Thursday, August 21, 2014

Attended Dates Make a Difference, hosted by Mark and Kristi Maier of triadfoodies. This is a fundraiser, with shared revenue devoted to selected projects, including schools, Second Harvest Food Bank, and Triad Community Kitchen. In addition to being a worthy cause, it was just fun, with good food! Each chef set up a tasting station, and participants moved from one to the next on their own schedule. The chefs were Chris Blackburn of Josephine's, Jeff Bacon of Triad Community Kitchen, Kevin Reddick of Artisan, Tim Thompson of Marisol, and Tim Grandinetti of Spring House, with coffee provided by Kyle Burge of Beansboro (where I buy my coffee, BTW). Wines came from Cellar 4201. I liked their red blend. Go to to sign up for future events.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

City Kitchen in Beaufort

More dining in preparation for new book. Bryan Carithers, who has been chef/proprietor along with family at Front Street Grill, has long been a favorite chef. I have written about what I regard as his special talent for tuna and grouper. Had grouper, duck Bolognese, chicken curry- a Caribbean influenced creation, along with his version of Oysters Rockefeller- made with collards and sweet jam. City Kitchen is located in Town Creek Marina, on the left side of the bay as you cross the bridge into Beaufort. Fabulous views of the bay, with captivating sunsets.

Ruddy Duck's in Morehead City

Dinner recently at Ruddy Ducks's on the waterfront in Morehead City. This is Fabian Botta's restaurant. He earned fame decades ago at The Tack Room, then later at Louisiana Purchase in Banner Elk, in the mountains. Ruddy Duck's is casual, with a wide ranging, value priced menu, augmented by specials that often reflect Botta's native Argentina. I had an empanada appetizer, for example- ground beef, onions, peppers, in a great, hand-folded and pressed crust. I was taking photos for my new book, Chefs of the Coast (publication date April 1, 2015), so my wife and I covered several other dishes as well, especially seafoods. This is a real gem! Highly recommended.

Big Burger Spot

My favorite low priced restaurant is Big Burger Spot on Battleground Avenue. Their burgers are hand packed. But what I like best is their chili. I often get it on take out. Meaty, richly flavored.