Blog

My Thanksgiving

November 22, 2010
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Just thinking about it brings about fond memories of warmth, comfort and time spent together with family & friends.  My family has enjoyed the same food traditions for as long as I can remember, and my hope is that my niece will continue them with her family.  
 
Growing up, we always roasted a whole bird-the bigger the better. It was a source of pride (and, I think, bragging rights) for mom to be roasting the biggest bird of all our friends & relatives.  The smallest bird she would consider roasting (also known in the family as a pigeon) was 20 lbs. We now do a turkey breast, and while it’s much more appropriate, it just seems to lack the ‘wow’ factor of that beautifully golden brown turkey.

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Local Offerings November 8th

Still lots of great fresh local produce coming in the back door at Guilford Dining. Tony at Flora Ridge is off the list this week due to a bug problem, but should be back next week with his famous Savoy Leaf Spinach. Stay tuned!

Produce:

Reynolda Farm Market
Slicing Tomatoes
Yellow Squash
Zucchini Squash
Eggplant
Granny Smith Apples
Red Delicious Apples

Eastern Carolina Organics
Bok Choy
Cherry Tomatoes
Salad Mix
Arugula
Green Cabbage
Rainbow Chard

Other:
Chicken – Hopkins Poultry
Sausage – Neese’s Country Sausage
Flour Grits, and Cornmeal – Booneville Flour and Feed
Heavy Cream, Half and Half, Whole Milk – Homeland Creamery

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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

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

Eastern Carolina Organics

High Country Heirloom Apples
Baby Bok Choy
Arugula
Purple Top Turnips
Basil
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
Cucumbers
Red Delicious Apples
Yellow Apples
Broccoli
Tomatoes
Cabbage
Yellow Tomatoes
Red Peppers
Green Peppers
Eggplant
Peaches

Eastern Carolina Organics

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

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