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FOOD 2017

LE SPICE OF LIFE
COUPLE CREATES UNIQUE PASTRIES, MEALS
PLUS!
TAILGATING TREATS
 
TRADITIONAL INDIAN MEAL
 
CHRISTMAS COOKIES

$4.95
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14 | LE SPICE OF LIFE
Couple creates menu from diverse backgrounds.

CONTENTS
HOW TO REACH US
FOR STORY IDEAS OR COMMENTS
FOOD 2017
JOSE FRANCO
EDITOR

10 | YOUTUBE DAD 56 | TAILGATE TOUCHDOWN 864-562-7223
JOSE.FRANCO@SHJ.COM
Single dad makes cooking College game day grub for fans, friends
 
videos with his kid
FOR SUBSCRIPTION QUESTIONS
64 | TURKEY AND DRESSING
JENNIFER BRADLEY
26 | TRADITIONAL MEAL Wade's restaurant serves popular dish CIRCULATION COORDINATOR
Bilkis Kapasi brings Indian food year-round 864-562-7402
to the table JENNIFER.BRADLEY@SHJ.COM

76 | CHRISTMAS TREATS
38 | FARM FRESH Cookies, cupcakes for your holiday
Farmer shares favorite recipes parties ON THE COVER
TIM KIMZEY PHOTO
Nicolas Dhers and Amonrat "Ae"
48 | MAMA SUE'S ESSENTIALS
Dhers are the owners of Le Spice
Prepared meals for those too 9 | FROM THE EDITOR restaurant in Spartanburg. Pictured
busy to cook 100 | SCENE is the Banh Mi, a popular sandwich
on the menu.

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PUBLISHER

KEVIN DRAKE

EXECUTIVE EDITOR

MICHAEL G. SMITH
Find your comfort zone with food
EDITOR

T
JOSE FRANCO their dreams come true by opening
his summer, we cel-
ebrated my mom’s up Le Spice restaurant. Bilkis Kapasi
STAFF WRITERS
80th birthday on a hot prepares traditional Indian food to
DAN ARMONAITIS, ZACH FOX, CHRIS July day in my home- preserve her heritage.
LAVENDER, ALYSSA MULLIGER town in Texas. In early August, freelance writer
Months in advance, my sister who Latria Graham and her mom Melinda
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
lives in New Mexico and my brother accepted my challenge of baking
JASON GILMER, LATRIA GRAHAM, who lives in Texas and I would com- Christmas cookies, cupcakes and
ANJALI PATEL, STEVE WONG municate through Facebook and email a Gingerbread House. The Gra-
to plan the long-distance party. We hams decorated cupcakes to look
STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS
wanted to do something simple and like Christmas trees with strings of
JOHN BYRUM, ALEX HICKS JR., TIM festive but quick and easy enough Christmas lights made out of choco-
KIMZEY to pull off during a quick summer late M&Ms. Reindeers were made
vacation. Our menu included two using Nilla Wafers and pretzels.
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
foot-long sub sandwiches, pasta Instead of a Red Velvet Cake, Latria
WENDY SHOCKLEY MCCARTY salad, lasagna, wings, and chips and decided to make Red Velvet Cheese-
dips. Lavender table cloths decorated cake Brownies. Whoopie pies were
REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING
tables which were accented with made using ginger and chocolate
KONRAD LA PRADE Pinterest-worthy Mason jars filled cookies and a cream filling. Latria
with my mom’s favorite candies. made a peppermint dish to hold the
INTEGRATED MEDIA SALES MANAGER
Only two months prior, we had whoopie pies by baking peppermint
MARY PETTUS planned another long-distance party candies in a cake pan in the oven.
for our nephew’s high school gradua- A week later, she returned to our
ADVERTISING ASSISTANT SALES MANAGER
tion. We served fajitas, rice, beans and studio to bring us the Gingerbread
DEBBIE BROWN potato salad and an enormous orange- House they built and to share some
and-black (school colors) cake with Santa and reindeer cookies made from
CIRCULATION DIRECTOR
my nephew Tim’s photograph on top. Nutter Butter cookies. Latria and her
KEN SMITH Food is a great way to express one’s mom are perfectionists and if they
affection for those we love. It’s also an make a mistake in the kitchen or if
CIRCULATION COORDINATOR
outlet for creativity and the center- something didn’t turn out just right
JENNIFER BRADLEY piece of any celebration. the first time, they didn’t give up.
That’s why this summer when the They tried it again until it came out
WEBSITE
sun disappeared behind the moon, perfect.
SPARTANBURGMAGAZINE.COM Americans decided to mark the occa- So we hope you find some comfort
sion by tailgating with Moon Pies, Sun in our food issue and remember if you
TO SUBSCRIBE OR PURCHASE BACK ISSUES
Chips, Milky Way bars, Sun Drop and fail at your first attempt at a recipe,
CALL 864-562-7402 Sunkist soda, and Eclipse gum. try it again. Your friends and family
In this issue of Spartanburg, we cel- will thank you.
PUBLISHED BY ebrate food and the chefs, bakers, and
HERALD-JOURNAL cooks who create it on a daily basis.
189 W. MAIN ST. Jose Franco, Editor
Nathan Mercer and his two children
SPARTANBURG, S.C. 29306 JOSE.FRANCO@SHJ.COM
shoot cooking videos for YouTube.
864-582-4511 Sue Thomas opened a meal prep busi-
ness called Mama Sue’s Homemade
AN AFFILIATE OF
Help. Nicolas and Ae Dhers made

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 9

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‘IN THE KITCHEN
WITH A SINGLE DAD’
Father records weekly YouTube show with son, daughter
STORY BY ANJALI PATEL
PHOTOS BY TIM KIMZEY

O
ne evening, Boiling Springs single “I don’t really know what I’m going to say until my
father Nathan Mercer and his daughter says ‘Action!,’ ” Mercer said.
two children, Madison, 14, and Mercer already has the second season of the series
Connor, 4, decided to film them- in the works. He wants the show to go in a different
selves cooking a typical family dinner. direction and plans to feature him and his children
“We just happened to record us goofing off, cook- showcasing family-owned and operated restaurants
ing in the kitchen,” Mercer said. across the Carolinas. He likened the concept to
He posted the video to Facebook, and it received celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s Food Network television
more than 100 “likes.” One of his old friends, who show, “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.”
moved to New York to pursue a job in the film For more information on the show, visit Mercer’s
industry, messaged him on Facebook. “He said I had Facebook page, @InTheKitchenWithASingleDad or
a golden idea,” Mercer recalled. his YouTube channel, In the Kitchen With a Single
What started out as a silly home video has now Dad. Weekly episodes are uploaded every Sunday at
blossomed into a weekly YouTube show called “In 5 p.m.
the Kitchen with a Single Dad.” The series kicked Recent episodes included an episode on tailgating
off in February and features Mercer and his children and an episode on grilled chicken and South Caro-
cooking dinner. lina peaches.
Mercer said the focal point of the show is family. Mercer shared a few recipes from his show: 
“People don’t sit down to eat dinner together any-
more. We want to bring back the idea of the family
unit,” he said. GRILLED THAI CHILI CHICKEN
Mercer brings his background in the food indus- š'fWYabWh][Y^_Ya[dXh[Wiji
try to the show. He attended culinary school and š'h[Zed_ed
earned a food service management degree, and has š'h[Zf[ff[h
š'ehWd][f[ff[h
been working in restaurants since age 14. He also
š'o[bbemf[ff[h
currently works as a food salesman for Performance š'f_d[Wffb[
Food Group. š'#f_djY^[hhojecWje[i
The recipes he uses in his shows come partly from š'XkdY^Y_bWdjhe
his mother and partly from his own creativity. The š'Xejjb[e\J^W_Y^_b_iWkY[
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meals featured range from steaks and shrimp to
š9_jhkii[Wied_d]ehb[cedf[ff[h
elevated ramen noodles. “As a single dad on a tight
šEb_l[e_b
budget, I’m inspired by whatever I can find on sale,”
he said.
One pack of chicken breasts, remove cartilage and
In his third episode, Mercer cooked a meal for
fat with a knife. Season with citrus seasoning (lemon
three for just $5.49.
pepper will work) salt and pepper.
“This show is about the realness of being a single
Grill chicken until you achieve nice grill marks
dad,” he said. Nate Mercer shows off
on each side. Remove from grill and put the chicken
But this is hardly a one-man show. His daughter, how easy it is to prepare
into the preheated 350-degree oven for about 6-9 a meal for a family. The
Madison, directs and films the videos on her iPhone
minutes, or until you reach an internal temperature dish is grilled Thai Chili
6s. “But if you ask her, she’s my manager,” Mercer
of 160 degrees. Remove chicken from oven and allow Chicken with Jasmine Rice
jokes. “I just go with it.” and Hawaiian Vegetables,
it to rest and cook until internal temperature hits
The show is unscripted and entirely impromptu. garnished with Cilantro.
165 degrees.

