Dispatch From Greenville: Chefs Wrestle With Gator

Shoshanah

Shoshanah

Since moving to gator country, I’ve been curious as to why the animal’s meat is almost exclusively served fried. Although the stray stewed, grilled or braised alligator dish will occasionally appear on a restaurant menu – New Orleans’ Mandina’s has reportedly subjected gator to its meunière treatment – most alligator available for ordering takes the form of a crispy nugget.

“It’s one of the tougher white meats,” explains Damion Norton, chef of Ford’s Oyster House & Cajun Kitchen in Greenville. “I think it tastes better fried.” Continue reading

Tristan Milks Latest Dairy Trend

Buttermilk is a recurring item on Tristan’s menus, but the downtown restaurant is now planning a four-course dinner at which the humble beverage will be incorporated into every high-end dish.

At the Sept. 26 event, inspired by Vermont dairywoman Diane St. Clair’s The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook, buttermilk will brine the fried chicken; sauce the carbonara; soften the mashed potatoes accompanying a veal breast and flavor the cheesecake. Chef Nate Whiting describes the dinner as “an homage to buttermilk.”

St. Clair is quoted in a release as saying the menu’s also a tribute to buttermilk’s “amazing culinary versatility.”

Although St. Clair won’t be attending the dinner (she dined at Tristan while in town earlier this year to promote her book), you can score a ticket for $125. The price includes three wine pairings, since man apparently can’t live on buttermilk alone, and a copy of St. Clair’s book. To reserve, call 534-2155.