Let’s Carry Contest’s Lone WV Chef to Victory!

September 16, 2015 by The Food Guy
No Gravatar


It’s time to carry one of our own chefs to victory – and you could win yourself a cool $10,000 in the process!!

To celebrate its 135 years in business, Thomas English Muffins is sponsoring a “Hometown Breakfast Battle” where 135 chefs from across the country were invited to create their own tasty morning dish incorporating a Thomas muffin or bagel. Voters nationwide will chose the winner. That’s where you come in.

Chef Noah MillerOnly one West Virginia chef is in the competition – and it’s our own talented Noah Miller, chef and owner of Noah’s Eclectic Bistro in Charleston. Noah’s contest creation features a delicious combination of braised greens, fried-green tomatoes, country ham and corn on a whole-grain muffin.

“After making it and tasting it, I named my entry ‘Welcome to Appalachia English Muffin’ because I thought it really did speak to our culture,” he said. “Even the muffin is whole-grain to replicate a buckwheat or whole-grain Johnny cake. I’m really impressed how well it came together and how good it tastes.”

But as good as it is, he still needs your help to win.

Welcome to Appalachia English MuffinNoah’s lone West Virginia entry is competing against 134 from other states now through Sept. 27. At that point, only the top 16 vote-getters will advance to the next round, with follow-up voting narrowing the field to 8, 4 and then just 2 leading up through Oct. 25.

You can vote daily, plus share Noah’s entry through Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram to help him get even more votes. (And remember, every vote you cast gives you another entry in the contest’s $10,000 prize for the public. Daily voters may also win a supply of Thomas muffins, too.)

The contest slogan is … “135 years. 135 chefs. You decide who wins.” But there’s only one West Virginian, y’all.

Visit http://bit.ly/1UV8FgP to vote for Noah every day – and secure your chance to win a big bunch o’ cash, too.

Vote, share, repeat. VOTE. SHARE. REPEAT!

Appalachian Food Photos Could Win You a Getaway

September 3, 2015 by The Food Guy
No Gravatar

We ALL love looking at food porn. (C’mon, you can admit it. You’re not “reading it” for the recipes.)

There’s just something undeniably addictive about staring at gorgeous photos of delicious food – mouth gaping open and watering, eyes glazed over, tummy rumbling.

But how good are you at TAKING those scandalously scrumptious images? If you fancy yourself quite the food photographer, your skills could help you walk away with a mountain getaway!

“The Revivalist: Word from the Appalachian South” blog is sponsoring a food photo contest, Appalachian Appetite, that is looking for great images capturing anyone who loves growing, cooking and sharing food. The grand prize is a two-night getaway at the historic Mast Farm Inn. Nestled in the secluded Valley Crucis, the inn boasts an award-winning restaurant, nearby shops and all the outdoor activities you could ever want. Two runners-up win one-year subscriptions to regional magazine Smoky Mountain Living, which celebrates life throughout the Southern Appalachians. The magazine will also showcase the three top-voted photos in an upcoming issue.

What kind of photos are acceptable?

“Shots from your garden – yes. That beautiful pie you baked last Thanksgiving – yup. Great-aunt Edith dropping catsup down her blouse – absolutely,” says Mark Lynn Ferguson, who founded the contest and the blog. He said as long as it’s food-related, just about any photo is fair game.

Entries don’t even need to be shot in Appalachia. They just need to appeal to The Revivalist’s readers, who are also the photo contest’s judges. Votes on the photo contest page will determine winners, now through Sept. 13.

Got Produce? Tune in to Veggie Guru Bob Corey

July 8, 2015 by The Food Guy
No Gravatar

Summer is the best time to get your hands on a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables – and local produce guru Bob Corey can offer some great ideas on what to do with it.

The Produce Corner with Bob CoreyThe CEO of local produce supplier Corey Brothers has expanded the reach of his popular televised cooking segment by offering more than 20 years’ worth of the best episodes on a new website.

