Tag Archives: local

White Pinot Noir Could Be Your New Fave

Caleb Flint of Wine Merchants in WS offered me a bottle of Amity Vineyards White Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 for an honest review. We are grateful for the opportunity (and the wine). All opinions are my own.

My favorite kind of wine is red wine. And of the reds, my favorite has been Pinot Noir. And no that has nothing to do with the film, Sideways. 😀 . Though a Malbec sometimes does sometimes hit the spot.  I also do try to support NC Wine as much as possible but I do like to change up.  So when Wine Merchants talked about a White Pinot Noir, I was intrigued. After grabbing a bottle,  I took a little time and meal planning for when to enjoy it. Mr. foodie and I like wine, but we have two kiddos at home and sometimes we can’t just open a bottle up and enjoy. And we rarely finish a bottle between the two of us in one night. Plus, I wanted to have a mushroom pasta dish. I am particular like that.

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Then the night came. Opened up a bottle of the White Pinot on a pasta night. I enjoyed a glass while cooking. What we found was a lightly fruity, very clean wine with body that drinks quite easily alone and is wonderful with pasta, cheese and poultry and particularly, mushrooms. Bonus points if you can manage that in one dish, which we did (a browned butter balsamic mushroom sauce over ravioli with grilled chicken). The photo of the dish didn’t come out well. But I’ll make it again and share the recipe.

The wine went perfectly. I have a feeling this is going to be in the regular rotation.

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White Pinot Noir is gaining in popularity but is still considered somewhat “rare” compared to other varietals.  it takes a special process because Pinot Noir grapes are obviously red. This is an excerpt from VinePair.

To make white wine from red grapes, winemakers take careful steps to ensure that there is minimum contact, or maceration, between the pre-fermented must and color-giving grape skins. To eliminate maceration for white Pinot, only a small amount of the grape’s juice can be fermented into white wine.
Free-run juice is released when grapes are piled, and their skins break under their own weight. In white winemaking, this produces the highest quality wines because there’s minimal contact with bitter skins and seeds. Free-run juice, and occasionally must from a very light pressing, are used to make Blanc de Noirs still wines.

White Pinot Noir also listed as Pinot Noir Blanc or Blanc de Noirs.  In Winston-Salem, you can find Amity Vineyards for about $25 at Wine Merchants & Vin 205 Wine Bar at 205 S. Stratford Rd. in Winston-Salem.  (336) 765-8175.

By the way, if you haven’t been to Wine Merchants or the bistro next door, get yourself over there. The restaurant is one of the most underrated spots in all of the Triad. Read about them here.  Site of 2 Chef’s Tables! That’s how good.

Cheers!

The 411 on Canteen Market & Bistro

A previous version of this story can be found at YES! Weekly

Oh my, have I found my happy place!

Children get Disney. What’s my adventure land? A beautiful little restaurant that has a little market inside so I can order food, shop while I wait, or just swing in and shop, seeing something new every time. Look!

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That’s Canteen Market & Bistro. Billed as a gourmet market and dining experience, you have no doubt of its intended function as soon as you breeze in. Plus there’s a beautiful, communal bar right in the center to ground the entire gleaming 6,000 square foot space. It’s dreamy. Heaven I tell you! 

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The business, opened in September, is the love child of Claire Calvin and Eric Swaim, (I’m sorry if that sounds awkward).  She of The Porch Kitchen and Cantina and Swaim, her neighbor at Hoots Roller Bar and Beer Co at West End Millworks. The two had talked for a couple of years about opening up an urban market. When the space at 411 West 4th Street, also known as Commerce Plaza, became available, it was originally conceptualized by the property owners as a fine dining restaurant. But Claire and her dream of a downtown market with a distinct urban feel could not be dissuaded. “This space would be too big just a market or just a restaurant but altogether, it just works.”

