Dining for a Cause: A Chef’s Table at Providence Restaurant
Kristi Maier | @triadfoodies
Our monthly Chef’s Tables have been a great hit. Food and fellowship…a combo that will make your heart full, exactly what we need these days. This month, we wanted to share the talents of a local chef who is so beloved in our area that many of his comrades around here consider him the backbone of our culinary community, Chef Jeff Bacon, Founding Director and Executive Chef of Triad Community Kitchen and Providence Restaurant.
First….Triad Community Kitchen is a program of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, a major distributor of food and grocery products to hundreds of nonprofit partner agencies in the 18-county region it serves. Bacon considers Triad Community Kitchen and Providence his “mission in life.” Founded in 2006, TCK helps the unemployed, underemployed and those seeking to create a new start with culinary job training, prepare meals for distribution and catering.
Providence opened in late 2015 inside the newly remodeled DoubleTree by Hilton on University Parkway. It is a true farm-to-fork restaurant that is home to Triad Community Kitchen’s Hospitality Residency Program, where graduates embark on their new career and work alongside professionals to prepare them for the culinary world and hopefully enter the workforce in a higher paying leadership role. All proceeds from patron’s tabs provide support for the program. Additional donations are accepted in lieu of tips.
It is quite the program and it has generated some culinary greats, including Chef Janis Karathanas, formerly of Mozelle’s and who’s currently taking on an educator role at TCK. Last week’s team consisted of Chef Bacon, of course, as well as sous chef, Matthias Gomez and Brea Ready, Leroy Cook, Keontaye Watson and Providence Executive Chef, Vanessa Lanier.
The dishes served at our Chef’s Table were special for our event. And that’s half the fun of our gatherings, to let the chef and his team surprise us. We went “Around the World with Local Ingredients.”
Pan Seared Scallops with purple sweet potato puree, leak and pancetta fondue and sage brown butter
This was a beautiful entree with the purple sweet potato puree agains those golden scallops. The scallops were perfectly cooked and the flavors went together amazingly well. I love purple sweet potatoes. They taste a little different than a traditional sweet potato…a bit earthier. Brown butter makes everything taste that much better. Chef Bacon says this scallops dish is a featured entree quite often. We advise you follow them on Facebook to see when it re-emerges.
New Orleans Crawfish Bisque
Quite simple but luscious and a bright. Chef Bacon says his team thickened the bisque the “old-fashioned way, with rice.”
Coconut Braised Pork Shoulder with heirloom local vegetables
This dish tied with course one for my favorite of the night and the first one was hard to beat. I really love the Asian flavors of curry spices and coconut. The heritage pork from Harmony Ridge Farms was so tender. It just melted in your mouth. The coconut broth was the perfect vessel for it. The side of sticky rice in the form of a little cake was delicious alongside. If it was on the menu, I’d go back for this dish. It’s actually something you might find craving after a few days.
And for a taste of France, Chef Matthias’ pastry was filled with housemade ice cream and a rich chocolate ganache, fresh strawberries and whipped cream. My cream puff was a little crunchy on the bottom but had wonderful flavor and softened up as the ice cream melted a bit, which is kind of the point with a profiterole.
Each of our Chef’s Table guests were gifted with Bacon’s and Triad Community Kitchen’s book, “Tested By Fire.” The book is filled with some of Bacon’s own recipes as well as many other restaurants in the community. Within the book, you also see TCK success stories. Graduates, who have gone on to cook in and lead kitchens and restaurants in the area and beyond; and how they came to Triad Community Kitchen and the program changed their lives. Those graduates’ recipes are there, as well.
Providence Restaurant calls itself a restaurant where you can “dine for a cause.” As they put it, “Food nourishes a person. Employment nourishes a family. A gathering place nourishes a community.”
We enthusiastically recommend.
Wanna go? Providence Restaurant is located at 5790 University Parkway, Winston-Salem. The restaurant is open for breakfast daily. Lunch Tuesday-Friday. Dinner Tuesday-Sunday. There are often wine dinners and special events. All proceeds benefit Triad Community Kitchen. providencerestaurantws.com
Our next Chef’s Table will be in late February in Greensboro. Follow triadfoodies on Facebook for the next announcement.