by Catherine Stiers, Communications Intern for ASAP
I recently conducted interviews for Maggie Cramer’s article “Savoring the New Season,” published in WNC Woman’s April 2014 issue entitled Food Glorious Food. I interviewed Jessica DeMarco of Copper Pot and Wooden Spoon; Suzy Phillips, owner/chef of Gypsy Queen Cuisine and specialty chef at Katuah Market; and Mary Coleman, owner of Blue Mountain Grill in Murphy. These women were so fun and inspiring to speak with, so I wanted to share some pieces from our conversations that were left out of the article.
Jessica, on being inspired by her local tailgate markets:
“Just by checking out the new products we come up with a lot of new ideas. The sunchokes that we began selling this year happened because the woman who had been selling Jerusalem artichokes at [Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market] said ‘here, you need to pickle these,’ and so we tried it and it’s been a big hit!” (see Jessica’s recipe for Savory Tomato Jam Flatbread below!)
Suzy, on the perks of being a chef during the growing season:
“You’re getting the best part of the season changing. It keeps you on your toes as far as inspiration and the freshness of everything. I learn a lot about different produce that I’ve never seen before. And having first dibs is always great.”
Mary, on using produce that’s in-season:
“I use whatever is available and plentiful. I made a watermelon pie last year. I use everything that I get. I try to explain to people that you only use things when they are fresh. Why they are so good now and why they aren’t good later. It’s all about education.”