Small bites: The return of Chef Hundertmark

HOME COOKING: Chef Tres Hundertmark has returned to Asheville after a stint in New Orleans. Photo courtesy of Tres Hundertmark
HOME COOKING: Chef Tres Hundertmark has returned to Asheville after a stint in New Orleans. Photo courtesy of Tres Hundertmark

Local restaurateur Michel Baudouin recently brought Asheville food-scene veteran Tres Hundertmark onboard as executive chef for his two Lexington Avenue eateries, Bouchon and Creperie Bouchon. Hundertmark, former vice president of Asheville Independent Restaurants and past executive chef of The Lobster Trap, has made Asheville his home on and off since the late 1980s, alternating with stints in regions as diverse as Nantucket Island and New Orleans. He most recently worked as the executive sous chef at House of Blues restaurant and The Foundation Room in New Orleans before making his latest return to WNC.

Apparently not content to confine himself solely to the kitchen, Hundertmark has also worked as an oyster farmer and fisherman and is a three-time winner of the Charleston Oyster Festival oyster shucking contest.

While Hundertmark plans to maintain the original to menus at Creperie and Bouchon, he will add some new touches for the summer. Additions at the Creperie will include two new crepes that give a nod to Hundertmark’s time in the Big Easy — the Poydras Sidewalk filled with roast beef and topped with debris gravy; and the Central Grocery, which is a creperie spin on a the traditional New Orleans muffuletta sandwich.

At Bouchon, expect to see spring and summer menu favorites, including appetizers such as an avocado stuffed with chilled crab and shrimp salad and a classic scallop gratin. Hundertmark has also added a lamb of the day dish in order to give the prep staff and chefs experience with breaking down subprime cuts of meat for use in stock and paté.

“My primary focus and efforts in the beginning are not the fun stuff in the kitchen that folks associate with cooking,” says Hundertmark via email, “but the tedious exercise of costing out and rescaling recipes, and setting up systems so our small restaurants communicate more like a hotel or casinos operate internally for accounting and operational purposes, maximizing efficiencies, and evaluating execution so we can all be better at what we do — the chef stuff.”

The two restaurants undoubtedly hold a certain amount of nostalgia for Hundertmark, as one of his first apartments in Asheville was on the Bouchon courtyard back in 1989. “We have exciting stuff on the horizon, and I am very excited to be here at Bouchon and in Asheville for it,” he says. “I have a great deal of memories in this courtyard that go back 25 years, and I am looking forward to making some new ones.”

 

South African barbecue and wine event

The Wines of South Africa From BBQ to Braai 2014 tour will stop at Asheville’s Katuah Market 2-5 p.m. June 21. The tour was created to promote a better understanding of South African wine by hosting casual, outdoor “braai,” or South African-style barbecue, events that feature food and wine pairings. At the Asheville event, South African braai master Hugo Uys will offer a menu that combines North Carolina barbecue flavors with South African cooking traditions, complemented by a variety of South African wines. Tickets are $25 with proceeds benefiting Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity. Follow the 10-stop tour through Twitter at #bbqtobraai or at facebook.com/wosausa.

The event will be held at Katuah Market, 2 Hendersonville Road. Get tickets through Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/1jXPsxt

 

Dobra writes the book on tea

Andrew Snavely, owner of Dobra Tea, is writing a book that will explore more than 50 varieties of tea. Intended as a user-friendly how-to, Snavely’s book will explore the origins of teas from different growing regions of the world, how to prepare them and what materials are needed to enjoy the teas in a traditional way. There will also be a focus on tea rituals and ceremonies from different countries. The book will be published by Lark Books and is due out in late 2014 or early 2015.

 

Livermush Festival

Fans of the traditional Southern pork-and-cornmeal delicacy of livermush — as well as the livermush curious — will want to make the 30-minute trek down I-40 on Friday, June 6, to the annual Livermush Festival in downtown Marion. The event boasts free livermush sandwiches; pig, duck and goat races and a livermush eating contest. Attendees are encouraged to bring picnic blankets and lawn chairs to make an evening of it on Marion’s courthouse lawn.

6:30-9:30 Friday, June 6, downtown Marion. For details, call 828-652-2215 or look for “Liver Mush Festival” on Facebook.

 

Wild Plant Walk

The Environmental and Conservation Organization will host a Wild Plant Walk on Saturday, June 14, in Hendersonville as part of its Sustainable Living Workshop Series. Biologist Michele Skeele will show participants how to identify edible plants that grow naturally in yards, forests and fields. Plants to avoid when foraging will also be covered. There is a $15 registration fee per person.

9:30 a.m.-noon, Parks and Recreation office building at Jackson Park, 801 Glover St., Hendersonville. For details or to register, visit eco-wnc.org call828-692-0385. 

 

 

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About Gina Smith
Gina Smith is the Mountain Xpress Food-section editor and writer. She can be reached at gsmith@mountainx.com.

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