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I have to agree. The market side of the restaurant features staples like pasta and sauces, some on the higher end, but still budget friendly for a night “in,” as well as local sauces like Ya’ll Sauce, made in Winston-Salem, and international sauces, mustards, grits, gourmet crackers, bread mixes, jams, jellies, endless varieties of pickles, you name it.

Mr. foodie will tell you that I get positively giddy in places like Canteen.

Claire says they’re just getting started and happily takes suggestions for fun items to add. During my visit there, she had to step away to help a customer who had a request for a product not on the shelves but Claire took note of it…the customer also had her arms full. She had come for one thing (don’t we all) and appeared to need a basket. Claire hastily retrieved a mini-cart. We joked that her budget was no longer limited by what she could carry in her arms and she went on her way.  So helpful! 

In the back, the dining area sits adjacent to a beautifully curated wine and beverage area,called “The Cellar,” with hard to find boutique wines, fortified and specialty styles, and local and international craft beer, kombucha, coffee and artisanal mixers featuring companies that have a story to tell.

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Eric and the bev team put a great deal of thought into the beverage program. The large communal space features the obligatory craft cocktail menu. For beer, there’s a NC focus behind the bar, with everything on draft while the cooler includes beers from around the world. And the wine at the bar boasts a relatively new, tap concept.  “All wine by the glass is all being poured draft. It eliminates waste and ensures freshness, which is something we really wanted to commit to. When it’s on draft, there’s no light and no oxygen to make it go bad. It’s the perfect temperature for white and for red and gives you control over your pour,” he says. “It’s very concise at the bar with a trip around the world in the back.”

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In front, the kitchen is where Chef Chris Almand, formerly of West End Cafe, is making menu items for the bistro for dine-in and take home and the pastry chef is making the sweet treats. The refrigerator case is stocked with local pimento cheese, goat cheese, deli items…items a customer can run in and grab to go for a quick snack or lunch on the run. Calvin says the menu will change often to reflect what is in season and what is available from their partner farm, Whit Acres.

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This restaurant and market is already seeing tons of support from the local restaurant community. It’s getting some much deserved attention. Y’all check it out! 

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Canteen will have an official grand opening this weekend featuring market samples, wine tastings, demonstrations and giveaways. Visit their social media for more details.

Wanna Go? Canteen Market and Bistro is located at 411 West Fourth Street, Winston-Salem. Hours are Monday-Sunday 10am-10pm.   

Y’all Is For Everyone

You can find the YES! Weekly version of this story here.

Y’all: /yahl/ : Contraction of you and all that some say is not a real word (but we all know that it is).

Y’all is also a sauce.  Three to be exact (for now) and it’s made locally in Winston-Salem. Now, y’all foodies know that when I tell you about a new product, I really love it and I use it and I find the story behind the product and its maker interesting enough to bring it to you. And y’all…this sauce is definitely for me and you …because it’s trip to yumtown.  And no this is not sponsored. I bought it. I love it. And so will you! 

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And I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. These sauces are so great that they are definitely a triadfoodies Favorite Thing and will be a part of our Holiday Gift Guide giveaway  next month!  (link is last year’s guide)

Y’all Sauce Co. started a year ago with the love of the Lord, bourbon, community and food.  Josh McGee and Paige Harlow originally met six years ago at church in Kentucky where Josh’s wife was a pastor. “We loved to eat, but hated our jobs and were looking for an awesome way to work together and came up with the idea of doing something with food over the course of drinking some bourbon, which always gives you the best ideas,” Paige joked.

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Josh and his wife eventually moved to Winston-Salem so that she could take a pastoral position at First Baptist.  Josh comes from a culinary background and says, “I worked in the industry for 15 years, was a sous chef in Charleston, where I cut my culinary chops. I thought, wouldn’t it be great to pair my culinary background and her marketing background.” Around the time of the move, Josh and Paige decided to become business partners and settled on the idea of a sauce company. 

But then, what in the world were they going to name their new company?

