Friday April 26th I was asked to join Bob Bowles from Slow Food Asheville during his Wine and Cheese segment on 1350am WZGM. I brought our new Chef Clay’s Pimento Goat Cheese and it was paired with a very nice Rioja from Maggie B’s Wine Shop in Weaverville. It was so much fun and took me back to my high school days when I did the school news in the mornings. Thank you to Matt and crew from 1350am for making it so easy, hopefully I will get asked back!
The finalists for the James Beard Award were announced yesterday, and like always we were excited to see a few Sunburst Chefs on the list(Sunburst chefs are chefs who only use the best and choose Sunburst for their farm to table trout needs). We love all of our chefs are always humbled and in awe of them when they are up for such big awards and continue to choose Sunburst as their trout supplier.
This year the Sunburst finalists are…
Barry Maiden, Hungry Mother in Cambridge, MA up for Best Chef Northeast
Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Diner in Raleigh, NC up for Best Chef Southeast
Joseph Lenn, The Barn at Blackberry Farms in Walland, TN up for Best Chef Southeast
Tandy Wilson, City House in Nashville, TN up for Best Chef Southeast
Sean Brock, McCrady’s in Charleston, SC up for Outstanding Chef
This is quite an impressive list and we congratulate all who were nominated and wish them luck at the big awards show on May 3rd, 2013.
The beginning of January Sally came to me and said, “I am speaking at the NC Aquaculture Conference the beginning of February and I want to put together a video to present there.” My response was wide-eyed going, “You are just now telling me this!” Take into consideration Sally is not just my boss, but also my mother in law so we have seen each other quite often not just at work, but also at family gatherings all through the Holidays. So started three very jam-packed and exciting weeks where we met with 6 local chefs in the Asheville and Cashiers area. We had a list of 12, but schedules did not work out to meet with all of them. Side note, we still want to interview those 6 other chefs.
So began our journey of contacting and setting this all up. Over three weeks in January we met with each chef asking the same question, “Why do you feel it is important to source local?”
To our surprise the answer was always the same, just said a little differently. “It’s all about the relationships!”
We could not agree more. As a small niche family farm we pride ourselves on our relationships with our customers. We actually call most of them at least once a week. Our systems would let us have the chefs and grocery stores log in and place an order, but we feel they like the personal touch of a phone call in this fast paced digital age. This was very evident in our conversations with each chef we interviewed.
So without further ado let’s hear from the chefs…Chef William Dissen ~ Market Place Chef John Fleer ~ Canyon Kitchen Chef Adam Hayes ~ Red Stag Grill Chef Michel Baudouin ~ Bouchon Chef Katie Button ~ Curate Chef Joe Scully ~ Chestnut & Corner Kitchen
Our last Pasture Dinner of the Summer was held August 29th. Even with the threat of Hurricane Isaac looming over us, it was a beautiful and magical last dinner. It was held at John Mann Raspberry Farm in the historic Ratcliff Cove area of Haywood County. We even had a guest chef, Chef John Fleer prepare the dessert!
This year I planted my first garden ever. A little preface is this garden was planted on Mother’s Day this year when I was 8 months pregnant with our third child, and I am doing it organic. Since we have a trout farm and some of the best compost, per many local farmers, I had the hubby bring some home. This garden is made from 4 railroad ties and a 4×6 trailer full of trout compost! I planted 2 yellow squash, 2 zucchini, 2 tomatoes, 1 eggplant, 2 kale, 1 Swiss chard, 1 cucumber, 2 jalapenos, 1 basil, 1 rosemary and 4 broccoli. Things were going great for the first 2 months.
The garden was flourishing. We harvested so much and it got twice as big as you see here.
Then the middle of July we had huge rains and then the squash beetles came…
So as you can see our squash is gone, and the cucumber, while still producing, are starting to die out as well. We are now going to pull the squash and till to get rid of some of the weeds that have grown, then plant some greens and cabbage for Fall.
What I have learned so far
- The yellow lady bugs are not lady bugs they are squash beetles and will kill everything!
- Broccoli needs to be in it’s own box and harvested when it is small(I don’t think we will do that again)
- Trout compost vegetables taste amazing!
I will update through the Fall as I keep learning the joys of gardening with a trout compost garden.
Our second pasture dinner was held on the Summer Solstice at Sunburst Trout Farms. It was another savory dinner with many local farms and a brewery being spotlighted! Yes I said a brewery, Waynesville is joining Asheville in being the next up and coming brew town with two breweries and a third to open soon. Frog Level Brewing was kind enough to bring the beer for our fish fry and we used their Catcher in the Rye Ale with our beer battered trout. Our Rhubarb for dessert was also very special, it comes from a farm where the roots have been growing for 120 years!
Here is the menu for the evening.
Our next dinner is on July 25th at Sunburst Beef Farm, a century farm located in Haywood County. There are only a few tickets left for that dinner so call the Sunburst Market on Montgomery (828-452-3848) to make sure you don’t miss out on one of our exclusive dinners.