowned and -operated Bill’s Front Porch Pub and Brewery. While the same could be said for pursuing any career path, there’s a general air to the beer business that exudes a carefree, lighthearted passion. After all, one merely is selling a good time at a bar, right? Well, yes and no. As consumers become more enchanted with breweries—likewise, breweries are developing more guest-friendly taprooms—folks are learning there’s a lot more to the business than just throwing back suds. Brewing is a physical labor and chemical science as much as it is a creative art. Managing all of the moving parts of a successful brewpub can be strenuous. Still, it wasn’t anything owners John and Erin Musser would shy away from. If their names sound familiar, well, they should. Since 1992 the Mussers have owned Capt’n Bill’s Backyard Grill—the spot on Market Street known for its 10 sand volleyball courts and refreshment-laden tiki bar. Some Wilmingtonians may even remember the Mussers’ earliest ventures in the space that is now Bill’s Front Porch, the building in front of Capt’n Bill’s. In 1983 John’s father, Bill, and Neal Musser opened The Original 220 Seafood at 4238 Market Street. Over the next decade, it faced a few different adaptations—The Rusty Pelican and Musser’s Seafood and BBQ—before being leased to El Vaquero through 2009. When the Mexican restaurant closed, the Mussers renovated the space into a banquet hall to host wedding receptions and high-school reunions alike. Through the catering menu, locals got a taste of John’s homemade fried chicken recipe—and the demand was high. Yet, the space remained a seasonal event room. Donnie is the Mussers’ son-in-law, married to their daughter,
• Above: (l. to r.) Head brewer Jim Deato, GMs Donnie and Brooks Stone, owners Erin and John Musser, Bill the dog, GM Kaitlyn Freeman, assistant Charlie Freeman, and kitchen manager Joel Marinucci. • Next page: Marinucci handmade pretzels. • Page 28: Bill’s flight of beers: Profusion IPA, Mosaic IPA, Blonde Ale, Shoreline Stout, ESB (Extra Special Bitter, Traditional English Ale). Photos by Lindsey Miller Photography
26 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
Brookes. His interest in craft beer grew from his years bartending at Fat Tony’s. “My passion came about as I tried new beers,” Donnie tells. “When the beer scene in North Carolina started growing, it took a grip on me. This is something we can be proud about: North Carolina is turning into the craft beer state.” After a trip brewery-hopping in Asheville, Donnie and Brookes seriously began to discuss their dream of opening a North Carolinafocused bottle shop and taproom. “We sent Erin and John to Asheville because they were just starting to notice these breweries were becoming a big deal,” Donnie adds. “They were really taken aback by not only how many breweries were up there, but how successful they were, and the range of ages and demographics of people who are attending these places.” Upon their return, they were off to Atlantic Brew Supply—a sister company of Raleigh Brewing. They were looking for fermenters. “John’s one of those guys who jumps in with two feet and doesn’t look back,” Donnie continues. Landing on a seven-barrel system, the Musser family moved forward, and over the next year gutted the space down from its 1980s drop-tile ceiling and turned it into the warm, wooden landscape it is today. “The only thing that’s still intact is the kitchen,” Donnie explains. “Everything else we stripped down to concrete slab floor and cinderblock walls. Everyone’s first question is, ‘Who did the wood in here?’ And it’s our buddy, Daniel Butler.”
Head Brewer Jim got a silver medal at the Carolina Championship of Beer for the ‘Black Friday’—coffee chocolate, maple syrup, oatmeal stout that will be on nitro at Bill’s Front Porch.
Daniel’s work is seen every“It’s a popular style coming where from a carved bear statue up right now,” Donnie begins. to a roughly 125-year-old farm “It is an IPA that uses a lot door behind the taps. Everything more hops than the average is made from repurposed wood. IPA. In most beer, you don’t “The walls were hand done, dry hop until after fermentapiece by piece, nail by nail,” Dontion is done, and you don’t —Donnie Stone, GM, Bills’ Front Porch nie reminds. dry hop in the bright tanks Donnie and Brookes were ineither—those are mostly used spired by Charlotte’s Sycamore for clarification. The New EngBrewing, which has a mountain cabin vibe. It’s cozy and relaxing all- land IPA has hop additions not only in the kettle, when you’re boilaround. “We want you to walk in here, with our staff as friendly as ing, but we dry hop ours during fermentation, after fermentation, they can possibly be, and we want you to kick your feet up and and in the bright tanks. It’s a very hazy, cloudy IPA. Very juicy, not as relax,” Donnie tells. “You’re not just coming in here for a quick bite bitter, thanks to the certain hops used in this style post-boil. From to eat and running out—which you can do. But we want it to feel like the time it goes in the fermenter, there’s going to be hops in the home in here.” beer all the way until it hits the keg.” When it comes to the beer, Donnie has been homebrewing for The brewery will have upcoming seasonals, including a breakfast years. He likes to play a part in the process, but he knew Bill’s Front stout, which Donnie believes will turn into a Black Friday staple. “Jim Porch would need help from a master brewer. “I thought I knew a got a silver medal at the Carolina Championship of Beer for that good amount about making beer until our head brewer, Jim Dea- one,” he praises. “It’s a coffee, chocolate, maple syrup, oatmeal ton, came along,” Donnie muses. Deaton was the head brewer of stout that will be on nitro.” Blowing Rock Brewing Company outside of Boone. A graduate of Meanwhile, folks can expect special releases to coincide with Appalachian State, with a degree in business, he worked his way up large charity functions taking place at Capt’n Bill’s. For charity tourfrom waiting tables at Blowing Rock to being taken under the wing naments, a dollar from each pour of that special beer will be donatof their brewmaster. ed. “The Grapefruit IPA will be going to Joe’s Bucket Bash, [where “Obviously we needed someone who was going to be completely proceeds benefit an individual battling cancer]. We are brewing a focused on making beer, and Jim has been wonderful so far,” Don- hibiscus honey wheat for Love is Bald, [an organization supporting nie tells. “We’re coming out with what we feel is a good product. cancer patients and their families], and the six pounds of hibiscus He was very limited at Blowing Rock and that was a huge factor of will turn it pink.” why he wanted to come down, for new scenery and he has family Bill’s Front Porch is only Wilmington’s second brewpub, joining down here—and he can spread his wings a little bit. He knows his the ranks of Front Street Brewery. Many local breweries often host stuff for sure.” Donnie calls the Mosaic IPA the pub’s top seller, followed closely by the Mango Wheat, ESB and Scotch Ale. The brewpub started with six beers on tap after opening June 21, and expanded to more than two dozen just over the last few months. Guests can always expect a fresh, unique beer to be flowing. “That’s something we’re looking forward to: not being complacent or predictable,” Donnie urges. “We want to always do something new. Who wants to do the same beer over and over again? Yeah, the Mosaic IPA, we’re not going to mess with that every other week, but there’s not a week that goes by we aren’t asking ourselves, ‘What are we going to do next?’” Namely, they played around with 20 pounds of golden raisins soaked in Cruzan Dark Rum for their Belgian Dubbel, “Raisin the Dubb.” Bill’s Front Porch will be the first to release a New England IPA in the area, too. FALL 2016 | DEVOUR 27