Josh remembers, “We started with some southern names, a spin on the southern culture…we kicked around all kinds of ideas….Southern Plated is the name of our company, but the name of the sauce? Nothing really rolled off the tongue. We were talking about community and our identity and Paige blurts ‘y’all!’ And that was it.”

Paige says their tag line, Eat Up Y’all is the perfect slogan.  “It just made sense because y’all is such an inclusive word. Y’all goes beyond gender, race, religion. We wanted to create a company that included everyone. It’s a divisive time and it’s important to bring people together to the table and have conversation and bridge gaps.”

 

And in true Baptist tradition, pair it with community and make the conversation happen  around food.

The sauce team says the move, the sauce and the city of Winston-Salem are a perfect match. “What we love about Winston-Salem is what Louisville was 10 years ago. The upswing of honing in on local restaurants, local ingredients and all these farmers doing great things. We want to tell the story and heritage of the sauce and how it brings community together.” 

For now, there are three sauces telling those stories, with many more stories to come. The first is the iconic Henry Bain, which Paige and Josh both discovered in Kentucky. It’s a bit of a sweet and tangy version of a barbecue sauce, that Josh tweaked and modernized with a hint of bourbon.  By the way, Henry Bain was a waiter and created his namesake sauce at the Pendennis Club in 1881. How’s that for a legacy?

The second sauce is the sweet and spicy Jezebel, which Josh says he became obsessed with in his native Tennessee. Jezebel is like apple butter and marmalade meets horseradish, and though no one can really agree where Jezebel sauce comes from, Josh says, “I wanted to make it more East Tennessee with sorghum and Volunteer Orange. And I love that you can use Jezebel in different ways. Back in the day you’d throw it on cream cheese, but now we use it to glaze hams. I like it on fried chicken, salmon and as a finishing sauce on veggies.”  I plan on putting Jezebel on my Thanksgiving turkey. Josh tells me it will be “ah-mazing.” 

I became a fan of Y’all Sauce when I scooped up the Mississippi Come Back sauce, which is a staple in the deep south and used so many ways including as a burger topping or as a dip for fries or tater tots. It’s like a white barbecue sauce that will have you come back for more, hence the name. My tip, give it a try as the dressing on a warm potato salad. It’s so yummy. 

In the south, every sauce has a story and the team wants to tell all of them. Paige says, “The plan going forward is to have a different sauce for each southern state, such as Trinity Sauce for Louisiana and of course a sauce that would be cool for North Carolina.” Whatever will it be? I’m told it may be a bit more than just Eastern BBQ.

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She adds, “We’re both history buffs and we love the culture here. The south is a real mix of cultures…we want to tell the story of the different sauces. It’s exciting to keep these stories alive.”

Y’all Sauce is catching on in the area, particularly in Winston-Salem where it can now be found at Southern Home & Kitchen, Canteen Market and Bistro, Washington Perk, City Beverage, Mast General Store and Lowes Foods. 

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Josh says they plan to be in front of the community as he continues to put down roots here. Josh says, “The community is something so unique to Winston-Salem. It’s a hub for a lot of cool things happening…from the restaurants and the farms to the craft beer scene and wineries. There’s so much great energy here and we want to be on the forefront of that and embrace the localness.”

Look for Josh with the Y’alls at the Angelo’s Artisan Market at Wiseman Brewing in Winston-Salem on November 11 from 12-5pm and at Southern Home & Kitchen with some cooking classes early next year.

If y’all want some enjoyable reading on the stories of the sauces. or if y’all want to find out where to buy or to order online visit them here. 

Foodie B’Eat: Chefs For Hire

This article was previously featured in my food column in YES! Weekly.  Be sure to check out YES! for the latest happenings around town. 

Sometimes you can take the chef away from restaurant kitchen but you can’t take the kitchen away from the chef.

