As I contemplated what to pack for The Symposium for Professional Food Writers, I read in the program that jeans were acceptable. “Jeans?” I exclaimed out loud. Wearing jeans to a business function makes me a little nervous. I think it’s the dietitian in me. My husband’s reaction was “You guys just sit around on couches talking about writing, don’t you?” I retorted a little defensively, “Actually, we take notes in a conference room setting while listening to expert speakers. At night, though, I suppose we do sit around sipping wine on couches as we discuss writing.” He laughed.
I found out, the panelists would sit in cushy armchairs.
Besides attending sessions and imbibing, we were treated to delicious Southern specialties.
The first course of this family-style Southern cowboy dinner consisted of mixed greens salad, house-cured West Virginia charcuterie, and Panzanella salad with capers and petite pickles.
I served myself thyme-braised chicken with a colorful array of potatoes, pan-fried trout (only ate a couple of bites), a blend of caramelized carrots, rutabagas, and parsnips, and collard greens braised with mushrooms and topped with an oozing egg. I’ve never had collards prepared this way and I loved them!
Fried pork rinds appeared during an afternoon break. I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to try these house-made snacks. Airy, salty, crunchy, and chewy.
The next evening’s dinner transported us to Japan, England, and India. I began with sushi and sesame noodles and ended up leaving a few pieces of sushi.
Andrew Schloss offered us jars of his high quality Chef Salt. I had previously tried the Bombay Curry flavor on salmon (which I loved), so this time I chose the NY Steak variety. The smell of it alone will make your mouth water and want to bite into a juicy seared filet.
As I head back home, I’m grateful for the week I was able to spend here. I’m also looking forward to getting back to my life at home and smothering Steve and Scarlet with kisses. I’m eager to sit at my own desk and get back into my kitchen to practice all I learned. Until next time, Greenbrier.
Estimated calories: Sunday (894 dinner, 100 wine), Monday (dinner 1012, wine 100), Tuesday (dinner 945, snack 77)
For more details about the food I ate at the Symposium, visit my Facebook page:
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