Jed Portman

Crispy Okra Fries

By Jed PortmanGood EatsJune 17, 2014

Meherwan Irani learned to cook from his mother. And while he is hardly unique in that respect, he must be one of the few chefs in the country who asked his mother to train the kitchen staff, too. The menu at Chai Pani, a color-splashed bastion of citrus and spice in Asheville, North Carolina, is rooted in the flavors of the chef’s childhood in northern India, and for good reason. Irani spent more than a decade in sales and marketing before he opened his restaurant five years ago. While hardly a novice, his resume consists of hours logged in his own kitchen and under his mother’s tutelage, not in restaurants or culinary schools.

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Southern Classic: Texas Chili

By Jed PortmanGood EatsJune 9, 2014

Yes, Dean Fearing cooks in cowboy boots. He isn’t just posturing, either. Fearing is the original cowboy in chef’s whites, with three decades under his belt at some of the Lone Star State’s finest establishments, including Dallas favorites the Mansion on Turtle Creek and Fearing’s. And he has been loyal to the foods of his home state all these years, dishing enchiladas and smoked brisket long before upscale spots across the country went regional.

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Vote: The Triple Crown of Cocktails

By Jed PortmanGood EatsJune 5, 2014

Horse racing and cocktailing have been tightly linked for generations, from the Kentucky Derby to Maryland's Preakness to Saturday's Belmont Stakes. This weekend, California Chrome just might become the first horse in more than thirty years to win all three of those races, earning the coveted Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing.

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Cocktail Hour: Magnolia Bitters

By Jed PortmanGood EatsMay 30, 2014

Forget Angostura. Or all right, at least make room on the bar for one more bottle, because you’re going to want to batch up some of John Yeager’s magnolia bitters. The recipe comes from GRAY’S on Main, in Franklin, Tennessee, where Yeager and his wife Lindsay created a cocktail menu that reads like the contents of a Gilded Age millionaire’s liquor cabinet. Rooted in brandy, a spirit that inspired some of the country’s earliest cocktailians, it’s a list of lush creations layered with foreign tonics, fortified wines, herbs, and fruit liqueurs

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Easy as (Blueberry Buttermilk) Pie

By Jed PortmanGood EatsMay 22, 2014

You’d be forgiven for overlooking the food scene in Charleston, West Virginia, the capital of the state, which has yet to draw the feverish press surrounding hotspots such as Atlanta, Nashville, and Charleston, South Carolina. Like many smaller cities across the country, however, Charleston has come an awfully long way in the past decade. One of the people most responsible for that culinary renaissance is native Keeley Steele, who operates the popular Bluegrass Kitchen as well as beach bar Tricky Fish and bakery Frütcake.

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Georgia Trout With Salsa Verde

By Jed PortmanGood EatsMay 7, 2014

Gone are the days when Latin American food meant chips, salsa, and cheese-sauced enchiladas in many parts of Dixie. Now, serious chefs across the country are looking south of the border for inspiration. And in Athens, Georgia, farm-to-table pioneer Hugh Acheson has teamed up with Whitney Otawka, a California native who ran the kitchen at shuttered local favorite Farm 255, to explore the flavors of the deep, deep South at Cinco y Diez.

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Longleaf Pine Margarita

By Jed PortmanGood EatsMay 5, 2014

When former playwright Alan Walter isn’t assembling cocktails behind the bar at Loa, inside New Orleans’s International House Hotel, he's out tracking down the Spanish moss, sassafras leaves, muscadine grapes, and other wild ingredients that season his creations.

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Eating Appalachia with Fred Sauceman

By Jed PortmanGood EatsApril 17, 2014

Have you ever tried an Arvil Burger, or sipped a cup of the Hotel Roanoke’s peanut soup? Probably not, but you’d better believe that Fred Sauceman has. The roaming journalist, filmmaker, and professor at East Tennessee State University has left nary a small town or holler untouched in his lifelong quest to catalog the foods of the Southern mountains.

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Southern-Style Shrimp Roll

By Jed PortmanGood EatsApril 4, 2014

Every few months, it seems, another Charleston, South Carolina, chef opens a buzzed-about new spot downtown. Jacques Larson isn’t all that eager to push his way in. A veteran of several downtown establishments, he now cooks on the fringes of town at the rustic Johns Island restaurant Wild Olive and at the brand-new Obstinate Daughter, wedged between the grand old beach houses on Sullivan’s Island. Just blocks from the Atlantic, the Obstinate Daughter takes some cues from the Italian menu at its sister restaurant, but even more from its surroundings. “First and foremost, it’s a Southern restaurant,” Larson says. “We’re borrowing from Italian cuisine, but the menu is rooted in local produce.”

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First Listen: Bobby Bare, Jr.

By Jed PortmanSouthern SoundsApril 3, 2014

Bobby Bare, Jr. earned his first Grammy nomination in 1974. He was eight years old, and he had just recorded a popular duet with his father, country music legend Bobby Bare, titled “Daddy What If.” Bare, Jr. has been in the music business ever since. He sold t-shirts at his father’s concerts as a teenager, and then handled lighting for a parade of Nashville acts while honing his writing skills under the tutelage of Shel Silverstein, who was a close family friend and a prolific songwriter in his own right.

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