Chef Tim Grandinetti can now add cookbook author to his list of culinary achievements. The award-winning chef just launched Soulful Harvest, which is a collection of signature recipes, techniques and culinary reflections of the fourth-generation culinarian and the “house” in which he resides, the Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar in Winston-Salem.
It’s a good thing the chef has boundless energy. In addition to the Spring House, Grandinetti is also a partner at Quanto Basta Italian Eatery & Wine Bar (in Winston-Salem and Bermuda Run), Maple Chase Country Club and he just jumped on board by taking over the restaurant space at Sander’s Ridge Winery with Jasper’s Southern Farmstead Restaurant.
To hear Grandinetti tell it, penning a cookbook is a logical step in his culinary journey, “Soulful Harvest is part-cookbook, part-culinary memoir.” He began gathering recipes nearly 10 years ago.
“After cooking for our guests at Spring House for over five years, and immersing our culinary culture into that historic place, the time felt right to finally put my many inspirations into a cookbook to share with others,” he said.
It’s a celebration of the Spring House’s history as much as Grandinetti’s curated recipes. The century-old mansion that houses the restaurant is formerly known as the Bahnson House, one of the last remaining homes on what was commonly called “Millionaire’s Row” in downtown Winston-Salem. Grandinetti and business partners, Lynn Murphy and Lynnette Matthews-Murphy, helped transform the residence into the comfortable, upscale, award-winning restaurant that it is today.
(Fun fact: The Library Bar at Spring House once served as the offices for the Forsyth County Library, which also now stands tall and anew in its right, just across the street.)
It took months of photography, writing, editing and production meetings, but finally, his team at Spring House dressed up and gathered together to celebrate at a truly Southern cocktail party for the photos that would be the first chapter of the book.
“The idea was to bring the reader into the Spring House and know who we were and what we are,” he said. “We had a party with everything you see in the first chapter.”
Guests at the book launch last week enjoyed much of the same kind of Southern cocktail party seen in the first chapter. Greeted upon arrival with freshly mulled apple cider, we each received a copy of the book, which Grandinetti signed later.
Then we enjoyed southern fares such as pickled shrimp; deviled eggs with spicy honey bacon bits; cornbread biscuits filled with andouille sausage and peppers; okra fritters; roasted shishito peppers; barbecue hand pies and Winston-Salem Comeback Sauce. It was a vibrant, cozy, noshfest which highlighted the tastes of autumn and Southern cooking. The hand pies and the Comeback Sauce would be the worth the book purchase alone.
Following the “Southern Cocktail Party,” the chapters in Soulful Harvest reflect Spring House’s own seasonal philosophy, ”Winter,” “Spring,” “Summer” and “Fall.” If you’ve been to the House, you know the menu changes with the season, to reflect what’s in season.
“My hope is that my story and the dishes we include in Soulful Harvest will ignite and encourage home cooks as well as up-and-coming chefs searching to expand their culinary knowledge,” Grandinetti said.
You can see Grandinetti in action, not only at the Spring House but also in recently launched series of Soulful Harvest cooking classes and dinners based on the cookbook (more details on the restaurant’s website and social media).
“This cookbook reflects who we are at Spring House,” he said. “We love having people here, to gather and break bread together.”
Here’s a quick recipe from the book to tempt your taste buds. Comeback Sauce is delicious with the Soulful Harvest Hushpuppies mentioned in the “Southern Cocktail Party” chapter or with fries, tater tots, burgers and with chicken.
Winston-Salem Comeback Sauce
2 large garlic cloves
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons Texas Pete Hot Sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend them together. Taste and adjust seasonings. Reserve in the refrigerator.
You can order Soulful Harvest at springhousenc.com
Kristi Maier is a food writer, blogger and cheerleader for all things local who even enjoys cooking in her kitchen, though her kidlets seldom appreciate her efforts.