IMBIBE food trucks instead of investing in the costs of a fully run kitchen. When the Mussers traveled to Asheville, they noticed the same trend. “It’s hard to open a restaurant,” Donnie says. “And it’s hard to open a brewery. It’s really hard to do both at the same time. But John wanted to do something special with this place outside of the banquet hall.” The brewpub—open for dinner Monday through Thursday, lunch and dinner Friday through Saturday, and brunch to dinner on Sunday—provides a mix of specially crafted “beer drinkin’ food,” as Donnie calls it. From hand-rolled pretzels, made with spent grain from the brewing process, dipped in IPA cheese soup or beer mustard, to the massive Bill’s Bacon BBQ Burger (topped with crispy-edged smoked pork, thick-cut bacon, barbecue sauce, and coleslaw), it’s an elevated take on pub grub. The crowning jewel is the Mussers’ Southern fried chicken. “Everybody loves John’s fried chicken, but you could only get it at catering events before,” Donnie says. “So people would go to a wedding he catered and say, ‘That’s the best fried chicken I’ve ever had! We call that our premier signature dish.” Like the funky beers, guests also can expect funky menu items on the specials list. Surrounding 4th of July, Bill’s Front Porch featured
an apple-pie burger. A recent edition included the “Kamikaze Dog”: Sriracha, peanut butter, fried okra, and onions on a hot dog. “It’s wild,” Donnie asserts. “Not only will you get special items, but they’ll be off the wall. And for our head cook, Joel Marinucci, desserts are his thing. The dessert menu changes every two weeks or so.” The latest offering included carrot cake cheesecake and pistachio crème brûlée. “People notice we are supporting as many local products as we can,” Donnie adds. “All of our wine and liquors are from North Carolina. Joel uses Carolina Farmin’ products as much as we can. Our catfish is NC-raised, seafood local. Anything we can get our hands on and use from the state of NC, we do.” Bill’s Front Porch celebrated its grand opening on October 1st. They’ve received supoort from the local beer community and longtime customers of Capt. Bills. Donnie cites the help of Wilmington Brewing Company for sharing their legal knowledge of the industry, as well as their hops, and Waterline Brewing Company allowed the use of its keg washer before theirs arrived. “It takes a lot of people, a lot of help,” Donnie explains. “We knew how beer is made and what good beer tastes like, but when it comes to the business side of it, you need some help. And they were there for us. That goes for everybody in this community. It’s awesome that it’s so open-armed. It doesn’t feel like competition, and it shouldn’t be. It’s everybody wanting everybody to brew good beer so that Wilmington can get on the map. Nobody has closed their doors because they don’t want you to see their tactics or know who they’re getting grain from.” Bill’s Front Porch has begun slight distribution, comfortably serving eight accounts. “When you have people like the owners of Bombers Bev Co, Hey! Beer and Fermental asking for our beer, that’s awesome,” he divulges. “Not only are we excited about it, but we’re appreciative of it. We know they don’t have to put any Wilmington beers on tap. They could go with the Prairie Artisan Ales and Lost Abbeys of the world.” Already, expansion into a bigger location and bigger brew systems have been discussed in Bill’s evolution. Currently, though, the Mussers want good, clean beer, food and fun. “You’ll see one of us here at all times,” Donnie says. “Who knows what it will be three or four years from now—who knows what the beer scene in Wilmington will be like then?”
Bill’s Front Porch and Brewery is located at 4238 Market St. (910) 762-6333. www.billsfrontporch.com. 28 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
FALL 2016 | DEVOUR 29
CORKED! Reviews and rambles on vino
Bold, Autumnal Notes: Shiraz takes over dinnertime pairings just in time for cooler weather BY John Burke ● Devour columnist
Cooler weather brings changes to our eating and drinking habits. The first time the mercury dips below 85, the words “pumpkin spice” enter the vernacular. Our choice of alcoholic libations change like the leaves this time of year. Fall is when we put away our gins and tonic, our lagers and our rosés. Richer fare, and a desire to keep just a bit warmer, guide our palates in autumn. There are multitudes of drinks to choose from when football returns. Darker beers and hot ciders make for tasty additions in cooler weather. I’ve ignored the vineyards too long in these columns, so I’ll be uncorking an old favorite in syrah. Syrah—or shiraz in New World nomenclature—is a wonderful grape for the fall diet. Not to be confused with petite sirah—a hybrid of syrah and a lesser known grape called peloursin—syrah is a beautiful wine on its own or paired with slightly heavier meals for the winter. Interestingly, shiraz is actually the older name for the wine even if it is used in the very young nation of Australia. Shiraz was the name of a Persian city famous for its shirazi wine. The grape eventually spread to the Rhone where the French perfected its use. When it evolved to Australia, they brought back its old-style name. Syrah also is one of the primary grapes used in Chateauneuf du Pape. Although more than a dozen such grapes are permitted for use under French law, most are for blending. Syrah and Grenache do most of the heavy lifting. For those unfamiliar, Chateauneuf du Pape, or “new house of the Pope,” was a special blended wine meant to celebrate the Avignon papacy in 1308. Though that period in Catholic history only lasted 70 years, and those secondary Popes were excommunicated, the wine thankfully lives on. Typically, syrah is full bodied but light on tannin, which gives it a robust flavor without any harshness that some might find off-putting. It is known for smoothness, commonly with flavors of jam or licorice. Drinkers should expect earthy and even leather notes in better syrahs from the Rhone Valley.