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1005_A_10_SHJMAG.indd 10 9/13/2017 5:03:11 PM
DWj[C[hY[h^eijiWm[Xi[h_[iÇ?dj^[A_jY^[d
m_j^WI_d]b[:WZÈm_j^^_iY^_bZh[d"CWZ_ied"
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>WmW__WdL[][jWXb[i"]Whd_i^[Zm_j^9_bWdjhe$

“RUBY ROAST”
(BRAISED LONDON BROIL)
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š':kjY^el[dfWd
š'ed_ediekfc_n
š(Xhemd]hWlofWYa[ji
š=hWdkbWj[Z]Whb_YjejWij[
š(JWXb[ifeedieb_l[e_b
š(fekdZie\idWf]h[[dX[Wdi
š'fWYae\XWYed
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š(gkWhjie\Y^_Ya[dijeYa
š(fekdZi?ZW^efejWje[i
š'ij_Yae\Xkjj[h
š½Ykfc_ba
š'fWYaW][e\o[Wijhebbi
šAei^[hiWbj
šF[ff[h

Season London broil with salt and pepper and
a touch of granulated garlic. Get Dutch oven pan
hot, add olive oil and sear both sides of London
broil. Take off heat and add water to completely
cover up the roast. Add one onion soup mix and
two brown gravy mix packets. Stir until powders
are mixed in with water. Cover Dutch oven and
put in preheated 325-degree oven for 1½ to 2
hours (or until tender).
Break the stem end off of every green bean. Dice
4 slices of bacon. Dice ½ red onion. Render bacon
in stock pot. Cook until bacon is almost crispy.
Add onion. Cook until tender. Add green beans.
Cover with 2 quarts chicken stock. Season with
salt and pepper. Cover and cook on medium high
heat until beans are tender. About 45 minutes to
an hour.
Peel 2 pounds of Idaho potatoes. Wash off
peeled potatoes and dice into 1-2-inch large
pieces. Put into stock pot and cover with cold
water. Bring to boil. Salt water and boil for
25-30 minutes (or until tender). Melt one stick of
butter into 1.5 cups of milk on low heat in a pan.
Drain off water from potatoes into a colander.
Put drained potatoes back into the pan. Add 1
tablespoon of kosher salt and half of the milk and
butter. Use a potato masher to mash potatoes.
Add more milk and butter for desired thickness.
For yeast rolls, follow instructions on package.
Garnish your mashed potatoes and roast with
the gravy from your braising liquid.
For step by step instructions on this recipe and
many others, visit our YouTube page “In The
Kitchen With a Single Dad” https://www.you-
tube.com/watch?v=wkBnxozQxcM

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JASMINE RICE
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š'½Ykfie\mWj[h
š½JWXb[ifeede\Xkjj[h
š½JWXb[ifeede\iWbj

Bring all ingredients together up to a boil. Cover pan with a lid and cut
the heat down to low. Cook for about 20 minutes. Take rice off of the heat
and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Do not remove the lid of the rice during this
process. Check to see if water is fully absorbed into the rice. Use a fork to
gently separate and “fork” the rice. Your rice will come out perfect if you
follow this method every time.

HAWAIIAN VEGETABLE MEDLEY
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šEd[f_dje\Y^[hhojecWje[i

One pint of cherry tomatoes
In sauté pan, add olive oil to hot pan. Add onions and peppers and cook
for about three minutes on high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add
pineapple and cherry tomatoes. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until TOP:DWj[C[hY[hYeeai_d^_i^ec[_d?dcWd$
BOTTOM:DWj[C[hY[hÊiZWk]^j[h"CWZ_ied"b[\j"i^eeji
everything is hot all the way through.
j^[l_Z[ei\ehj^[OekJkX[i^emYWbb[ZÇ?dj^[A_jY^[d
Use Thai chili sauce and fresh cilantro to garnish the plate. m_j^WI_d]b[:WZ$È

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COVER STORY

Le Spice: A Love Story
DHERS LEFT MIAMI IN SEARCH OF
CITY THAT COULD HANDLE
AN ECLECTIC MENU

STORY BY LATRIA GRAHAM
PHOTOS BY TIM KIMZEY

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Clockwise from top left, Nicolas The little house sits up on a small hill, out of the
Dhers and Amonrat “Ae” Dhers are
the owners of Le Spice restaurant. way and almost undetectable if you don’t know what
A selection of breads and
croissants are always favorites.
you’re looking for. The only indicator of this chef
French Raspberry Tart. The Duck d’oeuvre is a small sign by the roadway, white ply
Bun is a popular sandwich.
board in a red frame, a red pepper and brown baguette
crossed over one another with these words written in
slanted script: Le Spice Restaurant and Bakery.

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An assortment
It’s 4 a.m. on the western side of town when Nick Dhers of desserts at Le
Spice restaurant
opens the door to his double decker industrial oven, and his
and bakery include
loaves of bread begin to sing. As he removes them from the bacon cookies, a
mango danish, a
heat, they rhythmically crackle and huff, an audible assess- blueberry danish, a
ment of their readiness, as the provisions transition from the dark Vermont maple
pecan pie and a
incandescent warmth of the kitchen out into the gray light of lemon meringue.
early morning. Everybody else in Spartanburg is still sleep- JOSE FRANCO PHOTO

ing, but in a couple of hours the navy colored front door will
swing open and patrons will begin filling the homey space,
seeking something to satisfy their sweet tooth or satiate their
craving for something a little unusual, perhaps the Open
Faced Asian Steak breakfast sandwich, or perhaps some
pulled pork with a hint of French sensibility.
Mini danishes peek out of a basket in front of the cash reg-
ister, the glaze on top causing them to gleam in the light. The
infamous bacon chocolate chip cookies that sit nearby disap-
pear before the day’s end, as they always do. Croissants,

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enclosed in a glass case are the arbiter of today’s dominant
smell, the soothing flavors of butter and wheat escaping the
seams of their confines and filling the 3,200 square-foot space
with something that might smell like home.
This renovated cottage has held a number of businesses
before, like The Rose Cottage and Gardens and Converse Deli
West but executive chef Amonrat “Ae” Dhers, 38, and her hus-
band, pastry chef Nick Dhers, 34, bring French and Thai vibes
at turns familiar and exotic to the space creating something new
on Spartanburg’s west side. Escargot and Quiche Lorraine sit
on the menu next to the Thai Curry Bowl. Cuban and Mexican
influences appear in the crepes on the menu, a nod to Ae’s curi-
osity about the cuisine of other cultures, and the vast dessert
selection is all Nick’s doing.
Le Spice is their love story, the culmination of years of
experimentation and a fusion of their culinary backgrounds.
Ae hails from a small village in Thailand, where her family grew

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their own vegetables and would go often go to the bakery in the morn- he went back to France and studied at
out every morning and collect eggs ing with my dad and a lot of times we the Institut National de la Boulangerie
from their chickens. Nick is from would get a chocolate croissant to Pâtisserie (INBP) from 2005 to 2007,
Esquay-Notre-Dame, a small village bring back for breakfast.” where he was awarded degrees in both
of 400 people in northwestern France. At the age of 12, when his family pâtisseries and in bread baking.
Surrounded by corn and potato farm- relocated to Spartanburg, he dreamed Ae’s inspiration is different. She
ers, he grew up in a similar fashion: about those croissants. He eventually didn’t set out to become a profes-
“Technology wise it felt like France attended Dorman High School and sional chef. The calling found her.
was 10 years behind the U.S. We had took his first culinary arts classes at While living in Miami and working as a
two bakeries and a bar that was it,” R.D. Anderson Applied Technology yoga teacher, she realized how burned
Dhers laughs, but it underscores the Center. There he met Marlen Kuzs- out she was. She closed her eyes and
importance of good bread in the Nor- maul, his culinary arts teacher, and tried to think of what would make
mandy region of France. A childhood the former owner of Le Spice’s current her happy. “I told myself whatever it
memory would push him to become location. Under her guise, he started is, I’m going to do it, even if I don’t
a pastry chef. “In France, you buy chasing the chocolate croissants from get paid for it,” she said. “It wasn’t
the bread every day, it’s not like here his childhood. Realizing he wanted to until then that I realized how much I
when you go once a week, so I would continue to advance in the pastry arts, like to cook — no matter where I am,

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I’m always in the kitchen cooking for I started late and I needed to catch face.
people.” up to someone who has been cooking Soon, Nick ran out of things to
She pursued the path with abandon, for 10 years. I had to work harder and teach her. When Ae transferred to
working harder than she ever had. She faster and every day I studied.” another kitchen to continue her stud-
asked various restaurateurs in Miami Ae’s work ethic forced Nick to see ies, he realized how much he missed
to let her work in the kitchen so she her talent. “She’s only been training her, and the pair married in 2015. The
could learn how to cook professionally for two years but has progressed more pair knew they wanted to start their
and finesse her knife skills. That’s how than anybody I’ve known—anybody own experimental food restaurant,
she ended up in a kitchen in Miami, I went to school with, anybody I’ve but knew the hustle and bustle of
under Nick Dhers’s watchful eye, worked with. She knows how to bake Miami weren’t suitable to that type
working as his sous chef at a Miami — she picked things up so quickly. of risk. “One bad dish could spoil a
hotspot in 2014. Duck pates, foie gras, escargot, she reputation,” Nick said, and Ae nodded
The pair didn’t hit it off at first. “I knows all of that too. I love the fact somberly.
hated him,” Ae said with a laugh. “I that she’s not traditionally trained but The decision to move to Spartan-
thought he was lazy and he talked too she came at this with such passion,” burg was happenstance. Nick wanted
much. I work hard because I know that Nick recalled with a slight smile on his to be closer to his family, and he

The Banh Mi is a
popular sandwich
at Le Spice.

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missed baking too. His love of choco- the outcome is so much better, you sweetness is Nick’s contribution, and
late croissants was on the back burner aren’t rushing.” Ae cooks roast duck the way her father
in Miami, pushed aside for better Ae added, “When I was working at taught her. The pillowy texture is
monetary culinary pursuits. When he other restaurants for other people I accented by the crunch from cucum-
visited his high school culinary arts didn’t get a chance to blend flavors. bers and slight saltiness of the siracha
teacher he found out that this house It was always just strict traditional aioli. Ae feels pride every time she
with the navy blue door was for sale, cuisine. I didn’t have a chance to show serves the dish, and it is one of the best
and that the clientele in Spartanburg them what I think. I wanted to try sellers. “The best part of this is when
could handle their dreams of an eclec- Mexican, French, Thai. I think of it as I cook something and I create some-
tic menu. In August of 2016, Le Spice modern food. Here we have a special thing that they love and I see their face
opened its doors. The locals fell in love of the day and that’s where I let my when they’re eating.”
with the eatery, and the Dhers became creativity flow.” The Dhers consider their love
enchanted by the city. Their favorite experiment so far has story to be a success. Ae can flex her
“I like Spartanburg,” Nick said, been the duck bun. A fusion of their creativity and Nick has his bakery.
“because less stress as far as us trying culinary backgrounds in one dish, Now they’re trying to figure out
something new. When we’re relaxed the toasted brioche bun with a hint of what comes next. “I want to serve

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up something that you can’t find “I want to give opportunities to
anywhere else,” Ae exclaimed, excited people that work really hard and just
by the challenge, even if it does sound need a chance, like me,” Ae said.
daunting. “When the people we train have the
Nick insists that Le Spice isn’t going skills instead of having to go off and
anywhere, even if they decided to work for somebody else, they’ll be able
venture out and try other projects. to work for themselves. Hopefully,
“Le Spice will always be Le Spice, it’s they’ll be able to help their quality of
complex and it’s our first bakery. We life and give back to the community,
love it.” too.
Largely on their minds is how they There is no way of knowing what
can further impact the community, the future holds for the Dhers and Le
perhaps giving an enterprising youth Spice, but as long at the little house at
the opportunity to learn under their 8881 Warren H Abernathy Highway An assortment of desserts at Le Spice
restaurant and bakery include a mango
tutelage, just as Ae learned under keeps pumping out pastries, the future
danish with vanilla custard and raspber-
Nick. sounds (and smells) pretty sweet. ries. JOSE FRANCO PHOTO

Nicolas Dhers and Amonrat “Ae”
Dhers are the owners of Le Spice
restaurant in Spartanburg.

