To be a Chef

November 1, 2010
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

People always ask me what I think of food TV.  I never know quite how to answer (at least not concisely)….I guess because I have mixed feelings.  
I appreciate the teaching aspect of food TV, and think it’s brought about much of the cultural revolution we’re currently seeing with food. Never before have we been exposed to so many different foods, or had such access to world cuisine.
I also love, love, love the fact that food TV has elevated the status of being a chef.  When I started in this business many, many…..many years ago, I would occasionally stop at a store on my way home from work.  I can’t tell you how many times people would see the outfit and give me an odd look, not to mention a wide berth (‘course, the fact that one of my frequent tasks was peeling a sour cream tub of garlic might have had a little something to do with that!). Now I go into a store in my chef uniform and am treated like a rock star. I had one little girl go running up to her mom with a HUGE smile on her face & announce, a little breathlessly, “mommy, mommy, that lady’s a CHEF!!!”  I don’t think she would have been any more excited if I’d been Elmo!

Local Offerings October 13th

It’s getting to be winter vegetable time! We’ll try not to turnip and beet you guys to death! Apples are still coming in from the mountains and we’re still getting the last of the canteloupes from Hickory and other areas of the Piedmont. Don’t worry, we’ll keep the fresh local produce coming in all the way through Winter. Look for Tony at Flora Ridge’s Savoy leaf spinach coming to a table near you soon.

Reynolda Farm Market

Granny Smith Apples
Red Delicious Apples
Red Potatoes
Buttenut Squash
Yellow Squash
Zucchini Squash
Collard Greens
Red Peppers
Cherry Tomatoes

Eastern Carolina Organics

High Country Heirloom Apples
Baby Bok Choy
Purple Top Turnips
Fresh Goat Chevre

And then there were two…

We’ll soon be composting double time here at Guilford Dining. With the addition of our second Earth Tub, not only do we have twice the capacity, but also the abillity to leave materials in the Earth Tub longer to create a better finished product!

Look for composting in the Grill and Quakeria very soon!

Small Plates

October 05, 2010
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

I’ve recently joined a couple of online networking sites that post specific topics, then ask industry professionals, from Chefs to Nutrition experts, what their thoughts are on the topic.  One of the sites I like best posted a question today asking what we thought of the small plate/tapas style service that seems to be cropping up everywhere. 
My response is to say I love it!  As a foodie, I would much rather enjoy a few bites of several dishes than lots of bites of one item.  I also feel the trend is helping people….mostly non-foodies, be more adventurous. It’s a lot easier to swallow (pun intended) not finishing a $5-7 plate of food that you don’t care for than one that’s $18++ .  I think smaller plates also bring a different level of intimacy & dialogue to dining.  It seems like people are more apt to chat, particularly about food, if they’re passing it around the table for everyone to taste.  I’m very thankful for the opportunity to work with Rie Meriwether Godsey (President of Meriwether Godsey), a visionary who, from day one, offered small & medium plates on the menus at Meriwether’s Market Restaurant.

Delivery is on at the Q!

Order your next pizza from our newest dining establishment the Quakeria. Call 316 – 2897 for speedy delivery and great specials!

Local Offerings September 17th

Great time of year for local produce! Still getting tomatoes and other warm weather crops from the piedmont, while broccoli, cabbage and other cold weather crops come in for the south. Muscadine grapes are back on the Fruit Bar per student request!

Renyolda Farm Market

Yellow Squash
Zucchini Squash
Red Delicious Apples
Yellow Apples
Yellow Tomatoes
Red Peppers
Green Peppers

Eastern Carolina Organics

High Country Heirloom Apples
Ison Green Muscadine Grapes
Scarlet Muscadine Grapes
Purple Basil
Golden Zucchini
Grape Tomatoes
Hakurei Turnips

One Chef’s Suggestion for Charleston

September 15, 2010
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

Charleston, SC has been one of my favorite food cities for years.  I went several times when I was the Executive Chef at Meriwether’s in the early 2000’s, and enjoyed each visit more than the last.  The food was amazing, and the chefs really pushed the envelope on the ‘new southern’ cuisine.  
I had a chance to go back a few weeks ago for the first time in at least eight years.  I hate to say that I was really disappointed.  Don’t get me wrong, the food was still good….it was just the same food that was there a decade ago.  In addition to the food being the same, it’s like the sustainability & local movements have just bypassed Charleston.

Pesto Workshop September 15

Join us for this hands-on workshop starting at 2:30 in the garden behind Founders.
We’ll learn about the different kinds of basil and pesto and then we’ll pluck from our own Garden!
From 3:15 – 3:45 we’ll gather in the dining room and watch how pesto is made.  Everyone who joins us for this pesto-fest will get a container of pesto and recipes you can use it in. And it’s all FREE!  We will feature the pesto we make during this workshop at dinner – we’ll serve tortellini two ways:  warm with pesto cream sauce and cold with pesto vinaigrette.
See you next Wednesday!

Local Offerings September 2nd

We welcomed the good folks at Reynolda Farm Market in Winson Salem today with their first delivery. They brought in some of the nicest tomatoes we’ve ever recieved. We look forward to a long relationship with them. Look for a profile of their market and owners in an upcoming addition of the Guilford Green Blog.

Reynolda Farm Market

Red Bell Peppers – Kaison, VA
Beets – Durham, NC
Gren Bell Peppers – Kaison, VA
Red Delicious Apples – Stuart, VA
Honey Crisp Apples – Ayers Orchards, VA
Cantaloupe – Kaiser, VA
Honey Dew – Kaiser, VA
Eggplant – Durham, NC
Peaches – Denton, NC
Yellow Squash – Lewisville, NC
Zucchini Squash – Lewisville, NC
Cherry Tomatoes – New Market, TN
Cucumbers – Lewisville, NC
Red Potatoes – Caswell Co., NC
Snap Peas – Lexington, NC
Tomatoes – Lewisville, NC

Eastern Carolina Organics

High Country Heriloom Apples – Raven Rock Farms – Watauga County, NC
Ison Muscadine Grapes – Benjamin Vineyards – Saxapaw, NC
Tara Muscadine Grapes – Benjamin Vineyards – Saxapaw, NC
Organic Purple Basil – R Farm
Organic Arugula – R Farm
Organic Golden Zucchini – Faucette
Goat Chevre – Celebrity Dairy – Silar City, NC

And the usual…

Hyrdoponic Lettuce – Flora Ridge Farm
Milk, Half and Half, Heavy Cream and Butter – Homealnd Creamery
Flour, Grits, and Cornmeal – Booneville Flour and Feed
Sausage and Bacon – Neese’s Country Sausage
Whole Eggs – Pride of the Morning

Local Offerings August 27th

Try a local apple!

Hunge Heirloom Apples – Raven Rock Farms
Field Peas – Cottle Organics
Purple Basil – Faucette
Yellow Squash – Heaven / Watauga
Zucchin Squash – Heaven / Watauga / Faucette
Slicing Tomatoes – Cane Valley
Cherry Tomatoes – New Market Farms
Fresh Goat Chevre – Celebrity Dairy
Hyrdoponic Lettuce – Flora Ridge Farm
Ground Beef – Tomahawk Farm
Flour, Grits, Cornmeal – Booneville Flour and Feed
Half and Half, Heavy Cream, Buttermilk – Homeland Creamery
Chicken – Hopkins Poultry

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