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While syrah is grown all over the world, including Washington and Chile, the two major competing styles hail from France in the Rhone Valley and Australia in McLaren Vale. Rhone wines tend toward subtlety and earthiness while their Aussie counterparts are better known for rich, jammy fruit. For my part, I’m of two minds on two styles. When having cocktails, or just drinking wine for the sake of drinking wine, I prefer the bolder, fruitier Australian style. But French Rhone, when paired properly, is one of my all-time favorite dinnertime selections. Each has an important place on my wine rack. Along those lines, I suggest looking for something from Guigal Vineyards. They offer a nice variety of wines to suit a number of budgets (from $15 to $500), but they’re notable for subtlety. Generally, all pair well with roasted meats or vegetables. Guigal is an excellent wine to serve alongside a favorite autumn meal. On the Aussie side, I have a few go-to wines, but my personal relationship with DogRidge and its winemaker Fred Howard always puts it at the top of my list. Wine is and should be like that. As a colleague said to me years ago, “If you ask anyone what his favorite wine is, he’ll always have a story.” I have a few stories about drinking with Fred Howard. Anyone lucky enough to be invited to my 50th birthday party in 2025 will get to share in the autographed bottle of his 2003 MVP Shiraz I’ve been sitting on for most of a decade already. His wines are emblematic of the jammy Australian-style shiraz. They can be a little tougher to pair with food for that reason, but they are wonderful on their own. The spicy blackberry notes make it a great session wine. There are many fine things to drink in these cooler months. And I intend to drink most of them. But I will be having more shiraz than I have in the past. Because that’s always a good idea.
photo by: Lindsey A. Miller Photography
Tuesday - Thursday: 11am - 9pm Friday - Saturday: 11am - 10pm Sunday Brunch 11am-3pm
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photo by: Melissa Clupper
photo by: Lindsey A. Miller Photography
Reservations needed Friday & Saturday nights (reservations only held for 15 minutes)
(910) 796-8687 4724 New Centre Dr #5 Wilmington, NC 28405 Closed Mon. • Tues.-Fri. 11:30am-2:00pm, 5:00pm-9:30pm Sat. 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:00pm-9:30pm • Sun. 5:00pm-9:00pm
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Come enjoy delicious food, waterfront dining and panoramic views of the best sunsets Wilmington has to offer! www.elijahs.com
2 Ann St. Wilmington, NC • 910-343-1448 FALL 2016 | DEVOUR 31
Cleaner Food: Getting into the science of gardening BY Evan Folds â—? Devour contributor
Back in June I closed Progressive Gardens, a retail garden center I owned and operated for over 14 years. Our work was that of a lawn and garden consultant, and we spent as much time as necessary to help people understand the concepts behind progressive gardening practices. The original insight of our shop was borne of the need to have cleaner food closer to people. For more than a decade, I have researched and experienced almost every facet of the modern agricultural system. I am qualified to discuss the farming and gardening habits of the majority of our population without judgement, but let me be blunt: We are killing ourselves. I mean this both literally and figuratively. There is no doubt the toxicity of our agriculture is contributing to the modern spike and confusion on the increase in auto-immune and degenerative diseases. Feeding living systems with man-made, artificial fertilizers and biocides makes our job as gardeners and farmers harder and more expensive in the long run. 32 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
At some point we have to call it like it is and challenge conventional wisdom. We must become our own experts. It is entirely possible to have massive success growing farms and gardens without a toxic man-made approach.
Many are aware, but most are oblivious to the toxicity of the artificial lawn and garden products used in average landscape. We don’t know what we are doing to ourselves. Look up the research done on lawn chemicals and cancer in dogs. There is more research conducted on canines than humans, but it affects us just the same. In farming, the situation is even worse. According to the USDA only 0.07 percent of farms are organic, meaning the overwhelming majority of them use toxic chemicals as a primary means of growing our food. On top of this, farmers are growing older, and farms are growing larger and more toxic by the day. The overwhelming majority of the pests, weeds and disease that farmers and homeowners toil over season after season are created by this artificial approach to agriculture. That’s right: We are creating our own problems, chasing the symptoms, and trying to correct them using toxic rescue chemistry, effectively making our problems worse over time. It is a race to the bottom line. The solution to the issues we face on the farm or in the landscape are in our perspective and in growing, living soil—not just plants. Healthy soil is the best pesticide, fungicide or herbicide on the market, but it lacks the convenience and marketability that drives consumer action in the modern world. The only way to grow living soil is to introduce micro-organisms, or microbes, that define healthy soil. Microbes manufacture soil, like construction workers, and they have been doing it successfully for a really long time. Our challenge is to bring them to the job site as often and as populated as possible and then get out of their way. It is simply not possible to fertilize soil into health, or kill all of the symptoms being experienced. The easiest and most effective way to do this is to start a compost pile and brew compost tea. A compost pile is free, recycles waste that would end up in the landfill, and it is very easy to do. The microbes grown in compost tea do all of the work, and the results only get better with time. But microbes are the furthest thing from mind for the average homeowner or farmer. When it comes to microbes, we are more likely to imagine hand sanitizer and antibiotics than visualzing vital benefits they do for the soil. In short, modern conventional agriculture is doing everything it can to kill them. The importance of microbes cannot be overstated, changing this mind style will be a central tenet of the future success of humanity. The farm and average landscape have become a toxic waste zone, ripe with carcinogens, biocides and things no logical person would use with direct knowledge of the ingredients. In turn, this ends up in our food. I’ll use the common herbicide Roundup as an example, since many have a jug in their