Food lovers all know Piedmonte, Italy to be a vibrant haven for foodies.
Luckily, for American’s there is also a Piedmonte region in your own backyard in North Carolina.
Aside from glorious BBQ joints in every pocket and side-street of North Carolina, there is also a new wave of chefs / restaurants driving the North Carolina food scene.
To kick-start my North Carolina food features, we’re starting with Chef Steven Greene, Executive Chef of Herons Restaurant.
Herons Restaurant is a fancy restaurant, found nestled to the The Umstead Resort.
The interactive, open kitchen adds a touch of class to the restaurant, and it’s lovely watching fellow diners ‘ohhh’ and ‘arhh’ over their ‘smokey’ plates.
The restaurant works closely with a Japanese restaurant down the road – so be sure to taste a lot of Japanese flavours with North Carolina produce on the menu.
A bit of fun, offering a break from BBQ and hush puppies when in The Triangle
The b*critic says: The waiters try desperately hard to give you a fine-dining experience, which can come across as stilted and a little rude – but once you get over that – you have a delicious meal that borders on a 1* Michelin Restaurant in Europe.
The b*critic sat down with Chef Steven Greene for all the goss on food, NC produce and his new appointment at The Umstead Resort.
Hi Chef Steven, How are you? Thanks for joining us! We’re diving straight into it!
1. How would you describe your cooking style? Progressive American with locally sourced ingredients
2. You use a lot of Japanese flavors, and work with another Japanese restaurant in the area, how do die hard North Carolina’s take to this style of cooking? I love Japanese techniques and flavors due to their delicate balance. An’ restaurant, our sister property, is modern Asian food and not necessarily Japanese. Since we have grown the business greatly over the past two years, I would assume people enjoy the change.
3. The triangle has a lot of great produce that change with seasons, how does this affect your menu? Greatly. I would say the seasonal produce is my biggest influence when creating the food and menus.
4. What would you make with 1 pound of heirloom tomatoes? Well it depends on where I am “restaurant? Home?, There is so much you can do with them. You could make a Gazpacho, a Tartar, An amazing BLT, a Tomato Salad.
5. What would you do with 1 pound of apples? I love Parsnip-Apple Soup, Smoked Hickory Nuts, Vanilla, Coconut
6. What’s your favorite season? Autumn
7. Your kitchen is fairly interactive with a giant window overlooking the restaurant, how does this change your momentum in the kitchen? Well, I certainly make sure the cooks maintain an element of cool. We are putting on an edible show for our guests it needs to look like we have done this before.
8. You’re very young and so is your team, yet the kitchen is well disciplined, what do you envisage next in your career? I hope to continue pushing forward with the restaurants and food for the hotel. I think we can do great things here at Herons, I will keep pushing to put it on the map.