Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2015 - 27
by Fred Sauceman
This flavor-rich region of the country is home to
restaurateurs as dedicated to their customers as
they are to their craft.
'Modern Mountain Cuisine':
Perched on the side of a hill on curvy
Shull's Mill Road, a few miles off the
Blue Ridge Parkway in Western
North Carolina, The Gamekeeper
takes diners back to the atmosphere
of a 1940s hunting lodge. It's an era
the young owners, Wendy and Ken
Gordon, have only read about.
They spend most of their evening elbow-to-elbow, inhaling the
fragrance of a hickory fire back in
the kitchen and plating up boarin-a-blanket appetizers, fanned
filets of ostrich, grilled elk and
pheasant pot pie.
All the game is humanely farmraised, much of it from Colorado.
Wendy and Ken are on the "first
call" list of fishermen on the coast
at Cape Hatteras and Wilmington,
who spear grouper, amberjack,
mahi and triggerfish and ship them
to the highlands.
"Speared fish haven't put up a
fight, so there's no toughness to
the meat," says Ken, who has come
a long way from his first restaurant
job pushing fast food out the window at a Hardee's, where he mistook hash browns for filet of fish
before another employee set him
May/June 2015 27