Awards Night // April 2013 Mantry

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Smoked Onion Jam // Blackberry Farm // Walland, TN

It was a no brainer to go back to back on Blackberry Farm when we tasted this slow cooked combo of smoked Georgia vidalia onions, sherry vinegar and benne seeds (southern for sesame). Consider it your go to condiment to dress up any down home eats, from beefing up a burger to elevating a grilled cheese sanny.

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In May, The James Beard Awards (aka. the Oscars for food) showcases some of the top chefs and restaurants in America. Mantry brings you six can’t miss products from past winners and nominees.

Buttermilk & Sage Brined Fried Chicken Mix // Blackberry Farm // Walland, TN

Boasting a butchery, a brewery, a creamery, several gardens, and two restaurants on site, Blackberry Farm is a culinary compound in the foothills of Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains. Not a bad team to have in your corner for Sunday supper, just follow the back of the bag for a surefire crowd pleaser.

Sweet Potato Habanero Sauce // Cochon // New Orleans, LA

Chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski have dotted the Louisiana dining scene such that you can eat your way through NOLA and never visit a joint not run by them. Tuck into gumbo at Herbsaint and crawfish pie at Cochon or hunker down over housemade charcuterie and some of the best sandwiches in the south at the neighboring Cochon Butcher. Use this unique sweet potato heat to bring a lil’ bayou to your Blackberry Farm Fried Chicken or wake up a plate of eggs.

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Pork Rub // Hot Hot Fish Club // Birmingham, AL

Chef Chris Hastings is celebrated for bringing modern refinement to Southern ingredients, working closely with local farmers and gulf fisherman to churn out plates that netted him the 2012 JB award for Best Chef South. This gent has also spent enough time in Bama to know a thing or two about pork. Guarded almost as closely as Nick Saban’s playbook, his house blend is a smoky rub that will perk up anything from ribs to a blackened fish taco.

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Som Drinking Vinegar // Pok Pok // Portland, OR

Andy Ricker has done for American Thai Food what mall food courts haven’t. His Portland joint Pok Pok, which recently set up outposts in NYC is an institution that’s properly introducing America to Northern Thai Cuisine. People flock for his fiery and fragrant dishes armed with authentic flavors foreign to the ubiquitous take-out variety, washing it all down with refreshing gulps of Pok Pok Som which is served in all of Ricker’s restaurants. Drinking vinegars actually date back to the colonial era in the US when they were commonly referred to as “shrubs”. Ricker suggests 4:1 soda to Som or nab a Pok Pok cocktail recipe at Mantry.com.

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Acorn Borsellino Salami // La Querica // Norwalk, IA

Paul Kahan, a five time James Beard Outstanding Chef nominee and the man behind the likes of Chicago’s Avec, Blackbird and The Publican shares one of his favorite artisan meat producers in America.

“La Quercia is simply the best American cured ham. I met Herb Eckhouse before he was selling commercially at a farmers market in Iowa and have been supporting him ever since. He uses the finest raw ingredients to make the best cured ham.”

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April 2013 Mantry |Awards Night

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