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CHEF SPOTLIGHT POT ROAST
4-pound chuck roast, bone in
Salt and pepper
¼ cup of oil
1 cup of flour
1 pound of carrots
2 pounds of potatoes
1 cup of celery
1 onion
1 and ½ cups of beef broth
½ cup of red wine
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 Tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 Tablespoon chopped thyme
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
2 Tablespoons of corn starch

Season the chuck roast with salt and
pepper in a heavy skillet. Dredge the roast
in flour. Brown the meat on all sides and
place into a crock pot or slow cooker on low
temperature.
Add carrots, potatoes, celery, and

AMY BYERS onions. Pour in the beef broth, red wine,
tomato paste and add the rosemary and
ENJOYS TEACHING OTHERS thyme.

Joy of Cooking
Cook for eight hours.
Remove the roast and place the liquid in
a sauce pot. Bring that pot to a simmer with
the mushrooms. Add the cornstarch with
cold water and pour into the simmering
liquid.
STORY BY ZACH FOX Continue to cook until the liquid reduces
PHOTOS BY TIM KIMZEY by half.

Amy Byers enjoys helping students realize their culinary potential as much as she EDAMAME CORN SALAD
enjoys baking away in the kitchen. 1 pound of shelled edamame
Byers is the culinary arts program director at Spartanburg Community College. 3 cups of corn
She started at the college as an adjunct professor in 2010 and took over the depart- 1 chopped red bell pepper
ment four years later. She works with students of all ages and 1 small chopped purple onion
culinary skill sets, hoping to pass along a love of cooking she 2 chopped avocados
caught during her time at Clemson University. 1 and ½ teaspoons of chopped cilantro
HOW DID YOU GET INTO COOKING? Salt and pepper
Optional ingredients include chickpeas, black
I was at Clemson studying to be a nurse and not doing so well.
beans or black eyed peas
I was working at a restaurant there called Annie Oaks, and I
For the dressing:
loved waiting tables. The manager there said he thought I should
2 squeezed limes
go to culinary school. 1 Tablespoon of Dijon mustard
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT COOKING? 2/3 cup of oil
I enjoy baking a lot more. If you’re a baker, you’re not a cook, 1 Tablespoon of red wine vinegar
if you’re a cook, you’re not a baker. If you’re a cook, you can 1 Tablespoon of honey
change things as you go, you have a little freedom. If you’re a Salt and pepper
baker, you have to follow a recipe. It’s more of a science, it’s
more exact. You can’t just scoop a cup of flour and throw it in. Combine edamame, corn, red bell pepper,
FOR HOME COOKS NOT TAKING CLASSES, DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR purple onion, avocados and cilantro in a
THEM? bowl. Add any additional ingredients.
Just try it. Read a recipe and go for it. Read the internet or read a cookbook. Watch Combine dressing ingredients and whisk.
YouTube videos because they can learn and watch how they make it. Pour the desired amount of dressing over
Don’t be afraid to try new things at restaurants. Ask how it’s prepared. Most will tell the salad and cover. Let sit for at least 30
you. minutes. Add additional dressing if needed.

24 | SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE
CHOCOLATE POUND CAKE on medium speed. Add the sugar and
Unsalted butter to brush the Bundt pan beat until the mixture is light and
¼ cup sugar to line the pan fluffy.
2 cups of AP flour Scrape down the bowl with a rubber
1 cup and 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder spatula. Beating at medium speed,
1 Tablespoon of baking powder add the eggs, one by one, beating only
½ teaspoon of baking soda until they are well blended.
1 teaspoon of salt
Beating on low speed, add a third
1 and ½ cups of butter
of the flour mixture and a third of the
2 and ¾ cups of sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
buttermilk. Do this twice more with
2 teaspoons of espresso extract the remaining dry ingredients and
5 eggs buttermilk, scraping the bowl with a
1 and ¼ cup buttermilk rubber spatula in between. Finally,
beat the batter on medium speed for
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Brush 30 seconds, until it is smooth.
a 10-inch Bundt pan with the room Pour the batter into the prepared
temperature unsalted butter. Pour ½ pan. Bake the cake for 50 to 60 min-
cup sugar into the pan, swirling the utes, until the top feels springy and a
sugar in the pan so the chimney and toothpick inserted in the middle comes
sides are covered. Turn the pan upside out clean.
down to remove any excess sugar and Cool the cake in the pan on a wire
set aside. rack for about 20 minutes. Then turn
Sift together the flour, cocoa, it out onto the wire rack to finish
baking powder, baking soda, and salt. cooling.
Into the bowl of an electric mixer To finish, dust the cake with cocoa
fitted with a paddle, cream the butter or confectioner’s sugar.

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 25
DINNER WITH

Bilkis Kapasi

Bilkis Kapasi prepared an authentic Indian meal at her home in Spartanburg.

Traditional Indian meal included curried goat,
saffron rice, chapatis, samosas
STORY BY STEVE WONG | PHOTOS BY TIM KIMZEY

B
ilkis Kapasi is about own and operate the long-standing
as international as glass company Kapasi Glass on
a person can get. West Main Street in Spartanburg.
Her ethnicity is East On her mantel stands an extensive
Indian, although she collection of delicate and colorful glass
was born in Uganda. perfume bottles that she bought in
When she talks to her relatives in Egypt. But when it comes to food, she’s
Sweden about visiting London, she strictly Muslim Indian — unless she’s
speaks Hindi. She could converse in asked to cook otherwise. Preparing and
French, Swedish, or, of course, Eng- eating traditional Indian food has been
lish. After all, she’s lived in Roebuck, a personal and lifelong choice she made
for most of her adult life. She, her to preserve some of her heritage in the
husband Mustan, and other relatives Deep South.

26 | SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE
Plate including Simosas, Goat Curry, Spinach Curry, Zucchini & Yellow Squash Curry, Rice, and Chapatis (flatbread).

Zucchini & Yellow Squash Curry Goat Curry

“I think you should never forget who you are and where you Among her friends, Bilkis has a solid reputation for always
came from,” she said in her very American-style contempo- making some of the most sought-after covered-dish Indian
rary country house. “To me, your upbringing is important. I foods. For a recent meal, she had -- as she often does -- spent
have lived in different parts of the world but never in India, many hours making from scratch curried goat; curried squash
and, yet, I hold onto the traditions. My boys were born and and zucchini; curried spinach; saffron rice; chapatis (flat
raised here in Spartanburg and are as American as they can bread); samosas; freshly sliced raw radishes, cucumbers and
be, but they love Indian food and speak our language. Will carrots; and for dessert, sevian, a traditional northern Indian
they hold to the traditions? I think they will,” she said. dish made of vermicelli (Italian pasta).

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 27

1005_A_26_SHJMAG.indd 27 9/18/2017 1:03:43 PM
Ever the accommodating hostess, Bilkis sought to give her
guests every dinner option she could muster, having all of the
food on the stove ready to eat. Her coordinated place settings
were also laid out in advance, giving her the social grace to direct
her attention on the guests, rather than on dinner details. In
keeping with Indian tradition, she suggested that the meal should
start with something sweet, noting the practice was opposite the
Western norm of having dessert at the end of the meal. Seeing
obvious confusion on the faces of her guests and wanting them
to be as comfortable as possible, she was more than agree-
able to starting with samosas, which are deep-fried, stuffed,
and wrapped savory appetizers that looked like a cross between
Greek Tiropitakia and Chinese Wontons. These triangle-shaped
finger-foods were perfect for the vegetarian palate, made with a
combination of spiced potatoes, carrots, peas, lemon, and black
mustard seed.
With guests unsure of the proper eating etiquette, Bilkis dem-
Bilkis Kapasi prepared an authentic Indian meal at her home in Spartanburg.
onstrated that many Indian foods are correctly eaten by using
the fingers, instead of forks and spoons, which she had thought-
“I guess I got more involved in cooking after I got married,” fully provided. This was especially true with the servings of goat
she said moving about her kitchen. “Mustan loves to eat. He, too, and two vegetable side dishes. Tearing off a piece of homemade
grew up with traditional home-cooked meals, so I had to take chapatis, she demonstrated how to “pinch” the food using the
cooking seriously. I would call my mother for recipes and started bread as an edible utensil. It was tricky to not pinch too hard
cooking. And when I saw him enjoying his food, I started becom- (squeezing the food out of the bread) or to pinch too much (having
ing more creative and would put time and love into it. And I guess the food fall out of the bread before reaching your mouth), but
I had to measure up to my mother. My mother is an awesome watching Bilkis gracefully take bites was a reminder of the most
cook, and everyone took for granted that since she is an excellent reliable etiquette rule: watch the hostess and do whatever she
cook, I had to be one too.” does.

28 | SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE

1005_A_26_SHJMAG.indd 28 9/18/2017 9:49:30 AM
ABOVE: An authentic Indian dinner including Simosas, Goat Curry, Spinach Curry, Zucchini &
Yellow Squash Curry, Rice, and Chapatis (flatbread). TOP LEFT: Spices used in many Indian
recipes include paprika, coriander, cumin, and turmeric. BOTTOM LEFT: Sevian (dessert)

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 29

1005_A_26_SHJMAG.indd 29 9/18/2017 1:05:35 PM
Bilkis Kapasi prepared an authentic
Indian meal at her home in Spartanburg.
Dishes including Simosas, Goat Curry,
Spinach Curry, Zucchini & Yellow Squash
Curry, Rice, and Chapatis (flatbread).

