It was a pleasure and a privilege to write this article on J.Q. Dickinson Salt Works for the July issue of Food and Wine. It’s an amazing story of an ancient underground sea, and a family that has been mining salt on this West Virginia plot on and off for generations. Read the article here for the story of this region and salt works, how the salt is produced, and why chefs like Sean Brock and Spike Gjerde like to cook with it so much.
This spring, I’m opening three restaurants (with more to come) along the beaches of the Florida panhandle, on beautiful highway 30a between Alys Beach and Seaside, with two partners, a great chef, and a growing, talented team. The venue is called the Hub, and the restaurants are Red’s Chicken Shack (fried and roasted chicken, homemade biscuits, house made pickles, beautiful fresh salads), Crave Roadside Burgers (grass fed beef burgers on delicious buns from H&F bread in Atlanta, fries, hot dogs, house made pickles, and vegetarian / vegan options), and Mile Marker Fifteen, a Southwest / Southern spot serving tacos, tequila, and more. Over the past months I’ve been working with our chef, Nick Walton, to develop the menus and recipes, and source the best, hiqhest quality, most flavorful ingredients we can find. To see more and follow our progress, please check us out and like our facebook page at The Hub 30A.
Tomorrow I’ll be at the Decatur Book Festival near Atlanta for a cooking demo and book signing. Excited to cook Chicken, Corn, Squash, and Poblano tacos from the summer squash chapter of The New Southern Table; it’s a Mexican-inspired take on summer squash so prolific on farms and in gardens all over right now. If you’re nearby and don’t have big Labor Day weekend plans (other than the festival itself), come by and say hello!
My final stop in Portland last week was Empire Chinese Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant right downtown, that calls itself “Portland’s first deluxe Chinese Restaurant.” They specialize in dim sum, and also do great renditions of traditional Chinese soul food — but with a strong preference for cooking with the bounty of Maine’s local produce and seafood.
I could go on and on about my recent culinary shotgunning of Portland, Maine. Here’s a quick snapshot of a beloved spot in Portland that’s doing great things with the best ingredients from the waterways and farms nearby.