Exclusive Interview with Chef David Moore from Gallery Restaurant (The Ballantyne Hotel)

Image: Chef David Moore (Bissell)

Pick a Chef’s Brain is with Chef David from The Ballantyne Hotel
For the delicious recipe by Chef David Moore – click here


How would you describe your style and philosophy in the kitchen?
Our style – Gallery Restaurant takes an in-season, local ingredient forward – hyper-technique driven – progressive Southern approach to creating delicious and beautiful indigenous cuisine that justly represents North Carolina “agricultural arts” and reflects our drive to be ferociously passionate culinary professionals.

My philosophy – Respect the ingredient.

The casual yet well planned menu is unique with lots of local produce, what are your favorite north Carolina’s ingredients?

Chili peppers – Specifically the Carolina Reaper – I’m helplessly addicted. I advocate putting lots of them on everything.

Honey – Specifically from Strahil Manchev, an associate at The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge. I love keeping flights or vintages of multiple local honey harvests throughout the year as they change in sugar and mineral content. My son Connor was born in May 2014, and I am keeping a vintage from his birth year for him to enjoy when the time is right.   

Distilled Spirits – It feels difficult sometimes to keep track of how many new distilleries are popping up all over the state. I enjoy the challenge of maintaining the balance and integrity of each flavor profile when incorporating spirits into my cooking. Some of my favorites are Troy & Sons mixed wood, Muddy River Queen Charlotte’s Carolina rum, Southern Artisan spirits Barrel rested gin, and I am anxiously awaiting the opening of Motte & Sons Bootlegging Co. in my hometown, Spartanburg, SC.     

What would you do with 1 pound of heirloom tomatoes?
I am going to imagine that this is a single purple Calabash or Cherokee tomato. 
First, I would concasse and remove the skin for drying to make a ground tomato powder.
Secondly, I would squeeze the seeds and jelly from the tomato, separating the two for different uses.
Third, I would crush and salt the chopped flesh and jelly of the tomato and place it in a super bag to extract a perfectly clear tomato consommé.
Fourth, I would puree the residual tomato flesh and cook it with sugar, pectin and lemon juice to make an heirloom tomato pate de fruit and then eat them immediately.
Fifth, I would use the consommé to make a tomato cocktail, garnishing the rim of the glass with tomato powder
Sixth, I would enjoy my tomato cocktail while planting my carefully reserved tomato seeds.

What would you do with 1 pound of apples?
Let the apples decide!

Your deviled eggs recipe is a twist on an old favorite, how did you come up with these Flavors?
As with any menu item we create, it always starts as a conversation.  My sous chef Garrett Merck and I both grew up eating traditional Southern style deviled eggs so we had an amazing base of food memories from which to operate. Garrett originally conceptualized the dish as a bar appetizer about a year ago. At that point we hadn’t locked in a dominant flavor profile but whispers of kimchi and gochugaru started filling the kitchen.  From there we simply A/B tested the individual mise en place components until we had a functional plate. Eating this dish makes me very happy.  

What can people expect from you in the next year or so?
The Carolinas’ side of the culinary world and its off shoots have really seen an extraordinary upswing in the last year or two. We have the foodies’ attention and the South is really under that epicurean microscope now. I think new opportunities will be limitless in 2015. As for me, I’ll be adding a few gourmet baby food recipes to my current repertoire and really buckling up for this parenthood ride!

Image: Tomato Mozzarella Caprese by Bissell

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