John E. Batchelor’s Chefs of the Mountains
John E. Batchelor’s Chefs of the Mountains • Western North Carolina is an established tourist destination with ski slopes, hiking trails, scenic drives along the Blue Ridge Parkway, national and state parks, and numerous other recreational offerings. The region is also a popular real-estate mecca for retirees and vacation home buyers. These factors, combined with the local food movement that has grown up around the cultural communities in Asheville, Boone, and Blowing Rock, are a welcoming environment for fine dining and an irresistible attraction for a number of remarkable chefs. Chefs of the Mountains: Restaurants and Recipes from Western North Carolina provides a guide to finding these culinary gems plus the tools to re-create favorite dining experiences in the home. • Click Here To Order
In Chefs of the Mountains, restaurant reviewer and food critic John Batchelor profiles more than 40 well-established and up-and-coming chefs from the region. Drawing from personal interviews, Batchelor reveals each chef’s cooking philosophy, influences, and personality. Each profile also includes: A description of the restaurant, its ambience, and sample menu items, Color photographs of the chef, restaurant, and food, Recipes from each chef—such as Fried Green Tomatoes, Chocolate Steak, Prosciutto-Stuffed Pork Chops, Grilled Bison, Cornmeal-Crusted Trout, Jicama-Crusted Mahi-Mahi, Shrimp and Grits, Blueberry Semi Freddo, and Avocado-Jalapeno Ice Cream—formatted and tested for home cooks. • Click Here To Order
"For Wolfgang Green, a job in a hotel kitchen was an escape route from East Germany just before the Berlin Wall went up. Katie Button traded in a career in biomedical engineering to work in one of the best restaurants in the world. The pursuit of “fabulous food” led Marianne Blazar on adventures in Paris and Africa before she began her first food service job on a charter boat in the Virgin Islands. Their paths were varied, but they all found their way to cooking, and to western North Carolina.
In Chefs of the Mountains: Restaurants & Recipes from Western North Carolina, longtime food critic John Batchelor tells these stories and those of 37 other chefs whose hard work and innovative menus are helping to make the North Carolina mountains a culinary destination. Batchelor’s personal interviews with the chefs reveal their individual philosophies, influences, and personalities. Each profile is accompanied by recipes and color photos of the chefs, their restaurants, and the food for which they are best known.
If there’s one thing all 40 chefs have in common, it’s a commitment to using fresh, local ingredients in their dishes. Fortunately, they live in a region where produce is plentiful and where a spirit of cooperation links them with farmers and artisanal producers, fostering a strong farm-to-table movement. Batchelor highlights these relationships in sidebars about local businesses such as organic vegetable and meat producers and a gourmet chocolate shop.
Chefs of the Mountains grew out of Batchelor’s experiences judging culinary competitions, including Fire on the Rock and the Western North Carolina Chef ’s Challenge. He got a chance to interact with some of the best chefs in the state and was inspired to share his insights with fellow foodies. “My wife remarked that my cooking got better after I started judging these events,” Batchelor says. “I was able to observe and talk to the chefs while they were preparing dishes, and I picked up techniques and skills that are second nature to a professional, but not necessarily clear to home cooks. I don’t want to be a chef—they work too hard! But on occasion, I would like to be able to cook like a chef. And that’s partly what this book is about.”
Between the temperate climate, spectacular views, and unique culture, there are plenty of reasons to visit the North Carolina mountains. But in Chefs of the Mountains, Batchelor makes it clear that there is at least one—make that 40—more: western North Carolina is home to a group of chefs that rival the very best.
John E. Batchelor has been writing about food and travel for more than 30 years. John E. Batchelor doesn’t want to be a chef. But he is endlessly fascinated by chefs and has been known to cook like one on occasion. Batchelor was born in Greensboro, N.C. His love of food has always been a part of his life. “When I was a child,” he says, “when we would go out to eat with company or family, my mother would make me eat two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before we left the house so that I would not embarrass her by eating everything.” Later, Batchelor received a bachelor’s degree in history from Guilford College and a master’s in history from UNC–Greensboro, both earned while teaching in the Guilford County schools. Always passionate about good food and beverages, Batchelor soon faced a challenge: he could not a afford to go to the restaurants he wanted to visit on a teacher’s salary. Funneling his interest in food into writing, he began reviewing restaurants for the Greensboro Record, an a afternoon daily newspaper, in July 1981. After the Record merged with the Greensboro Daily News, creating the Greensboro News & Record, his column moved to the morning paper. He went on to earn a doctorate from North Carolina State University and become superintendent of Anson County and Scotland County schools and later an educational consultant at Johns Hopkins University. He continued to write about restaurants and has published about a thousand articles over the last 30 years. Batchelor has also reviewed restaurants for the Winston-Salem Journal. In addition, he writes travel articles and leads tour groups on trips to wineries around the United States as well on trips to Europe that focus on dining, wines, historic sites, and art museums and galleries. He lives with his wife, Dale, in Greensboro.
John F. Blair, Publisher, has been publishing books on the southeastern United States since 1954 and distributes for several presses across the South, including Lookout Books, Hub City Press, and NewSouth Books. Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., this independent, family-owned company specializes in history, travel, folklore, biography, and fiction. Learn more at www.blairpub.com" • Click Here To Order
Restaurants and Chefs featured in Chefs of the Mountains
Storie Street Grille • Andrew Long
Best Cellar • Josh Emerline
Chetola Resort • Michael Barbato
Crippen’s Country Inn & Restaurant • Stan Chamberlain
Green Park Inn • James Welch
Restaurant “G” at Gideon Ridge Inn, Bistro Roca and Antlers Bar • Michael Foreman
Rowland’s at Westglow Spa • Nate Curtis
The Porch Swing • Guy Thomas
The Eseeola Lodge • Patrick Maisonhaute
Knife and Fork • Nate Allen
Mountain Magnolia Inn • Chris Brown
Cúrate • Katie Button
The Market Place • William S. Dissen
Red Stag Grill at the Grand Bohemian Hotel • Adam Hayes
The Biltmore, The Bistro, Deerpark, Cedric’s Tavern, The Inn • Damien Cavicchi
Café Azalea • Judd Lohof
The Junction • Camp Boswell
Rezaz • Reza Setayesh
Roux • Randy Dunn
Season’s at Highland Lake Inn • Peter Fassbender
The Orchard Inn • Marianne Blazar
The Swag Country Inn • Keith Davis
For More Information
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Winston-Salem, N.C. 27103