“The Produce Corner with Bob Corey” – which spanned 23 years as a local news segment on TV stations nationwide and three years on the Food Network – is now available on You Tube and online at www.producecornerwithbobcorey.com.

After taping more than 3,000 segments in his TV career, Corey selected nearly 300 of the most informative to showcase online. These videos guide viewers through and entire year of seasonal produce, offering nutritional information, cooking tips and more along the way. Hundreds of recipes can also be easily printed and forwarded from the site.

In addition to helping inspire home cooks to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into their diets, Corey hopes the new resource will be utilized by restaurants, grocery stores and other food-related businesses as well.

“The Produce Corner with Bob Corey website, its episodes and recipes are available to incorporate into produce personnel training” he said.

“My vision is for the site to be an interesting and entertaining training and education tool to complement existing produce training programs to further educate managers, staff and trainees – as well as chefs, apprentices and culinary students who may not have the knowledge to convey to their customers information about an item or how to prep, fix and prepare it for their enjoyment.”

As If You Need A Reason to Eat Grilled Cheese

April 13, 2015 by The Food Guy
No Gravatar

Did you know that people who love grilled cheese sandwiches have more sex, are more charitable and more adventurous than those who don’t?

To mark “National Grilled Cheese Day” on April 12, social dating app Skout surveyed more than 4,600 of its U.S. users to see what people’s grilled cheese sandwich preferences say about them. Among the highlights …

  • Print86% of adults surveyed say they “love” grilled cheese sandwiches. (Well, duh.)
  • Grilled cheese sandwich lovers get more action in the bedroom, with 73% of people who love grilled cheese sandwiches having sex at least once a month vs. 68% of those who don’t care for the sandwich. Further still, 32% of grilled cheese lovers have sex at least six times a month vs. 27% who pass on sandwich.
  • 81% of those who love grilled cheese sandwiches say they have donated their time, money or food to those in need, compared to only 66% who dislike grilled cheese.
  • While a grilled cheese sandwich may seem like a safe, all-American meal, 88% of its fans say they are “fairly/very” adventurous, vs. 75%. Further still, 84% of grilled cheese sandwich fans love to travel, compared to 78% who don’t dig the melty cheese.
  • The most popular grilled cheese in America is American (41%) followed by cheddar (33%), mozzarella (10%), Swiss (8%), provolone (6%) and brie (2%)
  • White bread is by far the most popular choice (51%) followed by wheat (29%), sourdough (13%), rye (4%) and a baguette (3%).

Feast on a “Potluck” Friday in Pocahontas County

April 7, 2015 by The Food Guy
No Gravatar

If you find yourself near West Virginia’s Potomac Highlands this weekend – or just want to take a trip to one of the state’s most scenic spots – be sure to head to the Pocahontas County Opera House in Marlinton to feast on “Potluck,” a performance of stories, songs and poems all about food.

Potluck Poster

Colleen Anderson, Julie Adams and Karen Vuranch in “Potluck.”

West Virginia’s own Julie Adams, Colleen Anderson and Karen Vuranch serve up their favorite pieces about cookery and community (and the connections between them) in an hour-long live performance that promises to “satisfy your soul, lift your heart and tickle your funny bone.”

Known as “West Virginia’s First Lady of Storytelling,” Karen Vuranch tours throughout the world but is most known for her Appalachian and multi-cultural stories and living-history performances as writer Pearl S. Buck, labor organizer Mother Jones and humanitarian Clara Barton.

Julie Adams is a singer/songwriter on the internationally syndicated public radio show Mountain Stage who has performed with Kathy Mattea, Sarah McLachlan, Bruce Cockburn, Shawn Colvin and many others.

Colleen Anderson is a writer, designer and songwriter whose work has been published by Redbook and Arts & Letters, among others. Her songs also have been featured on Mountain Stage and The Folk Sampler.

