Archive for November, 2016

FOOD MOVEMENT

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blairknobel-headshotGreg McPhee is an artist. But his work isn’t in any museum or hanging in any gallery. In fact, it’s destroyed on the same day he creates it, and he prefers it that way.

 

McPhee is a chef, and he is on the brink of opening his first restaurant The Anchorage in the Village of West Greenville. Each chef tells a story, and Greg’s is a tale of land, river, and ocean. It isn’t just about the end plate: the artistry in front of you is about the growth and care of the finest local produce, a perfect balance of flavor, texture, and color. What you see is art; what you taste is expression. Food is McPhee’s medium. With The Anchorage, he intends to transform both Greenville’s food culture and the neighborhood of West Greenville.

 

Chef Greg McPhee prepared his rendition of the Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes for friends and colleagues, and TOWN was there.

Chef Greg McPhee prepared his rendition of the Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes for friends and colleagues, and TOWN was there.

Like-minded chefs dot the landscape here, those who encourage us to treat eating as an experience and not just a mindless act. And while we rejoice in Greenville’s dynamic food scene, it also happens to be close to some of the best food in the country, only a short drive away.

 

Asheville’s culinary renaissance comes thanks to its cultural vibrancy, which extends to its cuisine. Chef Katie Button continues her rise as one of the best chefs in the Southeast, lighting up the pages of Bon Appétit and Food & Wine magazines, among other national media. Button is now on tour with her first book—Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen—which features recipes from her award-winning (and consistently booked) Spanish tapas restaurant Cúrate. Two years ago, she, her parents, and her Catalan husband Felix Meana opened a second spot: Nightbell, where Button deftly executes creative spins on comforting dishes (like duck confit “poutine” with crispy waffles, mushroom hand pies, and a killer burger). Her city neighbors Local Provisions, featuring Chef Justin Burdette’s artistic takes on Southern ingredients, OWL Bakery, Susannah Gebhart’s European-style bakeshop and café, and HOLE, doughnuts that set the bar, are forwarding Asheville’s already buzzing food scene.

 

’Tis the season for eating, which satisfies and sustains us. While we gather around tables near and far, let’s thank our lucky stars for the chefs who transport us, too.

 

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Blair Knobel

Editor-in-Chief

Twitter / Instagram: @LBKNOBEL

 

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Blair’s shot from a recent outing to OWL Bakery, featuring Scandanavian cardamom buns and a chocolate cookie.

THE DEMOCRACY OF GIVING

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blairknobel-headshotThe Giving Issue is our yearly celebration and reflection of the humbling acts of charitable donation, work, and time. Perhaps more than recent years, the theme resonates keenly as we stand on the brink of new leadership for our country. Though, at this printing, the outcome remains unclear, one thing appears certain: we have an undercurrent of dissonance, which destroys rather than strengthens.
 
There are many potential reasons for discord, but my intention isn’t to propose them. What I would like to suggest is a means of repair, something that I believe to be the restorative salve for our times, for anytime. Perhaps the most crucial, singular thing that anyone can do is to be kind. It’s an egalitarian action that we all can enjoy and which can lead—almost immediately—to a positive result.
 
While giving takes many shapes, from donations to volunteerism, we each have the power and opportunity to choose kindness. It is the simplest, most affordable, effective, available, and doable thing. We celebrate individuals and organizations who have made giving a prominent part of their lives, if not the most important. But the fact is, we do not need anything to be kind. It begins with our attitude. Our presence. Our action. With us, quite literally.
 
We can change the world with kindness. It sounds campy, for sure. Cliché, certainly. Idealistic, absolutely. What’s wrong with that? It is the most accessible, democratic form of giving. We all can do it. All of us. With a nod, a gesture, a smile. An acknowledgment of life, rather than an action that cuts, depletes, and diminishes.
 
Why, then, would we choose to put cruelty above care, grudges over olive branches? We have our reasons, no doubt. I’m no stranger to destructive feelings and experiences. But the more I think of it, the more it makes absolute sense: to be kind, to take the high road, to remain just, to acknowledge the aspect of humanness in another is the finest expression of self, the purest—and most vital—opportunity to give. And to receive, too.
 
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Blair Knobel

Editor-in-Chief

Twitter / Instagram: @LBKNOBEL


lettherebelight

International artist Erwin Redl’s light-centric installations span ten neighborhoods in Spartanburg. For the story, click here.