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Nouveau Appalachia

Nouveau Appalachia
Rustic Summer Tomato and Zucchini Tart. Photos by Lauren Stonestreet


West Virginia is the heart of Appalachia—beautiful mountainous countryside where you can drive mile after mile without spotting any scars of large-scale industry. Residents here have been working and foraging the land for generations. Somewhere along the line, outside perceptions of our state pegged us as isolated or unsophisticated, but that only served to grow our cultural pride, make us kinder to each other, and solidify our culinary heritage.

I grew up here. These are my roots, literally and figuratively. My farm, Fish Hawk Acres, in rural Rock Cave, West Virginia, was also my childhood home, rich with memories of community syrup making, canning and preserving, Sunday suppers, and outdoor adventures. Think of me as the prodigal son who went off to amass a broader culinary experience before realizing the value of the traditions and people he left behind.

While the rest of America slowly distanced itself from its food sources, West Virginia has remained intimately connected to the land. We now boast more small farms per capita (22,000) than any other state in the nation. It is exciting to have this agricultural footing already in place as farm-to-table trends are once again becoming prevalent. With this in mind, a group of us launched a nonprofit called The Collaborative for the 21st Century Appalachia to showcase our regional cuisine and to help connect chefs, farmers, and classrooms.

At Fish Hawk Acres, we take the freshest ingredients from the farm and prepare them in ways that let individual ingredients take center stage. I believe in honest, healthful preparations. I also believe in drawing inspiration from worldwide cuisine and interpreting that through a regional lens, my own version of New Appalachian Cuisine. Here are a few summertime favorites to share with you.

Salads + Sides

Poached Asparagus
New Appalachian Salad Niçoise
Heirloom Tomato and Cucmber Salad with Fresh Dill

Main Dishes

Roasted Garlic, Basil and Shitake Mushroom Pizza
Rustic Summer Tomato and Zucchini Tart
Buttermilk Herb-Roasted Chicken

Published June.July 2014

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