30 | SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE

1005_A_26_SHJMAG.indd 30 9/18/2017 1:06:44 PM
She explained the tortilla-like whole-wheat bread is served reddish brown sauce that easily accommodated the chapatis.
at nearly all meals and can be made in large quantities and If not told the meat was a goat, it could easily be misidenti-
stored for later use. Further demonstrations set the goal to fied as a highly seasoned and hearty braised or stewed beef
tear off a bite-size piece of bread, fold it for either pinching or even pork with many levels of flavors. In keeping with
or scooping, capture and eat the food all with one unsullied her Muslim faith, the goat was kosher, meaning it had been
hand. It takes practice, she said. slaughtered according to strict dietary guidelines.
The meal’s main course was a curried goat with side dishes Both the squash-and-zucchini and spinach dishes were
of curried yellow squash and zucchini, curried spinach, and stovetop creations using Bilkis’s own blend of curry spices.
saffron rice. Despite everything being curried, each dish was Always seeking to make the food more flavorful, she had
identifiably different, yet similar, and always highly flavor- cooked the spinach with fresh tomato to boost the flavor but
ful. Dispelling the assumption that all curried dishes are hot, added sugar to the squash for the same result. Despite being
Bilkis explained that technically curry is a blend of spices, highly flavorful and spiced, the vegetables’ true flavors came
some of which can be hot. Others are not. Her personal blend through. The spinach left a lingering low burn as a reminder
is normally paprika, coriander, cumin, and turmeric. “Don't of its cultural heritage.
be afraid to try it,” she encouraged. “It's very flavorful and it “Those dishes are very traditional,” Bilkis said but empha-
will grow on you. Be open when trying something new. There sized throughout the meal that variations on the basic
are lots of good restaurants in Greenville, Charlotte, and foundation of Indian cooking are what gives her and her
Atlanta. Living in South Carolina has influenced my cooking, family great joy in eating. “I guess all Indians cook Indian
and I think it does wherever you live. Every country has its food at home,” she surmised. “We grew up with that food.”
own culture and tradition, and I always get fascinated by it. “My sons love Indian food. Of course, I cooked Ameri-
I will try a recipe and modify it. Eating is fun, and so cooking can foods too when they were growing up. If you asked
should be fun too.” them what was their favorite food they would say pizza and
The curried goat had been pressure cooked with salt, hamburger,” she said with a laugh. “I used to cook a bunch
pepper, caramelized onions, garlic, fresh ginger root, and, and send it to them when they were in college. They really
of course, a selection of curry spices. Small chunks of tender missed home cooked meals. Their friends would join them,
lean meat clinging to the bone were presented in a super thick too, always looking forward to seeing me because they knew

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 31

1005_A_26_SHJMAG.indd 31 9/18/2017 9:49:56 AM
Plate including Simosas, Goat Curry, Spinach Curry, Zucchini & Yellow Squash Curry, Rice, and Chapatis (flatbread).

I would have food with me. When Arif moved to Charleston so beautiful, our food is very flavorful, our clothing is very
to go to law school, I would have to call him and ask him for colorful. We have dinner parties at home or parties for any
how many should I cook for. Altaf has his favorite dishes, other event like Christmas, New Year's or weddings. We all
too, but he wasn't picky about me bringing Indian food to love to dress in our Indian outfits. We all make an effort to
him. I would cook more Swedish food for him. Both of my dress up, even if we are invited to a friend's house, we will
boys are done with college, and both cook some Indian food. dress up, unless they mention any other dress code.”
But now they cook more American food because Indian Being Muslim, Bilkis and her family keep kosher, which
food is very time-consuming. Of course, when they come eliminates any pork from their menus. “And all of our
home they do want Indian food, and I do cook up a storm for friends know that. They won't have pork when we are there
them.” or they will let us know not to eat that dish.
Like with any culture, food plays a big role for Bilkis and “My philosophy about cooking,” she said and paused
her family and friends in holding together the people who to think… “you have to learn how to cook, and with time
share a common history. you might enjoy cooking when you start to get a hang of it.
“We still practice all elements of Indian culture besides Then start to experiment and be creative, explore different
food,” she continued. “We practice all of them — the lan- spices, try different things. You might just surprise yourself
guage, culture, religion, clothing, everything. Our culture is with what you can do.”

32 | SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE

1005_A_26_SHJMAG.indd 32 9/18/2017 1:07:34 PM
1005_A_33_SHJMAG.indd 33 9/18/2017 9:50:26 AM
Chef P’s Smoked
Gouda Mac ‘n
Cheese Bites.

HERB ’N EATS
Sedrick “Chef P” Posey and Autumn Ballew are the co-
owners of the Herb’N Eats food truck, a new mobile eatery.

Ne w food truck
hits the streets of
Spartanburg
STORY BY ALYSSA MULLIGER
PHOTOS BY TIM KIMZEY

Chef P’s “Piggy Mac.”

A
new food truck has rolled into “We’ve had so many people call us and business’s best-selling eats.
Spartanburg County, touting reach out to us,” she said. Inside, the kitchen on wheels is outfitted
creative cuisines that incorpo- Meet the team and the foods behind Spar- with a range, fryer, prep area and everything
rate fresh local ingredients and tanburg’s latest food truck concept: else necessary for creating made-to-order
handcrafted seasoning blends for its lunch food.
and dinner items. THE TRUCK Herb ’N Eats is available for catering and
The food truck, which hit the streets this It’s not hard to miss the Herb ’N Eats makes appearances at special events. The
summer, has already garnered a significant food truck, which is decorated with images truck also has been invited to work with some
following, according to co-owner Autumn of herbs, bags of colorful spices and the downtown Spartanburg businesses, Ballew
Ballew. said.Check Herb ‘N Eats Facebook page to

34 | SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE
keep up with where it will be parked during the “We want everyone to onions and a gooey Gouda cheese sauce.
week.
know that we’re really “At home one night I had macaroni noodles
left over from the night before, but I didn’t
THE CHEF trying to bring the want it again,” Posey said. “I started scooping
The visionary behind the Herb ’N Eats wheel community together.” it, and it was so thick that I decided to roll it
is Chef Sedrick Posey, who’s known by friends into balls and in some bread crumbs and cook
as “Chef P.” it. It turned out pretty good.”
A Boiling Springs native, Posey has nearly 25 While some of the truck’s items are always
years of experience in the restaurant industry. on the menu, others are daily features like the
He started washing dishes at age 15, and later encourage others to take the dive into the food Piggy Mac, a jazzed up version of macaroni
worked his way up to helping open restaurants truck world, too. and cheese with Gouda, Parmesan, Posey’s
in Boiling Springs and Greenville. “I left for a little bit, but now I’m back to special seasoning and crumbled bacon.
Posey then attended the College of Culinary hopefully bring something new to Spartan- “We’re using at least three of my spice
Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Char- burg,” he said. “We want everyone to know blends from The Spice Rak right now with our
lotte, N.C., and decided to stay in the Queen that we’re really trying to bring the community food truck recipes,”
City for six years. While there he founded The together.” Posey said. “People would ask, ‘What kind
Spice Rak, a home-based business specializing of food can I cook with these spices?’ and I
in custom seasonings and spice blends. THE FOOD decided to use them on the food truck.”
“When the food truck craze started growing, Most of Posey’s ideas for the Herb ’N Eats Other menu items include a triple cheese
I wanted to do one in Charlotte,” Posey said. menu come to him while he’s driving. He’ll jot bacon herb burger, bacon bleu hot dog,
“But I got to thinking that there were already so them down and ask Ballew what she thinks strawberry chicken spinach salad, banana
many there, but nothing back home (in Boiling before testing them out in his home kitchen. pudding and “Rajun Cajun” waffle fries.
Springs). So, why not bring one back home?” One idea that has become the truck’s best- “I try to be creative, but not too much out-
Posey began playing around with recipes and selling item is Smoked Gouda Mac ’n Cheese of-the-box to where it scares people to try
working on his food truck concept last October. Bites — lightly fried macaroni-and-cheese things,” Posey said. “I keep the food familiar
Now that his truck is on the road, he hopes to balls topped with crumbled bacon, green to things that people can relate to.”

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 35

1005_A_34_SHJMAG.indd 35 9/18/2017 1:57:12 PM
CHEF SPOTLIGHT

WES HOWARD,
chef at Hub City Co-op, loves creativity of cooking
STORY BY ALYSSA MULLIGER
PHOTOS BY ALEX HICKS JR.

G
reenville native Wes Howard started cooking
at a young age and is now the chef at Hub City
Co-op, 176 N. Liberty St. in Spartanburg. On
a typical day, Howard wakes up early and starts prepping food at
5:30 a.m. for the co-op’s popular buffet bar.

WHAT KIND OF COOKING EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE?
Before I could even drive my mom was dropping me off at a pizza place so I could
wash dishes and start prepping. When I was in the military I cooked at a Greek res-
taurant. I bartended for about 10 years and I have worked all kinds of places – from
barbecue to fine dining. I started cooking in the Whole Foods kitchen and was there
for a couple of years.

WHY DO YOU ENJOY COOKING AS A PROFESSION?
At the end of the day, it’s so cool to work around so many different people and per-
sonalities. It’s also a way for me to be creative. I’m not a painter, I’m not a sculptor
and I don’t play a musical instrument, but this really gives me that outlet.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE FOODS TO COOK?
I love all kinds of stuff but something that I really, really enjoy for the Spartanburg
crowd is more ethnic food from around the world like Indian and Thai. I do some
butter chicken, (and) chicken tikka masala.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU COOK FOR THE HOT BAR?
The hot bar is open seven days a week. For Sunday brunch, we have everything
from frittatas to biscuits and gravy. I’ll do the hot bar about half breakfast and half TOP TO BOTTOM: Hub City Co-op Chef Wes
lunch, so there will still be some chicken and veggies and cobbler. Howard checks the internal temperature on
his turkey meatloaf. Wes Howard, chef at Hub
City Co-op in Spartanburg, starts preparing
DO YOU COME UP WITH YOUR OWN RECIPES? food at 5:30 a.m. each day for the co-op’s hot
buffet bar. Hub City Co-op Chef Wes Howard
I’ve learned some tricks along the way, but for the most part, these are my recipes.
serves up baked macaroni and cheese.
I’ve started doing some Greek turkey meatballs and turkey meatloaf.

WHAT SETS YOUR COOKING APART?
Our thing is fresh, fresh, fresh. We barely use a freezer at all. For a while, I was get- HUB CITY CO-OP
ting produce for every single day. That’s really our big goal here – cleanliness, local, Address: 176 N. Liberty St. in downtown
organic and non-GMO. All the dishes aren’t 100 percent organic, but whenever we Spartanburg
can get it we fit it in. Info: 864-515-3090 or hubcity.coop

WHERE DO ANY LEFTOVERS GO? STORE HOURS:
Anything that we have that’s left over, a woman that works with several soup 7 a.m. -- 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday
10 a.m. -- 6 p.m. Sunday
kitchens around town comes and gets it the next day. Everything is still great and
fresh; we just replace it with things made the same day.

