The Floating Island Workshops

A travelling series of writers' workshops with Kim Sunee

Chapel Hill 2010: What a lunch at Crook’s Corner

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Chapel Hill 2010: The Many Faces of Bill SmithIt was an unseasonably warm October afternoon when The Floating Island arrived in Chapel Hill. We all hit the ground running and kicked off the 2010 Chapel Hill Workshop with a fabulous lunch at Crook’s Corner with Chef Bill Smith. He regaled attendees–including recipe editor Sheri Castle, cookbook author Sandra Gutierrez, and Publisher’s Weekly senior editor Lynn Andriani–with stories about the dishes and his time at the restaurant.

2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Crook's Corner Rice Porrage with Fried OystersHe started off the meal with rice porridge with fried oysters instead of crackers, using Carolina Gold rice from Anson Mills. This porridge is typical fair in China but this was one of the first times Chef Smith has served it at Crook’s Corner. With this bowl of warming, delicious goodness, we were served a slightly-sweet, slightly-spicy Pineapple-Tequila Sparkler. Along with the eponymous ingredients, the light, refreshing drink featured jalapeno and a dash of Peychaud’s bitters.

2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Rosy's Banana Leaf TomalesFor our main course, Chef Smith produced tender, bone-in chicken tamales steamed with plantains and wrapped with big banana leaves, which he paired with fresh papaya. The recipe was inspired by (and ultimately assembled by) Rosy, a local Tamale legend, who served them curbside (before meddling health inspectors intervened).

2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Almond Safron CakeAnd for dessert, Chef Smith presented a perennial favorite from Kim Sunee’s Trail of Crumbs: Almond-Saffron Cake (recipe). He paired the tender, subtle cake with homemade orange sorbet and a generous dollop of whipped cream.

2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Crook's Corner 2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Crook's Corner Sign with Pig 2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Crook's Corner Lunch Menu 2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Crook's Corner Lunch 2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Crook's Corner Rice Porrage with Fried Oysters
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Written by Dan

October 13th, 2010 at 2:26 pm

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