As much as I look forward to fall each year, I sort of relish the fact that the Local Palate magazine is here in the South. Here, we can still hold onto our short-sleeve dresses until at least October. Additionally, our growing season extends well into the supposed cooler months. We may be inching past tomato and peach season, but my farmers market is still showing up. These months are filled with an abundance of peppers, melons, squashes, hearty greens, and root vegetables. These are all flavors that stretch out those warm-weather days despite the earlier arrival of nightfall.
Cutting Down on Food Waste
There are plenty of ways to stretch the fresh ingredients you’re still hauling home from the market. For Raleigh-based chef Mei Li, there is both an urgent need and an art form to cutting down on food waste. Her website and recipe blog, Food Waste Feast, is packed with resources to help. She gives practical and doable steps for utilizing everything in your fridge. She offers up a host of simply smart and impactful recipes that will get your mind moving in the same direction as hers. I’ve already put her idea for an “eat me first” box into my own fridge.
Learning Culinary Cultures
Chef BJ Dennis follows a similar standard but from a different starting point. The practice of using all that you have and maximizing every ingredient starts with his ancestors. The Gullah Geechee chef is known for being an educator of his culture’s traditions, but he also lives the lifestyle in order to keep his history alive. Follow along as writer Trelani Michelle sits for a master class-style conversation with Dennis (“The Gullah Griot.”) Here, she learns why he’s working to dismantle certain presumptions about Gullah Geechee traditions. (You might pair that piece with a look at benne seeds with the chef and writer Amethyst Ganaway.)
I’m personally chomping at the bit to get my hands on a copy of Oxford, Mississippi, chef Vishwesh Bhatt’s first cookbook, I Am From Here (W. W. Norton & Company, 2022) out on August 16. We’ve also got a few recipes that define chef Duane Nutter’s roots as well as a look at a shining new beacon of hospitality education rising in Alabama. Many hope will signal a shift, and offer a shot of vitality, to our long-struggling restaurant and hospitality industry.
There’s bounty to be found in these pages. Here’s hoping it helps make the most of what you’re bringing home from the market.
– Erin Byers Murray, Editor in Chief at the Local Palate magazine
Plus, One Wine + One Whiskey for Fall
This partnership between the James Beard Foundation and DoughWines is meant to help promote positive systemic change for restaurant recovery—a bottle of winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen’s Red Blend II also pairs nicely with a slice of wood-fired sourdough pizza.
Former Jack Daniel’s master distiller Jeff Arnett has launched an exceptional bourbon from a new home base in Townsend, Tennessee. The wheated sipper is maple wood-finished, giving it an approach-able complexity. The bottles are still in limited supply, but you can learn more on their website.
- by Erin Byers Murray