Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Carrying On A Chef's Legacy

Many widows have to deal with the grief of losing a husband early  but one, Mary Celeste Buell also had to deal with her late husband's legacy - a famous lodge and farm. Sam Buell left the magnificent Blackberry Farm to her and with it comes a plethora of fine foods and dishes. Can Ms. Buell handle it? Yes and perfectly.

Their story was the main feature of today's New York Times Food section. Regular contributor Kim
Severson  wrote about this scion of  Samuel Buell III  the creative genius behind the famed Ruby Tuesday restaurant chain, The son and his wife, Mary Celeste and their five children lived on the grounds. The lodge played a major part in elevating hyper-local Southern cooking and the idea of a luxury vacation built around the idea of agriculture. It has both cottages and farmhouses on 4,200 hilly acres. The farm also has a shop (along with an online one) where foodies can buy everything from guanciale to strawberry ramp jam to tomato brined okra. There are also cute tee shirts as well as china ware sold too.It's am impressive idea that would well here on the East Coast . Everything is made on the premises from the shampoo blended with local Appalachian hyssop and bourbon to the various pestos made with everything from  kale to arugula and black walnuts

It is Mr. Buell's food legacy that his widow and children will carry on. .Mr. Beall studied at the California Culinary Academy and worked at such famed eateries like the Cowgirl Creamery and French Laundry. It influenced what he fed his children who are following in their father's footsteps in both large and small ways.One daughter at age seven can make soft scrambled eggs the way he taught her while his heir, Sam V can carve thin slices of ham from the family's smokehouse like his father did, The recipe Ms. Severin gives us the Buell family's carrot souffle.It is two pounds of pureed carrots mixed with milk, cracker crumbs, cheese onion and butter. Three eggs are whipped until foaminess and added to this. The result is puffy , lightly golden brown side that could easily be made into a main dish, There are more of his recipes in two cookbooks, The Foothills Cuisine of Blackberry Farms; Recipes and Wisdom From Our  Artisans, Chefs and Smoky Mountain Ancestors and The Blackberry Farm Cookbook: Four Seasons Of Great Food and The Good Life that can be bought on Amazon and the Blackberry Farms site.

Sam Buell's legacy will live on . not only in his widow, Mary Celeste, but in his children and in his recipes. His mark on the world is Blackberry Farms. It's a place of great food and great comfort.

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