The show begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets – which are $10 for adults and free for children 17 and under – can be ordered here.

‘Meatout Monday’ Potluck Rings in Spring

March 23, 2015 by The Food Guy
No Gravatar

In conjunction with other groups across the world who organize “Meatout” events to mark March 20 – the first day of Spring – the Kanawha Valley Vegan Potluck Group invites the public to their own “Meatout Monday” Potluck from 5:30-7:15 tonight at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 520 Kanawha Blvd. West in Charleston.

The event is designed to provide guests an opportunity to sample a variety of vegan dishes while learning about the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet. Members of the group will share their personal stories and all are encouraged to swap recipes.

Live music will be provided by Minnesota Riot Grrrrl Folk Collective member Shannon Murray, who blends self-penned songs on the struggles for existence with traditional labor and folk covers. Green smoothie samples will be provided, and guests also will have a chance to win $10 gift certificates donated by Bluegrass Kitchen, Healthy Life Market, Mission Savvy, Starling’s Coffee and Provisions and Tricky Fish!

There is no cost to attend, but an offering will be collected to help cover use of the building and entertainment. For more information on the international movement, visit www.meatout.org.

Want to attend, but not sure what to bring? The group recommends checking out these websites for last-minute vegan recipes and ideas:

Local Mac & Cheese Cook-off Now World Qualifier

March 12, 2015 by The Food Guy
No Gravatar

As if Charleston’s second-annual Mac & Cheese Cook-off weren’t exciting enough, there’s an even bigger reason you won’t want to miss this year’s event …

Coordinator Rachel Scudiere recently learned the local cook-off has been selected to be a qualifier for the “World Food Championships” competition in Florida this November.

That’s big news, y’all!

As a result, Scudiere is extending the registration deadline for those who would like to participate until next Wednesday, March 18.

This year’s event takes place Saturday, March 28, at Charleston’s Capital Market. For more information, check out my previous story at http://bit.ly/1zO0hnT or visit www.childhoodlanguagecenter.org.

“Eat a Ridiculous Amount of Food” Sunday is Here!

February 1, 2015 by The Food Guy
No Gravatar

How can the biggest football game in the world be so Super if action on the field is constantly overshadowed by food and commercials?

Beats me, but Super Bowl Sunday is here – so belly up to the buffet!

Taste of Home says Americans spent more than $1 billion on food during last year’s game, making it the second-most popular holiday for eating, trailing only Thanksgiving.


Research shows fans will devour about 1.25 billion wings and 11 million pounds of potato chips tonight alone. They also say you could fill a football field almost 12 feet deep with the amount of guacamole that will be consumed during the game – a fact that is both unbelievable and gross.

So whether you watch while dipping into the salsa or diving into a platter of wings or pot of chili, you’re in good company.

Super Bowl Sunday is always a big day for pizza delivery, but you can intercept that looooooong wait for a slice by making your own at home. Here are two recipes from Kontos for inspiration …


Ffour-cheese margherita pizzaour-Cheese Margherita Pizza

one ready-made pizza crust

1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

½ tablespoon fresh minced garlic

dash of sea salt

8-9 slices of small Roma tomatoes

3 oz. shredded whole milk (artisan) mozzarella

2 oz. Fontina cheese

1 oz. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 oz. Feta cheese

4 fresh basil leaves washed, dried and julienne sliced (strips)

  1. Preheat oven to 400⁰ F (375⁰ for a convection oven)
  2. Stir together the olive oil, garlic, salt and tomatoes and let stand for 15 minutes.
  3. Brush the crust with the tomato marinade (leave tomatoes in the bowl).
  4. Arrange tomato slices over the top of the crust.
  5. Spread Mozzarella and Fontina shredded cheese evenly over top of tomato slices; top evenly with shredded Parmesan cheese, Feta cheese and sliced basil leaves.
  6. Place topped pizza into the oven, directly on rack for crispy crust, on a pan for soft crust.
  7. Bake for approx. 5 minutes (a few minutes less for convection oven); remove from oven with a baking sheet or pizza spatula.
  8. Let cool for 1-2 minutes. Slice into 4-6 slices and enjoy!


