Food news roundup

The Winston-Salem Journal in Winston-Salem, N.C. (my hometown), has a recipe today for a black walnut-chocolate pie which won a baking contest at the Black Walnut Festival in nearby Bethania, a historic Moravian settlement. Read about it here. Love those old-time cooks!

If you want to drink at the coast, Liz Biro’s blog in the Wilmington Star News in Wilmington, N.C. has information on a celebration of the history of North Carolina wines. More here.

In honor of Halloween, the Charlotte Observer in Charlotte, N.C. has tales of cooking nightmares and the lobster that would not die. Read more, if you dare, here.

I happen to love Brussels sprouts. Say what you want. I don’t care. The San Francisco Chronicle has an Asian-inspired recipe for roasted ones that might sway the skeptical. It’s here.

Chefs of the Triangle

great chefs triangle cookbookIn the new book “Chefs of the Triangle: Their Lives, Recipes and Restaurants” by Durham writer Ann Prospero (John F. Blair Publisher, $16.95), you can discover interesting nibbles about the area’s top chefs. For example, that Walter Royal, chef of the Angus Barn in Raleigh, grew up in rural Alabama and was inspired to cook by his Aunt Vertal’s tea cookies. And that Jason Smith, chef of 18 Seaboard in Raleigh, cooked in Antarctica. Talk about a walk-in freezer.

The book profiles 34 chefs in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Pittsboro and Hillsborough. A thread that runs through the chefs’ comments is their commitment to locally grown food and quality ingredients, and respect for the ingredients and those who produce them. That’s something I didn’t see much of in this area 10 years ago. You can also trace a line of kitchens that the Triangle’s good chefs have passed through – Magnolia Grill in Durham and La Residence in Chapel Hill, to name two.

There are recipes from each chef. I’m very pleased to see that they have been tested to work in home kitchens, although some may be challenging (these are restaurant recipes, after all). The book would make a great souvenir for food-loving visitors and a fun handbook for residents. Read more about author Ann Prospero here.