36 | SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE

1005_A_36_SHJMAG.indd 36 9/18/2017 1:59:05 PM
COLLARD GREENS
1 bunch of collard greens (about 2 pounds)
⅓ pound of bacon, sliced into ½-inch strips
½ white onion, sliced thin
Several cloves of garlic, chopped
3 ounces cider vinegar
Pinch of chili flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Clean and cut the collard greens into 2-inch strips and set
aside. In a large pot, sautée the bacon and onion for a few
minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the
collard greens to the pot and cover with water. Add the cider
vinegar, chili flakes, and salt and pepper. Bring the collard
greens to a boil and then lower to a simmer for 90 minutes or
until the greens are tender.
TIP: For a deeper flavor, add ½ chicken bouillon cube while
the collard greens are cooking.

EASY CILANTRO-LIME MARINADE
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
3 limes, juiced
Several cloves of garlic, chopped
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of ground cumin
Pinch of chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and use to coat chicken, pork, fish
or tofu. Allow marinating for at least two hours.
TIP: For the best flavor, allow to marinate overnight.

1005_A_36_SHJMAG.indd 37 9/18/2017 9:51:41 AM
38 | SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE
Katie Huxster, owner of
Silver Lake Farm and a
Hub City Farmers Market
vendor for two years,
tends to the chickens.
ALEX HICKS JR. PHOTO

SILVER LAKE FARM
OWNER SHARES
FAVORITE RECIPES
Huxster is also
a vendor at Hub City
Farmer’s Market
STORY BY CHRIS LAVENDER
PHOTOS BY ALEX HICKS JR.

K
atie Huxster has been the owner
of Silver Lake Farm for five
years and a Hub City Farmers
Market vendor for two years.
She started selling pork,
chicken and produce at the Greer Farmer’s
Market before selling at Hub City Farmer’s
Market every other Saturday. “It’s been a
fabulous market for us,” she said. “We started
selling honey for the first time last year.”

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 39
1005_A_38_SHJMAG.indd 40 9/18/2017 9:52:23 AM
Huxster grew up in New
Hampshire and decided to
move to the South with her
husband Cliff. They started
with two pigs named Oscar
and Mayer working their way
to eventually owning 21 pigs.
They raise pigs on another farm
now. Right now they have 400 chick-
ens that lay eggs. “Everything we grow here
we sell at the market,” she said. “We wanted
food knowing that the animals are treated
well. It’s clean and natural to the way they
should be raised.”
Huxter’s favorite dishes to prepare in her
kitchen include Pork Cutlets in Sage Cream
Sauce and Grandee’s Chicken Piccata. “We
actually have some of our pork cut into spe-
cific cutlets. Everything is fresh and it’s our
meat so they burst with flavor. I double the
sauce and we dip our bread into it. I really
TOP: Katie Huxster, owner of Silver Lake Farm and a Hub City Farmers Market vendor for two years, is enjoy it.”
also a beekeeper. ALEX HICKS JR. PHOTO
Her must-have items in the pantry or
MIDDLE: Katie Huxster at her Silver Lake Farm in Duncan. TIM KIMZEY PHOTO refrigerator at home include olive oil, pasta,
BOTTOM: Katie Huxster, owner of Silver Lake Farm and a Hub City Farmers Market vendor for two years, broth, fresh herbs, pilaf, and balsamic
tends to the chickens. ALEX HICKS JR. PHOTO vinegar.

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 41
Chicken Piccata with
Grandees Green Spaghetti
pasta and Roasted Acorn
Squash with Fall Flavors.
PHOTO BY TIM KIMZEY

42 | SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE

1005_A_38_SHJMAG.indd 42 9/18/2017 2:00:30 PM
Huxster shared three family recipes:

1

PORK CUTLETS IN SAGE CREAM SAUCE
1 pound boneless pork sirloin cutlets, quarter inch thick
1 egg
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons of butter
1 cup half and half
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves
Drizzle of olive oil

With a meat mallet, pound pork 1/8” thickness.
In a bowl, beat egg with one tablespoon of water.
Place 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a pie plate.
Dip cutlets first in the egg mixture, then in flour mixture.
Heat skillet over medium-high heat with 2 Tablespoons of butter and a drizzle of olive oil. Add and cook
cutlets, a few pieces at a time, for 3 to 4 minutes, adding more butter or oil to the skillet as needed. Remove
browned cutlets, lightly salted and keep warm.
Note: I always double the sauce for our family.
Into the drippings in the skillet, over medium heat, stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons of flour.
Stir in half and half, chopped sage leaves; heat just to a boil and remove.
Pour sauce over cutlets and garnish with sprig and sage
Serves 4

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 43

1005_A_38_SHJMAG.indd 43 9/18/2017 2:01:21 PM
2

GRANDEE’S CHICKEN
PICCATA
4 boneless skinless chicken
breasts
2 Tablespoons flour
1-2 Tablespoons of butter
Salt and Pepper
¼ cup heavily reduced home-
made chicken broth
(1 Tablespoon Better Than Bouil-
lon or 1 chicken bouillon cube
and ¼ cube cup boiling water
can easily be substituted.)
2 lemons
Capers
Olive Oil

Place cleaned chicken breasts
on plastic wrap and cover with
same. Pound until 1/4’ thick.
Dredge each cutlet in flour and
place a few pieces at a time in a
skillet with butter and olive oil
to sauté. Each piece will take no
more than 3 to 4 minutes per side
and golden when done. Remove
and lightly salt and pepper each
piece, keep warm.
To the pan drippings, add
the reduced broth and freshly
squeezed juice of one lemon to
taste. Stir until brown bits are
dissolved. Add 1-2 tablespoons
of butter, melt. Return chicken
to the skillet with sauce and turn
to cover. Add capers and serve
immediately using slices of lemon
as garnish.
Serves 4

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SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 45

1005_A_38_SHJMAG.indd 45 9/18/2017 9:52:56 AM
3

ROASTED ACORN SQUASH WITH FALL FLAVORS
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place oven racks in center of the
oven
2 firm Acorn Squash
4 Tablespoons salted butter
¼ cup pecans
¼ cup dried cranberries
Real Maple Syrup or Brown Sugar
Cinnamon

With a sharp knife and being very careful, cut the squash in half from
stem to tip. Scoop out the seeds and stringy parts leaving a clean smooth
inner center.
Place a scant 1/4 inches of water in the bottom of a large glass baking
dish. Add the prepped squash cut side down and bake for 50 minutes or
until a cooking fork releases easily.
Remove from the oven and flip the squash over with cut-side up. The
water will have done its job of keeping the squash moist and will have
evaporated. Add 1 or more tablespoon of butter to the center of each half.
Place dried cranberries and pecans to the center of each half. Top with
1 Tablespoon butter and drizzle with the maple syrup. If using brown
sugar instead of maple syrup, add 1 Tablespoon sugar with the berries
and pecans, top with the butter and omit the syrup. Lightly sprinkle with
cinnamon.
Return to the oven until butter is melted. Once done, remove and serve.
Serves 4

46 | SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE
SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 47

1005_A_38_SHJMAG.indd 47 9/6/2017 12:03:42 PM
Sue (MaMa Sue) Thomas
encourages creativity
in her dishes and in
desserts such as her
chocolate cupcakes.

48 | SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE
Mama Sue’s
Homemade Help
Meal prep business offers weekly
menu items for purchase
STORY BY ALYSSA MULLIGER
PHOTOS BY TIM KIMZEY

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 49
S
ue Thomas knows her way around a kitchen, having first
stepped foot in one as a toddler to help prepare dinner
with her family.
“Since I was 3 years old I can remember standing at a
stove helping cook,” she said.
Thomas, a New York native, quickly fell in love with
the trade and would go on to work in the food industry over the next
few decades. After moving to Spartanburg, she’d also cut her teeth in
restaurant management.
Today, Thomas has channeled her passion into preparing home-
cooked meals for others and encouraging family time around the dinner
table, no matter how busy people are.
In August 2016, Thomas founded Mama Sue’s Homemade Help, a
meal prep business offering weekly menus featuring breakfast, lunch,
dinner and, occasionally, dessert items. Thomas also provides some of
the items for special catered events. Sue (MaMa Sue) Thomas. right, with Courtney Story, left, and Laura Starkes,
Thomas’s inspiration came from her two sons who are school teach- back, prepare meals at Mama Sue’s Homemade Help.
ers that often visited a drive thru for family dinners.
“It was 9 p.m. by the time they’d get home after running from base-
ball, football, cheerleading or whatever the case may be. And they just could not keep up,” Thomas said. “I thought it would be a really good idea
for teachers to have home-cooked meals. And that’s what started Mama Sue’s.”
Thomas initially launched her business in her home kitchen, but then moved into a full industrial kitchen inside Grace Church which is located
behind the Westside Club in Spartanburg.

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1005_A_48_SHJMAG.indd 50 9/18/2017 2:02:21 PM
Sue (MaMa Sue) Thomas
decorates cupcakes.

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 51
BLT Pasta Salad.

There, she and two assistants whip up plates
of chimichangas stuffed with chicken; bowls of
creamy bacon-corn chowder; containers of BLT
pasta salad; and pans of Mama’s Apple Delights –
baked tortillas stuffed with cinnamon apples.
The meals are prepared from scratch using as
much organic and fresh ingredients as possible,
Thomas said.
“We experiment with a lot of recipes, but there
are also a lot of family recipes passed down,” she
said. “There are some things I’ve tried in the past
that have always stuck with me or my kids have said
Chicken Chimichangas. I have to make again.”

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Sue (MaMa Sue)
Thomas encourages
creativity in her dishes
and in desserts.

54 | SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE
Sue (MaMa Sue) Thomas prepares cupcakes at Mama Sue’s Homemade Help.

