Taste of the Region - Part 1

Taste of the Region - Part 1

Well known regional chef Patrick Evans-Hylton asked me to be one of the judges in Taste of the Region at the Parade of Homes in Cypress Creek, Smithfield, VA. We got to check out several beautiful homes and try delicious food from the Smithfield area easily accessible to those moving into the area.

First stop was The Plaid Turnip (winner of the People’s Choice Award that night) with the following:

Shrimp & Grits & Greens. Shrimp sauteed with onions, green peppers, mushrooms and country ham served

Pulled Pork Barbecue with Turnip Slaw on a Cornbread Crostini

Mini Pumpkin Waffles with homemade maple ice cream and candied bacon drizzled with maple syrup. Finished with sprinkled sugar and cinnamon

I took a lot of photos, so I’ll post in segments.


First Virginia Bacon Festival

The 1st Virginia Bacon Festival happened this weekend outside of Scope in Norfolk, VA. The festival benefited Beyond Boobs and an estimated 45,000 people attended the fest! Well-known restaurants from around the area offered bacon inspired meals, in addition to samples, to the bacon obsessed crowd.

Everything had bacon in it—chocolate covered bacon (the caramel and chocolate bacon was delicious), poppers, cocktails, cookies, you name it. The Fighting Jamesons provided live entertainment, a bacon eating contest was staged—a fella named Ryan Davis won, downing a pound of bacon faster than the rest. A “Top Chef” style competition was also conducted. You can guess what they were cooking.


Shelby and I drove up to Richmond today to have brunch with Marleigh. It’s her birthday tomorrow! We tried getting into Black Sheep and Cafe 821, but both places were packed. We tried Balliceaux and they had a spot open and I’m glad they did.

The food there was great and the service was friendly. I ordered the Soul (Mama Loves You). Buttermilk biscuits with country sausage gravy, there was a little bite with the gravy and the biscuits were perfect. I also had a side of Ironic, truffle cured bacon! Super good! Shelby ordered the Duck and Waffles. It was topped with a spicy maple syrup and whipped butter. I’ve heard of chicken and waffles but never tried it, this was a really good combination. Marleigh got the Proper Fry-up, a classic breakfast plate, with home fries, Surry sausage, house bacon, eggs, beans, toast, and grilled tomato.

All-in-all, we had a great time and I’m glad we had chance to try the place out.