I feel like I’m missing something. Once largely regarded, for those who even knew it existed, as the backwaters of a terribly misunderstood state, Southwest Virginia has quietly become ground zero for all things good in the world of food. Restaurants like River and Rail in Roanoke, The Palisades in Eggleston, Mountain Lake Lodge in Newport, Lucky’s in Salem, The Black Hen in Blacksburg, Metro! in Roanoke, Cuz’s in Pounding Mill, and a plethora of others are cooking on the cusp of the envelope. Chef’s such as Aaron Deal, Ashton Carter, Kevin White, Devin Giles, and so many others are unassumingly working on the edge of Southern Cuisine, infusing their own experiences and relationships with farmers into their menus, changing things up almost constantly in response to what is available. Food once thought of as trash, Appalachian cooking techniques and all things local are turning up on tables everywhere as people increasingly join the ever growing ranks of individuals who are grouping together in their appreciation of what the Appalachian Mountains, with it’s high meadows and cold, clear creeks, have to offer.
In a fit of homesickness, I have decided to re-visit my homeland and some great friends, enjoy some amazing food, split some wood, warm my bones by a wood fire in a cottage deep in the mountains, check out signs of an early spring and clear my brain. I’ll work hard on this post, and I promise you won’t be disappointed!