garage. The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate. Monsanto, who manufactures Roundup, spends many millions each year in advertising and “peer-reviewed” studies to ensure customers it is safe, but there is more to the story. Glyphosate works by inhibiting what is called the “shikimate enzyme pathway.” The toxic technology is allowed because humans and animals do not have a shikimate pathway in their cells, which is only found in plants and microbes. The fact that glyphosate does not harm humans directly means that Monsanto can tell us Roundup is safe—even convince the FDA (that they stockpile with lobbyists) there is no reason for concern. But the reality is it is destroying microbes that define healthy soil. New evidence suggests it is doing the same in our guts. Roundup can be found everywhere, including the water supply and in basically every non-organic food on the market that contains soy or corn. The result of this is that over 99 percent of people tested have glyphosate in their urine. Insane (visit www.DetoxProject.org to test
yourself). The major reason for the proliferation of glyphosate in our food supply is genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Commodity crops are genetically engineered with foreign genes that create resistance to the toxicity of chemicals like glyphosate. Great for business, bad for people. Even if it could be argued that GMO crops are beneficial to humanity, they have resulted in tremendous amounts of these controversial compounds being released into the environment. Food & Water Watch found the total volume of glyphosate applied to the three biggest GMO crops—corn, cotton and soybeans—increased tenfold from 15 million pounds in 1996 to 159 million pounds in 2012. The same can be said to our approach to combatting the Zika virus. There is no doubt we need to do everything possible to understand how to fight this public-health issue, but I’m not convinced that objectively spraying a controversial toxic insecticide designed to kill living organisms from planes over millions of acres and human populations is the answer. We must ask ourselves if the ends justify the means. The chemical being sprayed to battle Zika virus is called “Naled,” an organophosphate insecticide with the chemical name dimethyl 1,2-dibromo-2,2-dichloroethylphosphate that is banned completely in the European Union. In September it was widely reported over 2.5 million bees were killed due to Naled aerial applications in South Carolina. Not only are 70 out of the top 100 human food crops, or about 90 percent of the world’s nutrition, pollinated by bees, but what could it be doing to us? Just like in the soil, the new frontier of human health is the symbiotic relationship between microbes and humans. In fact, there are more microbes in and on a healthy human than there are human cells. It seems like every week there is a new discovery of the importance of our microscopic friends in regulating and ensuring our health. For example, conventional wisdom says that the appendix is a worthless organ in the human body, but a recent study suggests that it serves as a safe house for beneficial gut microbes. It appears that the body is able to signal when the gut is not operating effectively and actually send reinforcements to re-inoculate the gut with our microscopic friends. In other words, the appendix is the compost pile of the human body. We are collectively taking the pill to eat more fast food, when all we need to do is change our diets and take probiotics. Make the connection that the “experts” are telling us otherwise. This is a difficult conversation to have without offending people—or coming across as a know-it-all. Let me assure that the first thing that I know is that I don’t. In no way am I saying doctors are out to harm people, only they are operating from an old and incomplete paradigm. Nor am I suggesting agronomists don’t have our best interests in mind. But, for example, our own local newspaper recently published an article by one of our extension agents that described the benefits of using Roundup to kill weeds in the landscape. At some point we have to call it like it is and challenge conventional wisdom. We must become our own experts. It is entirely possible to have massive success growing farms and gardens without a toxic manmade approach. There is hope, but it will not come from trying to kill symptoms. It can only come by reinforcing the mechanisms of Mother Nature. All it takes to flip the script on the destruction we are creating on Earth is some humility, intention and focus on the common-sense workings of living systems. Not only does it work better and cost less than conventional approaches, but it cleans and heals the environment. Regenerative agriculture has the capacity to correct almost every major issue we face in modern society from climate change to empowering local economies. But it starts with us. FALL 2016 | DEVOUR 33
READ! Cookbooks and other reviews
Foreign Finds: Discovering the recipes and history of Iceland BY Gwenyfar Rohler ● Devour columnist, freelance writer and business owner of Old Books on Front Street “Does Anyone Actually Eat This?” by Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir Idunn (2014) “Icelandic Food and Cookery” by Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir Hippocrene Books (November 2001)
“That’s actually pretty good.” The clerk ringing me up pointed to the picture on the cover of the book I was purchasing, “Does Anyone Actually Eat This?” The cover featured a sheep’s head— teeth intact—that had been split lengthwise. “Have you tried it yet?” he asked, as if eating a sheep’s head was an inevitable rite of passage in every person’s life. He was so gorgeous—tall, blonde, blue eyed, and beaming at me with a warm and friendly smile—I would have been prepared to stand there and discuss sheep skulls with him all day if there hadn’t been a line behind me. So I admitted I hadn’t, yet—no. He enthusiastically encouraged me to give it a try and included instructions for the closest restaurant that served it. I thanked him, collected a stack of purchases, and smiled inwardly at the fact that 15 years ago I would have asked him for an escort to the restaurant when he got off work. But those days have passed. Instead, I looped my arm in Jock’s and we headed back to our camper to pick up “The Ring Road” and continue our travels around Iceland. In the camper I began to read aloud to him from the book, which included recipes for making svid (the aforementioned sheep head dish) and surir hrutspungar, sourer ram’s testicle, which are cooked then put into molds and cut into shapes (the book had pictures of them in heart shapes), and abrystir—or 34 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
