Gourmet food is making waves in the ever changing state of North Carolina. The chefs of One Restaurant indulge us in what they do with some of our favorite produce.
By Michelle Tchea
In North Carolina gourmet words and images don’t necessarily come to mind when you think of the Tar Heel State.
The famous Krispy Kreme donut was founded in Winston-Salem
Hardee’s fast food chain and of course the beloved nector of the state: Cheerwine – which is best enjoyed with salted peanuts in a glass bottle (as I learned from locals in a gas station).
But hang on: since Brooklyn is the new Manhattan and fusion foods are now cool, North Carolina is officially turning food-snob’s heads.
Since the New York Times categorized Chapel Hill as the new cool of North Carolina’s Triangle, if you do find yourself in the area and want something a little more refined, delicate and fancy outside of the highly addictive NC BBQ (hog and all baby!) head straight for One Restaurant .
The dynamic pair in the kitchen, Chef Kim Floresca and Chef Daniel Ryan are amazing to say the least, so I thought I would pick their brains and ask, Why North Carolina?
For the exclusive recipe, like this amazing Okra, Octopus dish – head to my blog: http://thebcritic.blogspot.com/
What do you love most about North Carolina produce?
The best thing we like about North Carolina produce is the fact that there are eight growing seasons. There are a lot of multi climates, ranging from the coast, to the mountains to the dry farming lands that can all create and provide many beautiful bounty produce, free ranged protein and seafood.
What are some unknown ingredients from NC that the rest of the world and American’s don’t know or appreciate?
Paw paws are something new that we had never experienced until we moved here. They are like eating a sweet mango with a banana texture. They are only available of 6-8 weeks and are extremely perishable but quite delicious! We have a great many things that we have planned to prolong the paw paw ‘experience’ here in the restaurant. We plan on making some elixirs, vinegars, kombucha and ice creams among a few ideas.
What would you do with one pound tomatoes?
With one pound of tomatoes we would use the green acidic tomatoes, make juice then use it to compress with watermelon and serve it with kimchee. Tomatoes have a great acidity and lend themselves to a very earthy and clean flavor. Once clarified, we could quickly cure fish (as if you were using an escabeche) or use it as a vinaigrette.
What would you do with 2 pounds apples?
We would make a drinking vinegar. Something with fresh acidity to add to a cocktail or to simply use as an acidic delicate note to a simple dish.
Michelle Tchea is a 4-time bestselling author. Her books include, Building a Perfect Meal, My Little SoHo Kitchen, Signature Dishes (Australia's Best) and Chefs Collective. Her work can be found in other leading luxury travel and food magazines including Travel+Leisure Asia, SMILE, NUVO Magazine and The Telegraph