Chefs for hire are becoming increasingly popular these days. It’s no longer a perk for celebrities or the wealthy. Today, it’s becoming more accessible than ever and for the skilled chef, quite ideal for those who don’t want to be burdened by restaurant hours. For the customer who can afford it, it provides a much-needed convenience, freeing you of all the prep and clean-up.

There’s a difference between a private chef and a personal chef.  A private chef works for a singular client, sometimes full-time and sometimes multiple meals a day. Some private chefs are hired for short spurts of time as well.  A personal chef may cook for several different clients in their homes, providing fully-cooked meals and meals prepped in advance. All work diligently to provide a service that is as budget-friendly as possible.

Lynn Wells, owner of Thyme Well Spent Personal Chef Services in Greensboro, is a personal chef. Wells worked for 21 years in the Nutrition Department at Moses Cone Hospital in various culinary management positions. She has multiple clients and travels to their home to prepare their meals. “Everything is prepared from scratch and cooked in the client’s home. Meals are packaged per my client’s request and stored either in the refrigerator or freezer, depending on their schedule, preference and freshness. I include heating instructions with all meals. I do the grocery shopping the morning of a cook day and often times go to more than one location to shop. I want to get the best and freshest ingredients and always buy local whenever possible.”  Wells says she certainly understands that the expense of hiring a personal chef can be a concern, but… “There is no doubt, this is a luxury service. My first client didn’t cook and she and her husband either ordered take out or ate out every night.  Within two weeks, she noticed a difference in savings. The most important difference was in flavor and how the food was prepared, fresh and made with love.” She adds, “The biggest savings that clients have commented on is they no longer have food going bad in the refrigerator. They would purchase fresh produce, vegetables and meats from the store or farmer’s market with the best intentions, then they get home and not want to cook it.”

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Chef Lynn Wells (photo cred: Todd Turner Photography)

Wells’ schedule now includes weekly clients, some once-a-month clients, biweekly, bimonthly, etc. “Everyone is scheduled in advance for the same day during the initial consultation. That ensures them consistency and it helps me plan my schedule.”  thymewellspentpersonalchef.com 

Darren Atkins of il Centro in Burlington started his private chef/full-service catering in September 2016 and last year opened a store front in Burlington to provide daily provisions like antipasti, salumi, fresh pasta and specialty Italian accoutrements with local North Carolina ingredients. He says, “It’s inspired by the alimentari or food stores/farm grocers all throughout Florence and Tuscany.”  Atkins provides a full-service private chef experience to your home or location.  “We definitely want to cater to the foodie. I am very hands-on with customers and committed to providing them with themes for dynamic experience.”  Budget depends on the client needs and is available to Burlington, Greensboro, High Point, Chapel Hill, Durham and possibly beyond.But And since meal prep and meals to go is becoming ever so popular, il Centro provides a Dinner Delivered series where customers can order from a weekly meal plan and have scratch-made dinners for two delivered to their door for $25. The store in Burlington is open Tuesday-Saturday 11:30-6:00.

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Chef Darren Atkins (photo courtesy of Atkins)

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Nikki Miller Ka, of Winston-Salem, has worked in numerous capacities as a chef. She says she started cooking for a family as a private chef in 2011, “It was literally a dream come true. It combined all my favorite things…planning, cooking, shopping and meeting people. I couldn’t believe my reputation preceded me and that these people wanted to pay me for to cook for them on a regular basis.” Miller-Ka says now, as a private chef, she enjoys being hired to chef a class or party per week. “Generally I cater small dinner parties and conduct private cooking classes in people’s homes.” A fee is set based on the number of guests for a cooking class or party. “I send out a menu of options for their event. I meet with the client for kitchen consultation so we can plan logistics and finalize the menu. Day of, I show up with complementary beer and/or wine, an apron, cutting board and knife for each participant during cooking classes.” And best yet, “I clean up. You get leftovers. I go home.” Miller-Ka also provides a grocery shopping service with 10+ recipes that clients can cook at home. niksnacksblog.com 