pudding made from colostrum. Colostrum is the first milk from a cow after giving birth. Obviously, this book was written with a certain amount of shock value in mind. On that front Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir succeeded. But as my interaction with the cute store clerk bore out, people do actually eat the food she talks about. Clearly, all ethnocentrism aside, there is value in reading further and learning why these foods have developed and continued to be part of Iceland’s culture for the last 1,000 years. A culture’s daily life and values can be seen easily
FEATURE through food traditions. Rögnvaldardóttir seems to have figured out how to bridge the gap between foreigners who are trying to learn about Iceland and the evolving world of Icelandic cookery. She was born on a remote farm without electricity and a coal-burning cooking stove; she learned to cook with her mother. Out of curiosity about how to actually prepare some of what she discusses (especially the fish and potato stew that is served on a plate almost everywhere), I picked up a copy of the new and revised “Icelandic Food and Cookery.” It partly is a recipe book, but mostly an ethnographic history of food in Iceland, beginning with Viking and Celtic settlement and the introduction of livestock, then coming through the British and American occupations of WWII. She brings her work into the 21st century and notes the changes in available food for an island that imports most commodities. Her writing style is fascinating. She blends incredibly wellresearched and detailed history with personal experiences, family heritage and saga references (the Icelandic Saga’s are the national literary heritage of Iceland cataloging early settlement and referenced in more walks of life than outsiders will ever understand). Just when it’s unclear how much more can be learned about Icelandic cooking, she introduces “Holidays and Festivals” with an accompanying history of foods. Iceland is unique; there is no way around it. Bread can be baked in cauldrons in hot springs, and fresh fruits and vegetables are really recent introductions to the Icelandic diet (many are currently grown in geo-thermal greenhouses). Rögnvaldardóttir half jokes the low-carb diet fads sweeping the developing world are just mimicking Iceland’s traditions of lots of fish and meat with very little in the way of grain products. Actually, much like American cooking has absorbed waves of immigration, so has Icelandic cooking. Early Norwegian influences give way to traditional Danish cooking—both tempered with available ingredients in one of the harshest climates in the world. Largely the cuisine stabilizes for centuries until WWII. Then the British introduce fish and chips to a country that fishes constantly. Certainly fish and chips are on menus almost everywhere, but it is the American dinner with hamburgers (eaten with a fork and knife) that seem to capture the imagination of Icelanders. It is easier to find pizza or a burger in Iceland than to eat lamb. Since mutton is one of the few major exports of the island that is a real surprise. Just like Americans put their stamp on immigrant food, so does Iceland. A hamburger may come with a fried egg and a slice of canned pineapple on top.
Pizza liberally will be sprinkled with fish and other “candy of the sea.” But the second book, at least, just doesn’t do history; it presents really wonderful, approachable recipes. Yes, I did find a very simple recipe for the fish stew we loved. It began with: “Pick over the fish to ensure that all bones and skin have been removed.” Sound advice. Some of the other recipes are a bit intimidating: Preparing roast puffin breast, for example, is a bit more than I am ready to imagine, let alone attempt. But “Mother’s Dream Cake” from the standard school home-economics textbook puts the constancy of life in perspective. It is a fairly straightforward cake recipe that reminds what women have been expected to do from the beginning: create a home life that not only sustains but makes life worth carrying on.
FALL 2016 | DEVOUR 35
Select Indulgences Culinary calendar of events
~events & happenings~ GOURMET FOR A CAUSE Elks Lodge (5102 Oleander Dr.) will feature frozen foods, baked goods, pickles, jams, and raffle items. Proceeds benefit health care programs in our area. Oct. 29, 10am to noon. www.elks.org
FLAVOR OF NC On Sat., Oct. 29, 7-10pm, Good Shepherd Center will host the 3rd Annual Flavor of North Carolina, with the theme “Fall Harvest Fest.” The event will take place at Blockade Runner Beach Resort, and guests will enjoy an evening of delicious food, drinks, music, dancing, and games all in a casual atmosphere! Bid on fantastic auction items and win prizes playing trivia and corn hole! Tickets: $60 per person. Proceeds help provide a pathway to self-sufficiency for our hungry and homeless neighbors who share our Carolina home. Carolyn Gonzalez: 910-763-4424 x113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
OKTOBERFEST Oct. 29, 11am - 11pm: Palate, located in Brooklyn Arts District neighborhood, will host an Oktoberfest celebration all day on Saturday, Oct. 29. They’ll serve German beers and food, plus feature German music with a 17-piece brass band. Free entry but food and booze priced separately. 1007 North 4th Street www.palatenc.com
PALATE OKTOBERFEST Oct. 29, 11am - 11pm: Palate, located in Brooklyn Arts District neighborhood, will host an Oktoberfest celebration all day on Saturday, Oct. 29. They’ll serve German beers and food, plus feature German music with a 17-piece brass band. Free entry but food and booze priced separately. 1007 North 4th St. www.palatenc.com
WHOLE FOODS FALL FESTIVAL Apples, pumpkins and pies! Celebrate the flavors of the season with Whole Foods Market with fall food tastings, a pie cookoff with our bakery department, raffle to win some great prizes, pumpkin beer tasting, live music, team member costume contest, and healthy trick or treating for the kids! Oct. 29, noon to 6pm. Whole Foods at 3804 Oleander Dr. www. wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/wilmington
BIKES, BOOTS AND BBQ Sat., Oct. 29: 3rd annual Bikes, Boots & BBQ Event at Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville features a BBQ contest and tasting, a motorcycle ride (9am-11am), and a motorcycle and rat rod judge show, plus live music, a pumpkin carving contest, play zone for kids, dunk tank fundraiser, and a body ink contest. Kids under 12 get in free. $5. 580 River Rd. 36 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
LUNCH W/CAROLINA AUTHORS Nov. 5, 11am-3pm, at Burney Center, UNCW. Hear Tom Olsinski, Flora Solomon and Philip Gerald speak about their works. 11am, book sales and signing; noon, lunch; and 12:45pm, program, raffle prizes and four lucky ticket holders will win a lunch with Fora Solomon. Tickets $35: email@example.com or 910-313-1573.