veggie lover's pizzaVeggie Lovers Pizza

One ready-made pizza crust

3 oz. tomato pizza sauce

4 oz. whole milk Mozzarella (artisan) cheese

1 ½ oz. sliced red onions

1 ½ oz. sliced black olives

1 ½ oz. total (½ oz of each) diced red, green and yellow bell peppers

  1. Preheat oven to 400⁰ F (375⁰ for a convection oven).
  2. Evenly spread the tomato pizza sauce over crust.
  3. Evenly spread the Mozzarella cheese over the top of the pizza sauce.
  4. Top with the bell pepper mixture, black olives and sliced red onions.
  5. Place topped pizza into the oven, directly on rack for crispy crust, on a pan for soft crust.
  6. Bake for approx. 5 minutes, or a minute or two less in a convection oven; remove from oven with a baking sheet or pizza spatula.
  7. Let cool for 1-2 minutes, slice into 4-6 slices and enjoy!


Cooking tip: Oven baking times can vary. Flatbread pizza is ready when the cheese is melted completely and edges are medium to dark brown.

Bloomery’s Sweetshine … Oh, So, Fine!

January 22, 2015 by The Food Guy
No Gravatar

For the second time in as many years, a West Virginia craft distillery has been named a winner in the prestigious Good Food Awards. Bloomery Sweetshine in Charles Town (formerly Bloomery Plantation Distillery) won in the spirits category for its Pumpkin Spice Shine.

Bloomery Sweetshine

Bloomery Sweetshine

They join 145 other winners nationwide honored for the responsible and sustainable production of high-quality American craft food and drink in multiple categories.

Winners, representing 33 different states, were selected from nearly 1,500 entries nationwide after a rigorous blind taste test among 182 judges.

Bloomery’s West Virginia-made shine shared top honors with other spirits like organic pear brandy from Colorado, wild elderberry and quince fruit liqueurs from California, and lemon-ginger and hibiscus-lavender syrups from Oregon.

Smooth Ambler Spirits near Lewisburg was similarly honored for its small-batch gin last year.

Happy National Cheese Lovers Day!

January 20, 2015 by The Food Guy
No Gravatar

What, you didn’t know?

There’s a day, week or month to celebrate just about anything these days, and cheese gets it spotlight today. Personally, I feel like cheese deserves MUCH MORE than a mere 24 hours, but I’ll do my best to honor it in this short time we have today.

And in honor of the occasion, I’ll also share these tips from food app SideChef on how to style your own cheese board like a pro. A good cheese board, they say, should consist of three to five different styles of cheeses, plus an assortment of accompaniments that provide a variety of flavors and textures – so no two bites are the same.

When it comes to the cheese itself …

  • Cheese is made of three types of milk: goat, sheep and cow.
  • There are five different textures of cheese: hard, semi-hard, soft, semi-soft and blue.
  • There are two essential types of tastes: mellow that includes citrusy, fruity and herbal tastes; and intense that includes bitter, smoky and sharp ones.
  • For your display, choose cheeses with different textures and flavors (varying from mild to strong) and at least one cheese from each animal.

And about those accompaniments …

  • Cheese needs sidekicks that make it shine, so choose yours carefully.
  • Breads and crackers provide a base for the cheese, but stick to simple or complimentary flavors that don’t overpower your cheeses.
  • Fresh and dried fruits or fruit spreads compliment intense cheeses.
  • Brined vegetables such as olives or peppers provide a salty contrast.
  • Nuts offer a crunchy, nutty flavor.

And if National Cheese Lovers Day snuck up on you, consider this fair warning for the days ahead – Jan. 22 is National Hot Sauce Day and Jan. 25 is National Irish Coffee Day!