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Sweet-Tea-Brined Pork with Peach and Pepper Chutney and Blackberry Gastrique


1 tablespoon salt

2 cups cold sweet tea

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

6 whole peppercorns

2 fresh thyme sprigs

4 (1-inch-thick) pork loin chops

Peach and Pepper Chutney (recipe follows)

Blackberry Gastrique (recipe follows)

Garnish: Microgreens and radish

Serve alongside fresh grilled vegetables and an ancient grains blend.


  1. Whisk salt into sweet tea, then add garlic, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, peppercorns, and thyme. Place pork in a zip-top bag or glass container and add brine. Marinate for 4 to 12 hours. 
  2. Prepare a grill for medium heat. Drain pork and discard brine; pat chops dry. Grill chops to desired doneness, about 4 minutes on each side. 
  3. To plate, top pork with chutney. Drizzle with gastrique and garnish.



Matt Rivers

Timberlake’s Restaurant, Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock, North Carolina

A Kinston, North Carolina, native, Matt Rivers lived on the coast until he was seven. After his family spent a stint in the ski community of Lee, Massachusetts, Rivers and his family relocated to Banner Elk, North Carolina. As a teen, he washed dishes at a restaurant where his brother cooked, and his mom served. His mom instilled a love of cooking; she told her sons to make dinner weekly on “fend for yourself” night. Rivers trained under chefs from across the High Country, including a stint at Westglow Resort & Spa, before taking the helm at Timberlake’s Restaurant at Blowing Rock’s iconic Chetola Resort. 

About Chetola Resort

Named for the Cherokee word meaning “haven of rest,” Chetola Resort lures guests to a 78-acre mountain retreat nestled against the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Minutes from downtown Blowing Rock, the resort offers sumptuous accommodations at Chetola Lodge, premium condominiums, and the Bob Timberlake Inn. The resort offers a spa, Orvis-guided fly fishing, a sporting reserve, and dining at Timberlake’s Restaurant, overlooking Lake Chetola. Meeting planners and brides often choose the eye-catching, tranquil spot for weddings and special events.

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