THEATRE NOW Through Nov. 11: “Of Monsters and Men”: Feat. a three-act play based on characters written by Edgar Allen Poe. All dinner productions show on Fridays/Saturdays only; doors at 6 p.m. Tickets include three-course meal, $37 (doesn’t include drinks/ gratuity). Show only tickets: $20. 19 S. 10th St., downtown Wilmington. www.theatrewilmington.com
ART FROM FLOUR Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC, presents Art From Flour: Barrel to Bag, an exhibit examining the history of the humble flour sack. The display illustrates how a food staple became a reflection of art and life in America. Guest curated by Edward Irvine, associate professor of studio art in the UNCW department of Art & Art History. Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm (Thursday, 10am to 9pm). $5-$10. www.cameronartmuseum.org
CULINARY CREATIONS CLASS
19th annual Polish Festival at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Castle Hayne features authentic foods, including kielbasa, pierogi, and golagki, plus drinks and an array of sweets, polka dancing, crafts, raffle, live and silent auctions, and a variety of entertainment for children. Special guest performance by The Chardon Polka Band, from Ohio. Domestic and imported beers available including St. Stan’s Baltic Porter, brewed especially for the Polish Festival by Front Street Brewery. Free admission, but beer, food, arts and crafts priced separately. Nov. 5, 11am to 5pm. 4849 Castle Hayne Rd.
Instead of trying to find a cooking class to meet your goals and ending up with too many cooks in the kitchen, consider having Culinary Creations design a cooking class for you and your family or friends to be held in the comfort of your own home. We will help you design a menu to focus on the dishes that intrigue you most. Prepare a meal from our menu selections or we can work together to customize a menu for you to learn to prepare and enjoy. And best of all, you and the other ‘students’ get to enjoy the fruits of your labor between each course! 910-5382433. www.culinarycreationsonline.com
KIWANIS PANCAKE DAY
KIDS COOKING CLASSES
Features all-you-can-eat pancakes and sausage breakfast. Proceeds benefit UNCW and Cape Fear Community College scholarships, Brigade Boys and Girls Club, Cribs for Kids, Key Clubs, and other local programs for children. Nov. 5, 6:30am to 12:30pm. $6. Hoggard High School, 4305 Shipyard Blvd.
For boys and girls, ages 8-10. Does your child love to cook? Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation has stirred up something just for them, a fun hands-on youth cooking class! This program aims to teach kids creative and simple recipes that will encourage healthy living and good nutritional choices. It can help build self-esteem, team building, and even motivate them to cook for you! 1 Bob Sawyer Dr.; 910-256-7925. www.townofwrightsvillebeach.com
LA FETE DU BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU '16 Join us celebrate a French tradition. Specials include authentic cuisine and wines from the Beaujolais region. Kick off the holiday season with this annual event! Le Catalan French Cafe Wine Bar, 224 S. Water St. Reservations: 910-815-0200
BELLAMY MANSION TEA SERIES The Bellamy Mansion Tea Series features a themed gathering, Holiday Tea, in the mansion’s parlor. Two seatings on Dec. 5, 11am and 2pm. Reservations required. $35. 503 Market St. www.bellamymansion.org
12 TASTES OF CHRISTMAS Fri., Dec. 9, 7pm, Brooklyn Arts Center, N. 4th St. Theme: Retrotiki holiday. We encourage cocktail or festively-themed garb. Vendors include but aren’t limited to: Beer Barrio, The Blind Elephant, Soulful Twist, Wilmington Brewing Co., Flytrap, YoSake, Delish, and Boombalattis. Tickets: $30 for general admission and VIP tix for $50 that will get you in the door for a 20-minute food preview before the doors open to the rest of the guests. www.cfliteracy.org.
~classes, tastings & things~ CAPE FEAR WINE & FOOD CLUB The Seasoned Gourmet has been teaching cooking classes for over 15 years. They offer unique events for members and their guests, including cooking classes, wine-pairing classes, premium wine dinners, and free members-only events throughout the year. Members enjoy exclusive discounts from our host, The Seasoned Gourmet. Enjoy a 5 percent daily discount on all merchandise in their store, plus a 10 percent daily discount during classes that you attend. Also a special members-only discount wine during events: 15 percent off six or more bottles and 20 percent off 12 or more bottles. To reserve a seat in class or join, call 910-256-9488 or stop by The Seasoned Gourmet, 5500 Market St ., #110. www. theseasonedgourmet.com. 910-256-9488
WINE NOT, IT’S FRIDAY Last Friday of the month, 6-8pm: Wine Not, It’s Friday! Signature wine tasting event and a taste of food and wine pairings. $5 donation benefits a local non-profit. Whole Foods at 3804 Oleander Dr. www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/wilmington
KIDS COOKING CLUB Children Museum of Wilmington presents Kids Cooking Club with Mary Ellen on Tuesdays at 3:30pm. Please pre-register. Explore seasonal recipes and savor the flavor of your hard work. Kids Cooking Club is sponsored by Harris Teeter and held at 116 Orange St. www.playwilmington.org
SEASONED GOURMET KIDS COOKING CLASSES Sherry Storms will be teaching basic baking techniques in combination with a variety of recipes, both traditional and unique just in time for the holidays. This session will build upon any budding chef’s skills and expand their repertoire. Session I (Nov. 3): Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing •Session II (Nov. 10): Chocolate Cupcakes with Oreo Whipped Cream Frosting • Session III (Nov. 17): Gingerbread People with Decoration • Session IV (Dec. 1): Mini Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizza. All classes run from 6-8pm. This series is for children 12 years and older. The Seasoned Gourmet, 5500 Market St. Ste. 110
MAKE FRENCH MACARONS Cook with CFCC’s Culinary Academy’s chef instructor, Gwen Gulliksen! Impress friends and family with these classic almond cookies, featuring a mouth-watering chocolate truffle filling. Course is December 10, 10am-noon. Pre-reg. required: www. cfcc.edu/enrich or 910-362-7572. 411 N. Front St.