Courtney Story, who has a degree in culinary arts, said
working in Mama Sue’s kitchen with Thomas has been a fun
experience.
“You get to be creative with Sue, and she loves creativity,”
Story said.
Some of the more popular items include Mexican dishes, Ital-
ian foods, chicken and dumplings and the bacon-corn chowder.
Once the meals are prepared and fully cooked, they are frozen
in oven-safe pans and topped with instructions about reheating
the food in the oven.
“People are always shocked that everything is homemade,”
said Laura Starkes, who also works in the Mama Sue’s kitchen.
“I love to cook and bake and that’s what got me started. I love it
here; you get the freedom to make your own desserts.”
Thomas posts weekly menus on Mama Sue’s Facebook page.
Orders are prepared at the beginning of each week and clients
pick up or have meals delivered on Thursdays.
Individual meals are $8 and meals for two to four people are
$15 each. Larger meals that serve four to six people are $25 each.
Thomas also makes a variety of handheld items for work or
school lunches. These items are six for $10.
“I cater those to the woman or man who’s going to work every
day, or now that school started, I do handhelds for the kids like
turkey and cheddar sandwiches,” she said.
Since starting the business, Thomas said no weekly menu has
been the same and word has quickly spread. On average, 12-15
clients are added to her order list each week, she said.
“You can do one day a week or all week. We have people
weekly that go through the whole menu and have a meal for
every day of the week,” Thomas said.
The majority of clients using Mama Sue’s are teachers, nurses,
and families with young kids. She also receives orders from
young couples looking to save time and money on meals.
“The business has definitely grown in a year so I know it’s
going to keep on growing,” Thomas said. “I like the idea of
family and the idea of sitting down and eating dinner together.”

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 55
TA I L G AT I N G

PIGSKIN PARTY
Tailgating is a great way to score points with football fans
STORY BY ZACH FOX
PHOTOS BY TIM KIMZEY

F
ootball may be king across South Carolina,
but tailgating is next in line of succession.
Before the action on the gridiron kicks
off, football fans at the University of South
Carolina, Clemson University, and Wofford College
A table set up prepare their grills, coolers, and speakers for the all-
with a variety important tailgate parties.
of appetizers
Locally, tailgate scenes are a big part of Saturdays
and snacks for a
tailgate party at at Wofford and Limestone College. “If you’re not
Wofford College doing it, you’re missing out on all that,” said Lime-
on Sept. 2. stone fan Mike Patrick.
Patrick’s son plays football at Limestone. He said
anyone planning to watch his son play has a warm

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1005_A_56_SHJMAG.indd 56 9/13/2017 1:52:52 PM
plate of food waiting on them. “I always plan “It is just as much fun as tailgating we have minimal cooking the day of the big game.
for extra, we’ve got stuff we pool together done in the past in Clemson and Columbia, Part of Patrick’s strategy is making sure
to make sure we can get enough,” he said. but we get to do it now close to home — and he never has to do too much cooking during
“I’ve got enough for me, family and friends. If for our hometown Saints — instead of driving tailgate time, he said. Dishes that can be done
anyone wants to bring something else, that’s for hours and sitting in tons of traffic,” she quickly on the grill or can be prepared the
cool too.” said. night before and reheated are always a hit
Aileen Jones, another Limestone fan, said At tailgates, food is key. with hungry football fans.
her family grew up in Gaffney. Since the Popular items include things like grilled He said, though, he has gotten adventure-
college started its football program in 2014, meat, hamburgers, and hot dogs, and other some in the past, bringing out dishes like
the Jones family hasn’t missed a home game. dishes that require either minimal effort or Lowcountry boils.
“Over the years, I’ve built up my
repertoire,” he said. “It makes
sense if you just have to
brown some meat or
reheat anything.”
Many
college

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 57

1005_A_56_SHJMAG.indd 57 9/13/2017 1:37:57 PM
games statewide are played
either at noon or during
the afternoon. That usually
means tailgaters get to their
spots on Saturday morn-
ings, making breakfast dishes
popular.
At Patrick's tailgate, a
breakfast casserole featuring
sausage, eggs, cheese, and
bacon is popular. Elsewhere
across the state, prepared
items from places like
Bojangle's and Chick-fil-A
dominate tailgates.
After the savory and salty
items are eaten and games of
cornhole have been played,
many are ready for sweeter
treats, Jones said.
That's where her special
fruit pizza comes in.
“We have a large group we
tailgate with, and each week
the menu changes. It might
be hamburgers and hot dogs,
chili, chicken wings, or some-
thing else from week to week,
but the one thing that every-
one wants before each game is
the fruit pizza,” she said. “It
is a sweet treat that comple-
ments the main courses. To
make it a little different, I will
often change out the fruit
combinations. But no matter
what, we have to have blue-
berries — that provides our
Limestone blue.”
Wofford College students,
alumni, and fans enjoyed the
season's first home game of
football at Gibbs Stadium at
Wofford College on Sept. 2.
The Wofford College Terriers
battled the Furman Paladins.
At Wofford College tailgate
parties, fried chicken, mini
sandwiches, veggies and
chips, shared the table with
George Meier's Brown Sugar
Bourbon Bacon Deviled Eggs
and "Dixie Pickles" by Bobby
Roberts.
The following recipes were
TOP: Fried chicken, salad and veggies were part of a spread at a tailgate party at Wofford College on Sept. 2. submitted by Limestone Col-
BOTTOM: Wofford College students, alumni, and fans enjoy the season’s first home game of football at Gibbs Stadium at lege football fans.
Wofford College in Spartanburg, on Sept. 2.

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1005_A_56_SHJMAG.indd 58 9/13/2017 1:38:07 PM
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Tailgating foods, including home-
made “Dixie Pickles” by Bobby
Roberts at a Wofford College
tailgate party. FRUIT PIZZA
RECIPE COURTESY OF AILEEN
JONES

š'hebbe\ijeh[#Xek]^jh[\h_]-
erated sugar cookie dough
š.ekdY[ie\Yh[WcY^[[i[
šEd[#j^_hZYkfe\ik]Wh
šEd[#^Wb\j[Wifeede\lWd_bbW
š<h[i^\hk_jie\oekhY^e_Y[$
Recommended fruits:
strawberries, kiwi, peaches,
blueberries

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 12-inch pizza pan.
Press cookie dough down
evenly in pan. Bake 16-20
minutes or until golden brown.
Let cool for 30 minutes. Beat
cream cheese, sugar, and
vanilla ingredients together
until fluffy, and spread over
cookie crust.
Arrange fruit on top of the
cream cheese mixture. Refrig-
erate for at least one hour.
Cut into slices with a pizza
cutter. Serve.

DR. 66S BUFFALO
CHICKEN DIP
RECIPE COURTESY OF JUD AND
TRACY HELDRETH

šJmeYWdie\Y^_Ya[deh-#'&
tenders
š'XbeYae\ie\j[d[ZYh[Wc
chees
š⅓ – ½ cup Buffalo Wing
Sauce
š'Ykfe\HWdY^Zh[ii_d]

Shred chicken. Add softened
cream cheese. Mix in Buf-
falo Wing Sauce. Add ranch
dressing. Mix in a baking dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20
minutes. Serve.

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1005_A_56_SHJMAG.indd 60 9/13/2017 1:38:27 PM
1005_A_56_SHJMAG.indd 61 9/18/2017 9:56:03 AM
BREAKFAST CASSEROLE
RECIPE COURTESY OF LYNN PATRICK

šEd[fWYaW][e\i^h[ZZ[Z^Wi^Xhemdi
šHebbe\iWkiW][
š.ib_Y[ie\Xh[WZ
š/[]]i
LEFT TO RIGHT: George Meier’s Brown Sugar Bourbon Bacon Deviled Eggs were served at a Wofford š'j[Wifeede\ckijWhZ
College tailgate party. A tray of olives, lemons, limes, and okra at a Wofford College tailgate party. š'j[Wifeede\dkjc[]
Mini sandwiches were served at a tailgating party at Wofford College. š'j[Wifeede\iWbj
š'j[Wifeede\f[ff[h
š>Wb\Ykfe\c_ba
WIGGLY’S HOT BEAN DIP š;dek]^Y^[[i[jeifh_dab[el[hc_njkh[

RECIPE COURTESY OF PATRICK FANT
Cook hash browns. Brown sausage.
š'.#ekdY[fWYaW][Yh[WcY^[[i["ie\j[d[Z Place frozen hash browns in large cas-
š'YkfiekhYh[Wc serole dish. Place cooked sausage over top
š(',#ekdY[$YWdih[\h_[ZX[Wdi of hashbrowns evenly. Cut up bread into
š'#ekdY[fWYaW][jWYei[Wied_d]c_n
cubes, spread evenly over hash browns
š+#'&Zhefie\i[Yh[j^ejiWkY[
š'.#ekdY[fWYaW][e\i^h[ZZ[ZY^[ZZWhY^[[i[
and sausage. Mix eggs, mustard, nutmeg,
š'.#ekdY[fWYaW][e\i^h[ZZ[ZCedj[hh[o@WYaY^[[i[
salt, and pepper to taste. Add milk, mix
well. Pour over hash browns, sausage,
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, blend the cream cheese and sour cream. Mix in the bread cubes; sprinkle cheese over top.
refried beans, taco seasoning, hot sauce, half the Cheddar cheese and half the Monterrey Jack Cover and place in refrigerator overnight.
cheese. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Top with remaining Cheddar and Monterrey On the next day, take out of the refrigera-
Jack cheeses. Bake in a preheated oven 20 to 30 minutes, until cheese is lightly browned. Top tor for a half hour and then bake at 350
with a few jalapeno pepper slices for accent. degrees for one hour. Serve warm.

A cheese ball
and crackers at a
Wofford College
tailgate party.

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Wade’s Restaurant serves a delicious turkey and dressing plate that has
become a customer favorite especially on Thanksgiving Day.

Turkey&
Dressing
Wade’s serves popular
Thanksgiving dish year-round
STORY BY DAN ARMONAITIS
PHOTOS BY JOHN BYRUM

T
urkey and dressing is synonymous
with Thanksgiving, but it’s also a sig-
nature dish year-round at Wade’s
Restaurant in Spartanburg.
“Thursdays and Sundays are by far our
busiest days, and people come specifically for turkey and
dressing,” said the restaurant’s general manager Wade
Lindsey III. “But what a lot of people haven’t realized yet
is that we now serve it on Tuesdays, too.”
There’s a distinctive flavor to the dressing at Wade’s
that keeps customers coming back week after week and
year after year.
“Probably the biggest thing about our dressing is that
it’s made with our yeast rolls and cornbread, which are
both family recipes,” Lindsey said. “We’re pretty famous
for our yeast rolls specifically and we have great corn-
bread too, so what’s neat about it is that it’s got two of
our most popular items in there.
“We make several barrels of dressing every time we do
it, and we put all raw products in there. We use turkey
broth from the turkeys we’re cooking, and we make it
from scratch.”

