Last January Graham and I participated on Cafe Cimino’s team at the Cast Iron Skillet Cook-Off at the Greenbrier. A fundraiser for the Collaborative for 21st Century Appalachian, it was a wonderful introduction to the world of West Virginia local food.
This year the Collaborative has asked me to attend and write a report. The Cast Iron Skillet Cook-Off is one of the activities that helps showcase to the world that West Virginia is a great destination for culinary travel. Huntington in itself is a good example what with restaurants like Huntington Prime, 21 at the Frederick, Savannah’s, La Famiglia and so many more making an effort to use local foods. There are many throughout the state who plan menus carefully around what is available locally.
Graham will be on the Panorama on the Peak team. Located in Berkeley Springs, at the opposite corner of the state from Huntington, we have enjoyed eating there twice while on trips to New Jersey or New York. Our admiration for the goal put into action by the owners, Leslie Hotaling and Patti Miller, and the chef, Scott Collinash lead Graham to request a spot on the team.
The Cook-Off rules encourages one team meeting and practice and that will be held January 2. We will drive up that way after our New Year’s celebration permits us to be up and cobwebs shaken off in order to drive and back home on the 3rd. Since I will be out of town I will be goofing off a bit by only posting photos to the blog during that time, but will have some fun things to share (without divulging any team secrets) when I return to my computer.
Meanwhile, Happy New Year! I hope for you a year of pleasant discovery of new things including wonderful foods grown right here near where we live. I’ve noticed in the past year as our household diet has moved more and more to local foods and away from prepared items, we are feeling healthier and have a lot more energy. I hope the same for you!!