CAPE FEAR WINE AND BEER Beer Church: Purchase select beer and keep your glass for free. 1st Mass starts, 1 p.m.; 2nd Mass, 8 p.m., Sunday, free. • Beer Flights, Massage and Monday Night NitroMassage Monday: 5-8 p.m., $10 for 10 minutes with our licensed therapist, Josh Lentz. Beer Flights: nine 5-ounce samples for $18. • Monday Night Nitro: $1 off nitrogen pours. Free. • BYOT (Bring Your Own Trivia): The next wave of pub trivia on Wednesdays. Prizes include gift certificates from local businesses, as well as beer from us. • Fridays $10 pitchers: Bartender’s choice. All day. Free wine tasting: from 5-7pm, with two whites and two reds. Free • Beer Infusement Thurs.: See what ingredients Randall the Enamel Animal is enhancing upon delicious beer. Free. 139 N. Front St.
PALATE Turntable Tues.: Bring your favorite vinyl, enjoy specials • Wed: FALL 2016 | DEVOUR 37
Free tasting of wine from around the globe, hosted by a winery representative or vendor to teach you about the selections. Tasting wines offered at a discount, as well as an additional 10 percent off six packs and 15 percent off cases. • Sun: $6 mimosas. 1007 N. 4th St. www.palatenc.com
SILVER COAST WINERY Wine and beer tasting always available with inquiries. 6680 Barbeque Rd. Ocean Isle Beach. www.silvercoastwinery.com
FERMENTAL Join us in the cozy confines of North Wilmington as we help kick off your weekend with our Friday wine tasting. Every week Fermental serves up a sampling of fine wines and craft beers to tempt taste buds and tantalize tendencies. Wine available by the glass; beer by the bottle. Informal, fun and festive! Take home your favorite or enjoy in-house. Free. 7250 Market St.
FLYTRAP BREWING Fourth Friday Gallery Night, featuring new artists and exhibition every Fourth Friday of the month through 2016. • Food trucks and live music Thurs. through Sat., weekly. • $5 flight Sundays and $5 flight Tuesdays. 319 Walnut St. www.flytrapbrewing.com
FORTUNATE GLASS Free wine tasting, Tues., 6-8pm • Sparkling wine specials & discounted select bottles, Wed. and Thurs. • Monthly food/wine pairing events. 29 S. Front St. www.fortunateglasswinebar.com
BREWER'S KETTLE Weekly live music, monthly food and wine and beer pairing events, wine tastings, and showcasing local breweries! 4718 Oleander Dr. 910-502-0333. www.bkwilmington.com
BOOKS, BEER, JAZZ Enjoy browsing our extensive book catalog and library while listening to live ambient jazz piano. Start out your weekend with a beer or glass of wine, while James Jarvis performs his jazz compositions for your listening pleasure. Live piano from 3pm, Sundays. Old Books on Front Street, 249. N. Front St.
A TASTING ROOM Thurs./Fri., 5pm: Our weekly wine tastings feature six selections for your tasting pleasure. Try before you buy to load up your home cellar, or choose your favorite wine from the lineup and purchase a glass to enjoy at our tasting bar or in our garden seating. Cheers! A Tasting Room, 19 S. 2nd St.
THE WINE SAMPLER Hosting free weekly tasting every Wednesday through Saturday. 1 percent discount on all tasting wines, all week. WednesdayFriday: 3-7pm; Saturday: noon-7pm. 4107-C Oleander Dr. 910796-WINE (9463). www.thewinesampler.com
BURNT MILL CREEK Thursday Night is Neighborhood Night at Burnt Mill Creek, with Steviemack’s International Food Company food truck. Bring friends for supper and a drink. Burnt Mill Creek, 2101 Market St.
WATERLINE BREWING Weekly live music, food trucks every Fri. and Sat., and new beer. 721 Surry St., under the Cape Fear Bridge. www.waterlinebrewing.com
SWEET N SAVORY CAFE Every Wednesday from 5-7pm, we break open our wine selection for you to taste. Our wine selection ranges from Napa valley, French Bordeauxs or great wines from Australia. 1611 Pavillion Place. 38 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
ST. STAN’S POLISH FEST Nov. 5, 11am-5pm: St. Stan’s Catholic Church features authentic foods (kielbasa, pierogi, and golagki), polka dancing, crafts, raffle, live and silent auctions, and a variety of entertainment for children. Special guest performance by The Chardon Polka Band, from Ohio. Domestic and imported beers available, including St. Stan’s Baltic Porter, brewed especially for the fest by Front Street Brewery. Free admission, but beer, food, arts, and crafts priced separately. 4849 Castle Hayne Rd.
TACOS AND TRIVIA Every Wed., 8pm, at Capt’n Bills Backyard Grille. Bring your team! Stuffed tacos from 8-11pm for only $2 each. Other food and drink specials as well! 4240 Market St.
WHISKEY HOTDOG MYSTERY Whiskey Hotdog Mystery Music Wednesday at Juggling Gypsy, 1612 Castle St. Amazing hot dog creations from the Gypsy Kitchen, with $1 off all whiskeys every Wednesday. www.jugglinggypsy.com.
NONI BACCA WINERY Tasting room open seven days a week, 10am-9pm (Mon.-Sat.) and 12-5pm (Sun.). Taste a flight of 6 or 9 wines; over 70 wines made on premise to sample at any time, served by the glass or the bottle. • Thurs.-Sat.: Specials at the bar on glasses and bottles of wine that run all day, but the crowd begins to gather around 7pm. Craft beer selection, too. We also make special label wines for weddings, corporate gifting, birthdays, reunions, etc. 910-397-7617.
TAPAS TUESDAY $10, 5:30-7pm: Every Tuesday! Half-off craft cocktail list and select wines. Catch, 6623 Market St.
SMALL PLATES NIGHT Mon.: $25 6-course flight ($35 inc. 2 oz. wine pairing). MonThurs., 5-7pm, or Fri.-Sat., 10pm-midnight: $5 single plates. YoSake, 33 S. Front St.
WILMINGTON WINE SHOP Sample five new delicious wines we’ve brought in just for our customers during Free Friday Wine Tasting, 5-8pm. Have a bottle or glass of your favorite with friends afterwards in our cozy shop or on the back deck. We’ve got a fridge full of craft and micro-brews. 605 Castle St. 910-202-4749.
