Wait a minute, did she say preserved seafood?! Preserved local NC seasonal seafood?! Yep, you read that correctly. Cured, smoked, fermented, pickled, dried, confit’ed seafood. Last Wednesday I was lucky enough to attend Piedmont Restaurant‘s winter edition of their Seasons of the Sea Dinner. In collaboration with Raleigh’s Locals Seafood and NC Catch, Piedmont’s Executive Chef John May and Executive Chef Justin Burdett of Local Provisions in Asheville joined forces to create an astonishing multi-course seafood tasting menu highlighting seven different food preservation techniques. Even this seafood hesitant girl couldn’t pass up an offer as enticing as this… oh, and did I mention the funky wine pairings by Piedmont’s animated general manager Crawford Leavoy, duh!?
Not only did I meet some awesome new lady friends (!!), but this seafood-themed dinner completely expanded my narrow view of seafood, in particular preserved seafood. “We focused on manipulating things in interesting ways so to get that preservation experience”, says Piedmont’s chef May in explaining the inspiration for the evening. While presentation, taste, and “wow-value” was an obvious goal, the major aim of this dinner was education on the “mentality of how you would have eaten before you could go to just go to the grocery store everyday…”, stated May.
Hi y’all, it’s been a while huh? While I haven’t been blogging, I have been keeping up with pickle’pinon reviews here in Durham, NC. I am now an official pickle reviewer for the local paper! I wanted to share a few of the articles that I have written thus far. Here’s an article from Feb. 3rd, 2016 Indy Week… Photo credit to Alex Boerner. I wrote this article after visiting LaPlace with my mom for brunch a few Sunday’s ago. Typically my go to Sunday eats is at Oval Park Grille in Durham, but as I had heard amazing things about LaPlace we decided to venture.
Disclaimer: my mother thinks that as she has been with me for every initial review tasting, that I should credit her in my articles… “Mom: Erin you should review these for the Indy– Me: That’s a great idea Mom (while emailing the Indy editor: ‘Grayson- the fried pickles at LaPlace are amazing, I must review them’-‘ ‘Editor: Ya? Are they amazing?)”. Holy hell, not only were these creole fried pickles amazing, but LaPlace’s Sunday brunch (you have to try their bloody mary’s) was maybe the best brunch I’ve had in the Triangle…
A couple months ago my parents came into town for a Wednesday family date night with tapas and blues, specifically Taj Mahal at the Carolina Theater. As Mateo Tapas in downtown Durham has become one of my favorite spots in town, naturally I decided to treat them. As an appetizer we tried the jamon mermelada. My step dad was super skeptical at first, “ham in a jam, with persimmons? I don’t know Erin.”; he agreed that it was amazing to say the least. What better reason than to pitch a review to the editor at the Indy Week. Here’s an article from Nov. 4th, 2015 Indy Week… Photo credit to Alex Boerner.
Before moving down to NC I began following various Durham’ites on Instagram to get a feel for my new home. Searching #durhamnc I came across an account named Get’n Pickled. What initially caught my attention (aside from the pickles) was their photo of some homemade pickle brine paired with a shot of whiskey at the Durham Distillery. You had me at pickle backs… My first week in town I met up with Greg of Get’n Pickled to talk shop. When I mentioned my unofficial pickle’pinon reviews that I did in NH, his eyes widened as he said, “I write for the local paper about beer, you should totally email the editor to pitch this pickle thing!” A week later, it was official, the editor at the Indy Week liked my idea and had me pitch a couple ideas. Up first the pickle plate at Alley Twenty Six in downtown Durham. Here’s an article from Sept. 30th, 2015 Indy Week… Photo credit to Alex Boerner.
Last week after posting the first Pickle’pinon review, I received a message from Brendan Vesey, the head chef at Joinery Restaurant in Newmarket, NH, asking if I’d like to review some of their pickles. Obviously, trying to tone down my excitement I said, “SURE!”, and thought goddamn I love my hobby. It was a crazy busy week without access to a ride, so Wednesday I was finally able to make it over to retrieve the pickle goods. When I arrived they had put together a gorgeous jar of assorted pickled veggies (see photo above) for the purposes of photos and let’s be honest, tasting. If you haven’t yet tried the pickle jar ($3) from Joinery, I recommend you walk… no, run your brine loving ass over to the Newmarket Mills to give them a try.
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