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Chef Nikki Miller-Ka (photo courtesty of Miller-Ka)

The newest chef-for-hire is popular chef Dion Sprenkle and his new Table ‘0, which offers a personalized in-home dining experience.  “The name comes from our most desired VIP table in the Chef Dion Sprenkle restaurant in Lexington that closed in 2016.”  Sprenkle says from that location, the customer could see him cooking in the kitchen and be close to the staff. “The guest felt like an instant family member and part of the action. The Table would be booked weeks in advance.” Sprenkle says since closing the restaurant, many of his fans missed his cuisine and having access to The Table.

“I decided to become a Chef for Hire with the help of my boss, my wife Jeanette.  She handles all marketing, decorations, set-up, and serves the meal.  Together we create a one-of-a-kind, personalized dining experience in our client’s home. It was primarily to connect with our friends, family and former restaurant customers. And now we create wonderful intimate menus for families, friends and sometimes for corporate gatherings.”

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Chef Dion Sprenkle  (photo courtesy of Sprenkle)

For most chefs for hire,  it’s the connection with her clients that keeps drives their passion. As Wells told me, “Being in someone’s home is very personal and sacred to me. This profession demands respect and I consider what I do an honor. It’s very humbling to have a family or individual put their trust in me to prepare fresh meals that will make their lives easier, less stressful and most importantly, provide them more time to spend on more important things other than meal planning, shopping, and cooking. There is a connection that happens where I learn about their lives, their habits, and why they’ve sought someone to cook for them.” Wells adds that she hopes the experience for her clients goes beyond the convenience, and hopefully deliciousness, of it all.  “I live, eat, and breathe food. Everything I learn, I try to pass on to my clients in some form or fashion. If anything, it recharges my battery to do what I do. I want meal time to be a pleasant experience for my clients and this career gives me an open canvass for my creativity and enthusiasm with food. This industry is an ever changing revolving door of opportunities and I can’t wait to see what’s next!”

Me neither, chefs! I think it’s so cool that you’ve found a way to do what you love on your own schedule.  Be sure to check one of these chefs out if you ever decide to treat yourself and your family. I’ve found that after I’ve shopped and prepped for a dinner at my house for a large group, I could’ve almost hired someone to do the work for me.

Have you ever hired a chef?

 

Our next Chef’s Table: B. Christopher’s Steakhouse on Feb. 19

I had to update this before it went out on its scheduled post. Less than ten tickets left!

We’re so thrilled that our February Chef’s Table features Chris Russell, a chef that has been an inspiration to so many, not to mention so incredibly talented. This venue has definitely been on our “must haves.”  Click here to get your ticket! 

B. Christopher’s Steakhouse has been a hit in Downtown Greensboro since moving from Burlington a few years ago. Such a gain! We love the cozy feel of his restaurant and oh my, the steak is perfection. In additon to being a successful chef and restauranteur, Chef been a mentor to other chefs who now have successful restaurants themselves, like our beloved Chef Kristina Fuller of Crafted.

Let’s let Chef Chris surprise us with multiple courses.  He’s excited about seeing you! Please join us on Monday, February 19.

Here’s how it works:
Reserve with a ticket here and you’ll join us at our table on Monday, February 19. Please note our start time of 7:00 (a bit earlier than our last dinner). A reminder of our pricing: Your ticket price of $30 INCLUDES your multi-course dinner as well as tax and gratuity associated with the meal. Beverage (and gratuity for the purchase of beverages) are not included in the ticket price. Please take care of your server on any beverage service. Seating is limited.

We’ll see you on February 19!

** Follow us on Facebook for the latest details and get in on the chatter by tagging @BChristophers and #triadfoodiesChefsTable on Facebook and Instagram.

Please notify me at Kristi@triadfoodies.com if you have any food sensitivity or if the chef needs to be aware of any concerns.