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1005_A_64_SHJMAG.indd 64 9/13/2017 3:37:16 PM
Wade’s creates about 10,000 gallons
of dressing each year, which makes
for more than 300,000 servings.

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 65

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Lindsey said green beans and sweet potato soufflé
are among the favorite sides Wade’s customers get to
complement the turkey and dressing.
“Each year, we go through about 100,000 pounds
of turkey, and about 5,500 of that is for Thanksgiving
week alone,” Lindsey said.
Lindsey added that the restaurant creates about
10,000 gallons of dressing each year, which makes for
more than 300,000 servings.
Wade’s is open on Thanksgiving but also offers
dressing for those wishing to purchase it for use
with their own at-home holiday meals. Lindsey said
the restaurant makes about 12,000 quarts of frozen
dressing during the Thanksgiving season.
“People come in and get our homemade dressing,
and all they have to do is thaw it out, put in the pan
and heat it up,” Lindsey said.
Lindsey, whose grandparents Wade and Betty
Lindsey founded the restaurant in 1947 and whose
father Hamp Lindsey and aunt Carole Miller now own Wade’s Restaurant serves a delicious turkey and dressing plate that has become a customer
it, isn’t sure when turkey and dressing became a sig- favorite especially on Thanksgiving Day.
nature item at Wade’s. He’s 31 years old, and it’s been
a staple there all of his life.

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 67

1005_A_64_SHJMAG.indd 67 9/18/2017 9:57:36 AM
Wade’s Restaurant serves a
delicious turkey and dress-
ing plate that has become a
customer favorite especially
on Thanksgiving Day.

“The big thing
people say about
our food is that it
reminds them of
their grandmother’s
cooking, that’s the
biggest compliment
you can get.”
— Wade Lindsey III

Hamp Lindsey and Carole Miller own Wade’s restaurant.

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Turkey and dressing is so popular at Wade’s that the
restaurant once devoted one of its famous billboards
specifically to it.
“We had a turkey in a dressing room, and it said,
‘Turkey Dressing,’” Lindsey said of the cartoonish
illustration and play-on-words that were part of the
popular tongue-in-cheek Wade’s billboards. “The
turkey was behind the wall getting dressed, and it had a
look on its face like it had been caught.”
Playful billboard campaigns aside, it’s the quality of
the Southern cuisine that has made Wade’s a popu-
lar destination for generations of Spartanburg area
residents.
“The big thing people say about our food is that it
reminds them of their grandmother’s cooking,” Wade
Lindsey III said. “That’s the biggest compliment you
can get.
“And we hear that a lot about our turkey and dress-
ing. Thanksgiving is such a family-oriented holiday
so for people to think of us for such a signature item
around that holiday is pretty neat to us.” Gravy is poured over a plate of turkey.

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WADE’S RESTAURANT
Address: Pinewood Shopping Center,
1000 N. Pine St., Spartanburg
Info: 864-582-3800 (main); 864-208-0711
(menu) or www.eatatwades.com

DINE-IN AND TAKEOUT HOURS:
10:45 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday
10:45 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday
*Turkey and dressing served Tuesday,
Thursday and Sunday

Hamp Lindsey pours some gravy over a plate of turkey.

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 71

1005_A_64_SHJMAG.indd 71 9/13/2017 3:40:27 PM
Jayla Swindler, Ashli
McCullough, Erika Miller and

KID COOKS
Anna Barber prepare a salad.

Monarch Jr students, family feast on three-course meal
STORY BY CHRIS LAVENDER
PHOTOS BY JOHN BYRUM

H
anna Roach whipped up a batch of mashed potatoes on the final day of her Monarch Jr’s
cooking class before celebrating the completion of the program with her family.
Over a six-week period, 14 children learned how to prepare vegetables, make pasta and desserts
from Mike Simpson, a chef with more than 46 years of experience. The program taught basic food safety and
sanitation along with cooking techniques and food nutrition.
The Northside Development Group and the Mary Black Foundation sponsored the event, which was hosted
by the Butterfly Foundation at the Monarch Café and Fresh Food Store on Howard Street in Spartanburg.

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Monarch Cafe held a culinary school for children over the summer, and for graduation
the class prepared and served a meal to their family.

“Monarch Jr’s is really about Roach said. “It’s been a great learn-
teaching children how to prepare ing experience.”
food and use safety measures in the The children cooked a three-
kitchen,” Liberty Canzater, Butter- course meal that included marinated
fly Foundation Executive Director, chicken breast, rice pilaf, and
said. “They have been coming freshly steamed vegetables for the
since June 10 and participated in six graduation ceremony on July 29.
classes. It’s the first year that we’ve For dessert, an apple crisp with ice
done Monarch Jr’s. People latched cream was prepared. Simpson said
on and loved it. I think we will do it the children were eager to learn.
Kristopher Murray, 8, carries a couple of prepared meals to serve to
every year.” “Today is the culmination of
family members.
The classes were designed for their studies,” Simpson said.
children 7 to 12. The children learned “They have a lot of desire to learn
how to make pancakes, twice baked at this stage.”
potatoes, chicken and how to gar- Jaslyn Bell, 9, and Noel Jones,
nish a dish. 11, both of Spartanburg said they
Roach, 12, of Spartanburg said enjoyed learning how to make mari-
she learned a lot and hoped to cook nated chicken with different sauces.
more food for her family at home. They looked forward to learning
“I learned something every day,” more about cooking at home.

Brandy Mack and Tierra Bridges are served by Noel Jones.

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HOME [BAKING]
F O R T H E H O L I D AY
Gingerbread house, cookies, and
cupcakes for perfect Christmas party
STORY BY LATRIA GRAHAM
PHOTOS BY TIM KIMZEY

I
come from a long line of party people—the ones
that show up to the soiree with a signature dish, or
create the party of the year with a little more than a
backyard smoker muslin and some mason jars. From
Spartanburg to New Hampshire and eventually New
York City, my apartment was always crammed past capac-
ity with fellow Southerners that needed a taste of home.
Traditions will always have their place in my home. It
wouldn’t be a holiday without my mom’s macaroni and
cheese and my Aunt Carolyn’s potato salad. But every year
I make sure to swap out a couple of things — whether it’s by
adding a Christmas themed veggie tray for a change of pace,
or making red velvet cheesecake brownies instead of our
usual three-layer red velvet cake.
We didn’t grow up making gingerbread houses and even
though everyone in my house is now an adult, this year we
decided to try anyway. We went into the project with no
expectations, and no desire for competition —just a little
curiosity and lot of laughter.
For this year's food issue of Spartanburg Magazine, we’ve
put together a series of recipes that won’t take a long time to
make but can be serious crowd pleasers. We hope you enjoy
them as much as my mom and I had making them.

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GINGER COOKIES

I’ve made a version of these cookies since college but they
took on a new twist when a friend suggested I dip them in
white chocolate. For me, these soft, slightly chewy signifi- Ginger Cookies decorated with white icing.
cantly spicy cookies taste like autumn.

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup molasses
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk all dry ingredients
in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat butter, molas-
ses, and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg and beat until
combined. Add dry ingredients until the dough is uniform.
Roll dough into half dollar sized balls and place on a cookie
sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes,
then let cookies cool completely.  Hot chocolate.

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 79
DARK CHOCOLATE COOKIES

These cookies are the perfect accompaniment to the
Ginger Cookies—they’re just as soft, and have a rich
chocolate flavor. When paired with white chocolate
and peppermint, it’s clear that the holidays have
arrived.

½ cup sugar
1 ½ sticks butter at room temperature
1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
OPTIONAL: 1 ½ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter, brown
sugar, vanilla, and salt until well combined. Add the
eggs, mixing until the dough is uniform. Add the dry
ingredients, and mix until just combined. Roll dough
into half a dollar sized balls. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

WHITE CHOCOLATE COATING

Wilton White Candy Dip (for dipping cookies)
Crushed peppermint or other candy decorations

Melt Wilton’s White Candy Dip per directions. Dip
cookies in melted white chocolate before placing on
a parchment lined baking sheet. Optional: Sprinkle
crushed candy while chocolate is still maliable. Let
cookies rest until white chocolate coating is firm.

SANDWICH COOKIE FILLING

If white chocolate isn’t to your liking, the ginger and dark
chocolate cookies can be combined with the filling below
to make sandwich cookies. This recipe is basic enough
that you can add a number of different flavors, spices and
colors to accompany whatever you can dream up.

2 egg whites
4 Tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
1 and ½ cups shortening

Beat egg whites until stiff.
Mix egg whites with 2 cups sifted confectioner's
sugar, then add milk and vanilla. Add shortening, then
incorporate the remaining confectioner's sugar.

TOP: Dark Chocolate Cookies paired with white chocolate
and peppermint. BOTTOM: Ginger and chocolate whoopie
pies using Ginger Cookies and Dark Chocolate Cookies
and a Sandwich Cookie Filling.

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A Gingerbread House
prepared by Latria Graham.

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Christmas cookie cutter shaped gingerbread cookies.

GINGERBREAD shortening, and egg. Slowly add the flour mixture until your
dough forms. On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, roll out
This recipe is tasty enough to eat, but strong enough to build a
on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 thickness. If you are making a
gingerbread house. Traditional recipes often use molasses. This
gingerbread house or shaped cookies, now is the time to use your
recipe uses honey, which makes for a slightly lighter colored house.
template or cookie cutter. When dough is in the desired shape,
The template for the Phantom Manor gingerbread house can be
bake for 10-12 minutes.
found at www.haunteddimensions.raykeim.com/index500.html
ROYAL ICING
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup shortening This recipe make great “glue” for gingerbread houses. We also
1 egg use it to decorate cookies, and it can be tinted a variety of shades
½ cup honey with food coloring. The icing begins to harden rather quickly, so
1 ¼ cups flour have a plan of action when you begin your project.
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon 3 egg whites
½ teaspoon ginger ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon cloves ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt 1 pound of powdered sugar
½ cup hot water
Beat egg whites until fluffy, then add one cup of sugar and cream
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk the flour, salt, and of tartar. Slowly incorporate the rest of the powdered sugar until
spices together in a bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, icing is blended well and slightly shiny.

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 83
Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies. RED VELVET CHEESECAKE BROWNIES

What would the holidays be without a little red velvet in the mix?
Instead of going the traditional route with a cake or cupcakes we
decided to see if we could turn Latria’s classic cheesecake brownie
recipe into something special for winter.