WILMINGTON BREWING CO. Firkin Fridays, 5:30pm • Sat.: Free brewing demos, 1:30pm •
12 TASTES OF CHRISTMAS Dec. 9, 7pm: The theme is retro-tiki holiday, and we encourage cocktail or festively-themed garb. Eat and drink from participating vendors: Beer Barrio, The Blind Elephant, Soulful Twist, Wilmington Brewing Co., Flytrap, Yosake, Delish, and Boombalattis (more TBA). Tickets are $30 GA, and $50 for VIP tix (arrive 20-minutes before for a food preview before the rest of the guests). Presented by Julia’s Florist grant. www.cfliteracy.org. Also featuring food trucks and live music weekly. 824 S. Kerr Ave. 910-392-3315
FRONT STREET BREWERY Every third Thursday, join us for The Wort Shop Thirsty Third Thursday. Our brewers will tap a new experimental brew that will be available in limited quantities for that day only. • Brewery Tours, everyday from 3-5 p.m. Free tasting included! 3 p.m., 3:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Learn how we brew our beer, about the brewing process and sample a few brews with one of our brewers. Sign up for a tour at the host stand. 9 N. Front St. www. frontstreetbrewery.com
~tours~ TASTE CAROLINA FOOD TOURS Sample an eclectic assortment of downtown restaurants, enjoy food and drink, and meet some of the city’s best chefs. Public parking available. Saturday tours include a 2:15pm. Downtown Afternoon Tasting Tour ($55/person) and a 3:15pm. Downtown Dinner and Drinks Tour ($65/person). 10am. Farmers Market Tour ($75/person). Cooking class available. Private and custom tours are available any day or night of the week for groups of eight or more. Visit www.tastecarolina.net.
methods you can use to achieve that perfect PCJ cup at home. Tour groups are limited to six people. Tickets are available for $15/person. www.portcityjava.com
PORT CITY BREW BUS Port City Brew Bus offers public brewery tours that are open to anyone 21 years or older. Eat a hearty breakfast before the tour. We will have pretzels, snacks, and water but there isn’t a stop for lunch. Visit three breweries to experience their facilities, understand the brewing process unique to their beers and enjoy samples of their offerings. $55. www.portcitybrewbus.com. 910679-6586
~clubs & organizations~ FEAST DOWN EAST BUYING CLUB Enjoy the quality, value and convenience of the Feast Down East Buying Club. It costs nothing to join, and the benefits are immeasurable. Support your local farm families and community. Choose a pick-up spot, check out at the online cashier, and you are done! www.FeastDownEast.org
FARMERS’ MARKETS Fruits, vegetables, plants, herbs, flowers, eggs, cheese, meats, seafood, honey and more! Poplar Grove, April-Nov., Wed., 8am1pm. 910-686-9518. www.poplargrove.com • Riverfront Farmers’ Market open on Water St., downtown, every Sat., through Dec., 8am-1pm. www.wilmingtondowntown.com/farmers-market • Carolina Beach Farmer’s Market every Sat., May-Sept., 8am-1pm, around the lake in Carolina Beach. Free parking; www.carolinabeachfarmersmarket.com. • Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market, 21 Causeway Dr. Mon., 8am-1pm, first Mon. in May-Labor Day. • Town of Leland Farmers’ Market at Leland Town Hall, alternating Sundays, 11am-3pm, May-Aug. • Oak Island Farmers’ Market, Mon., April-Nov., 7am.-1pm. Middletown Park, Oak Island • Southport Waterfront Market, Wednesdays, May-Sept., 8am-1pm. Garrison Lawn in Southport, NC. • St. James Plantation Farmers Market, Thurs., May-Oct., 4-7 pm, park at Woodlands Park Soccer Field.
PORT CITY SWAPPERS Port City Swappers is a monthly food and beverage swap where members of a community share homemade, homegrown, or foraged foods with each other. Swaps allow direct trades to take place between attendees, e.g., a loaf of bread for a jar of pickles or a half-dozen backyard eggs. No cash is exchanged, and no goods are sold. Diversify your pantry and go home happy and inspired while meeting your neighbors! facebook.com/PortCitySwappers
ILM VEGAN CARROT MOB
Tasting History Tours of Pleasure Island; guided walking tours. $35 and up. Afternoon of delicious food and education. 910622-6046. www.tastinghistorytours.com
Like a flash mob, the Wimington Vegan Carrot Mob chooses a restaurant to meet at and dine in for a night of fellowship and vegan meals. A location and time is chosen, and vegan diners show up and shows local restauratuers support from the vegan community in an effort to expand vegan menus. www.wilmingtonvegan.com
PCJ ROASTERY TOUR
ILM VEGAN MENTOR PROGRAM
Join us at Port City Java’s Corporate Headquarters for our monthly public roastery tour, coffee cupping and home brewing class! Learn how coffee is grown, harvested, processed and roasted through a tour of our facilities and see a formal coffee cupping to demonstrate the “taste of place” that makes each coffee so unique. See us demonstrate a few different brewing
The Wilmington Vegan Mentor Program ensures those who are new to veganism are provided with all the support and guidance they need. Volunteer mentors are paired with those who are making new food choices. They meet to talk and answer questions, go to the grocery store, discuss cookbooks, and explore local resources. www.wilmingtonvegan.com
TASTING HISTORY TOURS
FALL 2016 | DEVOUR 39
SOUTHERN SOUL FOOD AT I T S F I N E S T
RECOGNIZED BY YAHOO TRAVEL as THE BEST BUFFET IN NORTH CAROLINA
BEST OF WE ALSO DO CATERING!
5559 Oleander drive • 910.798.2913 Wednesday-Saturday 11am-9pm • Sunday 11am- 8pm • Closed - Monday and Tuesday Visit our website - www.CaseysBuffet.com 40 DEVOUR | FALL 2016
WINNER OF BEST BUFFET, FRIED CHICKEN AND SOUL FOOD