In IX Art Park, a self-consciously hip enclave in Charlottesville with a weekend farmer’s market and more wall art than a New York subway, young couples stream into a sunny, knotted-wood taproom to taste Virginia barbecue and sample flights of inventive craft brews.
I was amazed from my very first bite of Redwood Smoke Shack’s beef brisket: so tender and flavorful that I was desperate to eat more. For the past couple years, Redwood’s wood-paneled truck has attracted sellout crowds at area breweries.
Racheal Browning, 27, spent most of the past decade attending the Culinary Institute of America, baking cakes and pastries in New York, and saving about $40,000 to kick-start her childhood dream.
Like wineries and breweries before them, craft distilleries in Virginia have infused money, vision and countless hours into an industry dominated by the Jim Beams and Wild Turkeys of the world. But rules set in place after Prohibition have made distilling in Virginia a tough, if rewarding, proposition.
We asked five chefs for their twists on some American classics.
It takes only a moment of chatting about cocktails with Priscilla Gregoire to see that she loves what she’s pouring – and whom she’s pouring it for.