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Best Dish in North Carolina

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Hendersonville chef and restauranteur Scott Adams owns and operates Blackwater Grille (, which specializes in local Southern Highland cuisine. Scott and I go to school together on Tuesday nights (we’re both earning our Masters degree in Management & Leadership), and here’s the scoop on his “real life” when not in class:

Blackwater Grille is a contender in the North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s 2008 “Best Dish in North Carolina” contest (,  which requires chefs to develop a  dish using local products. Western North Carolina has several finalists this time, so for those who don’t know NC extends further west than Winston-Salem, it’s an opportunity to come taste the region for yourself.

Blackwater Grille took second place last year in the Casual Dining category, and is the only independent restaurant to be named a finalist two years in a row. Way to go, Scott and crew!

Here’s the lowdown on Blackwater Grille’s entry for Best Dish (and yes, I asked for permission to describe it–didn’t want to spill the beans or upset the apple cart, or any other potentially damaging food-related cliches):

Scott’s presentation begins with a Blackberry Salad featuring a mix of local greens and herbs, applewood smoked bacon, goat cheese from Spinning Spider Creamery (, warm blackberry butter (have mercy!) and a balsamic vinaigrette.

The main dish is a confit of rabbit with heirloom tomatoes, mushrooms and ramps (more details on each of these later), served with a side of spinach dumplings and roasted garden vegetables.

Dessert = a Napoleon made from nut breads (apple butter-walnut and pecan) layered with blackberries and strawberries grown at a local farm and berry ice cream (also made at the farm), and topped with a traditional Southern delicacy known as chocolate gravy. Don’t know about chocolate gravy? Where have you been all your life? 

I think I put on a few pounds just describing Scott’s culinary version of heaven-on-a-plate…can you imagine what the real thing tastes/smells/looks like? Let’s get on over to Blackwater Grille and see what’s cooking!



About ltbrwnhare

A real Ashevillain, from the fabled town of Asheville, NC. There aren't too many of us "from here" any more, but don't ask about the secret handshake. Few people know I blog; they think I work for corporate America. I do. Both. There's probably a secret handshake for that, too. You can think of me as a "locavore," if you like: someone who consumes local food and culture. I'm not just local, though--I like finding out interesting stuff from all over the place, traveling, tasting, reading, writing fiction (actually, I write non-fiction--I just don't let my family read it and get mad at me for spilling the beans. There are some pretty funky beans to spill, sometimes, but that's just a fact of life in the South...), and lots of other things. If I think of them, maybe I'll blog about them.

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