BROWNIE BATTER
4 large eggs
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups sugar
1.5 Tablespoon liquid red food coloring
¾ teaspoon white vinegar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

CREAM CHEESE FILLING
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 10x10 baking pan with
nonstick spray. In a large bowl, mix sugar and melted butter until
well combined. Add the eggs, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and
vanilla. Once mix is uniform, add red velvet for coloring and vinegar.
Gradually add flour until well incorporated then put the bowl to the
side.
In a separate bowl, prepare the cheesecake filling by stirring

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together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla
extract and egg yolk until well combined.
Spoon brownie batter into the baking pan.
Then spoon generous amounts of cheesecake
filling on top of the brownie batter. Swirl with
a knife. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until
a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the
brownies cool completely in the pan, then
transfer them to a cooling rack.

HANDS ON HACKS:

These recipes don’t really require a recipe,
just some ingredients and a little creativity.

VEGGIE SANTA
3 red bell peppers, cut into strips
2 cups of cherry tomatoes
4 cups of cauliflower
2 peeled medium-sized cucumbers
2 black olives
Ranch dressing

VEGGIE CHRISTMAS TREE
3 cups fresh broccoli florets
LEFT: A vegetable plate shaped as Santa Claus. RIGHT: Christmas season foods,
1 cup of grape tomatoes
including a vegetable plate shaped as a Christmas tree, prepared by Latria Graham.
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 ½ cups fresh cauliflower florets
30 pretzel sticks

SPARTANBURG MAGAZINE | 85

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Reindeer Cupcakes.

REINDEER CUPCAKES
12 Nilla Wafers
1 can of chocolate frosting
12 chocolate cupcakes
24 mini twist pretzels
Brown and Red M&M’s
Candy Eyes

PEANUT BUTTER REINDEER
16 Nutter Butters
12 mini twist pretzels
Brown and red M&M’s
Candy eyes
Royal icing or White Chocolate as the “glue”

PEANUT BUTTER SANTA
16 Nutter Butters
12-ounce white baking chocolate, melted
Red colored sugar
Candy Eyes
16 red mini M&Ms

LEFT: Santa and reindeer cookies made with Nutter Butters. RIGHT: Christmas tree and reindeer cupcakes.

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Chocolate + Milk is also home to the Chocolate Bar Library where they offer bean to bar chocolates.

CHOCOLATES, ICE CREAM
and BAKED TREATS

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French Broad Chocolate Lounge is located at 10 S. Pack Square in downtown Asheville, N.C.

French Broad Chocolate Lounge,
factory popular spots in Asheville, NC
STORY BY JASON GILMER | PHOTOS BY JOSE FRANCO

A
SHEVILLE, N.C. going to be a really small business sell-
— Dan and Jael Rat- ing chocolates at the farmer’s market,”
tigan, owners of French Jael said. “That grew into a business
Broad Chocolates, have plan for the Chocolate Lounge and a
turned truffles into place for people to come and share an
the foundation of a perfect day. experience over chocolate and be with
Since the opening of their first your community, have a date night,
Chocolate Lounge in 2008, their have a business meeting or take your
business has continued to grow. kids out for ice cream.”
This sweet-toothed business, which The flagship storefront is in the
is essentially a chocolate-themed middle of Asheville’s ever-bustling
dessert restaurant, opened a choc- downtown, on Pack Square, near
olate-making factory (sorry, no where hotels are being constructed,
Oompa-Loompas) in 2010, moved the celebrated restaurants have opened
lounge into a bigger space in 2014 and and a fountain where kids play in the
in August announced a bigger produc- spray. Its facade is painted light blue
tion facility was in the works. and brown and to open the door is
Not bad for a couple who planned akin to the first step inside a choco-
small. “Originally we thought we were late lover’s favorite fantasy.

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It’s a place where people work on their
laptops, read a book or sing Happy Birth-
day to a toddler. This is exactly what the
couple hoped for when they envisioned the
space. The century-old reinforced con-
crete building housed banks for decades.
When the couple bought it they demoed
the office walls to open the space and
ripped up old carpeting to find the small
tiles that are still on the floor.
Soon counter service will be replaced by
a wait staff; a line still forms late at night,
even during the week. Shoppers can eat
inside or outside or like many people do,
they carry out boxes of delicious chocolate
confectioneries.
Truffles have been the business’
mainstay and the couple fill them with
creativity. There’s fresh raspberry, lem-
ongrass and ginger, strawberry balsamic,
banana rum caramel, chocolate caramel
and so much more. They recently did a
collection of truffles made with some of
Asheville’s best beers and French Broad
Chocolates, which is named after the river
that runs through Asheville, not for a
woman living in Paris.

Jael Rattigan is co-owner of French Broad Chocolates in Asheville, N.C.

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FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: A variety of cakes, cookies and brownies are served at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. From the Highland Mocha Stout Cake to an
Unadulterated Carrot Cake to a Truffle Torte and a Theros Oive Oil Chocolate Cake. Cookie selections include a Nibby Chocolate Chip Cookie, a Chocolate Snick-
erdoodle Cookie, a Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookie and a Chocolate-Dipped Ginger Cookie. Brownie selections include a Mint Chocolate Chunk Brownie and
Coconut Macaroon Brownie. Chocolate+Milk is a boutique which sits next to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge on Pack Square. Eighty-seven percent of the
couple’s business is completed at the Chocolate Lounge. Their homemade ice cream is the No. 2 best seller behind the truffles.

Ingredients are purchased from local All that is needed to see the process be produced each year. The business has
farmers and used in the ganache that of turning cacao bean into chocolate is a grown from two employees to almost 80
fills the bite-sized pieces of chocolate short walk from the Chocolate Lounge. now and will add 15 to 20 more with the
heaven. “A lot of our recipes are pretty Down the South Slope, mixed in with cel- new facility.
classic at this point and have been on the ebrated restaurants (Buxton Hall BBQ was “With the enthusiastic support of
menu since we first opened our doors to named the Best New BBQ joint in America chocolate lovers near and far, we have a
the Chocolate Lounge in 2008,” Jael said. by Bon Appetit) and breweries (you can unique opportunity to scale our chocolate
“We believe that creativity is part of what hit several if you throw a baseball from production to make more chocolate, at an
makes you feel alive and we wouldn’t want the front door), is the current chocolate ever-higher quality. We are proud to be
to try to keep that to ourselves. We want factory. Asheville’s chocolate makers,” Dan said in
that to be a part of the experience for our Bags of cacao beans are there and are a press release.
pastry kitchen and our confection kitchen carefully sifted, then roasted, cracked Not only will the workforce increase
and our chocolate makers. We want them and winnowed, refined, ground, conched, for the chocolate makers but it will have a
to be able to have that control and make tempered and molded. It’s a long process trickle down effect in the farming com-
new products.” and tours are available on the weekends to munity, too. “From their start at area
Eighty-seven percent of the couple’s learn more. Education is a big deal to the farmer’s markets to their recent expan-
business is completed at the Chocolate company. sion, it has been great to see them continue
Lounge. Their homemade ice cream, Soon, though, the South Slope loca- their commitment to area farms,” said
which is made there, is the No. 2 best tion will change into the business’ main Molly Nicholie, Appalachian Sustainable
seller behind the truffles. They also sell ice cream production area. French Broad Agriculture Project’s Local Food Campaign
some online and have wholesale accounts, Chocolates will now move into its next Director.
including regional, national and inter- phase with a new production facility in Asheville wasn’t on the radar for where
national accounts. Recently they were a space along the French Broad River, the Rattigans would raise their children
featured in the Japanese version of Vogue. slightly on the outskirts of Asheville’s and start their chocolate empire. They
To make their chocolate, the couple River Arts District. While the business has moved to Costa Rica and opened a restau-
buys straight from the source. The Rat- seen constant growth over the past decade, rant there. After a few years, they began
tigans took a trip to Peru in 2011 to find “in the last couple of years it has flattened to ask ex-pats and customers about spots
farmers to buy cacao beans from. Now out because we’ve hit a ceiling on how to live. Conversations centered around
they bring in beans from Peru, Costa Rica much chocolate we can produce and that’s places with an awesome food scene, an
and Nicaragua, using their contacts to the foundation of everything we do,” Jael engaged community and a beautiful out-
work with several farmers throughout said. “That’s where we need to progress.” door scene.
each country. “It’s been an amazing gig At the current Buxton Avenue produc- “People kept saying, ‘Asheville,’ ‘You
to create chocolate and bring smiles to tion facility, workers have maxed out at should check out Asheville’ and ‘You guys
folks’ faces, but it means everything to 18 tons of chocolate produced each year. would love Asheville,’” Jael said. “This
us to see the impact of our sourcing and Because of this, there have been times was in 2006, and a lot has changed and
bean-to-bar process on the lives of our they’ve had to say no to some wholesale a lot more people know about Asheville
small farmers around the world,” said lead orders. When production ramps up at now. Apparently, it was enough then that
chocolate maker Evan Ackerman in a press the new facility, which will hopefully I was getting it from every direction and it
release. open next year, 50 tons of chocolate will felt like it was meaningful.”

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FRENCH BROAD
CHOCOLATE LOUNGE
Address: 10 S. Pack Square,
Asheville, N.C.
Info: 828-252-4181 or www.
frenchbroadchocolates.com

Hours:
11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday-Thursday
11 a.m. to midnight
Friday-Saturday

At the French Broad Chocolates factory & tasting room you can watch while the chocolate candies are being made. Sea
salt is sprinkled onto a row of caramels after they have come off the conveyer belt where they were dipped in chocolate.

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A slice of the Quintessential Chocolate Cake at
the French Broad Chocolate Lounge.

The couple packed their bus, drove
to Dan’s parents home in Pennsylvania,
parked the bus and then drove another
vehicle to Asheville. A friend of a friend
gave them lodging for a few days and they
explored. Then they knew - Asheville was At the French Broad Chocolates factory & tasting room, visitors are offered free samples of a variety of
the perfect spot. chocolates. Weekly guided tours are offered at the factory.
Since they relocated to Western North
Carolina they’ve become involved in the to be here. A chocolate dessert-focused that has earned us the support of our com-
community and more and more people flock restaurant isn’t something every town has. munity and now we really feel a part of
to taste their chocolates, ice creams, cakes Since we’ve opened, because we share a lot the landscape here. When people come to
and cookies. of same values as our community and are Asheville and think of Asheville we’re a part
“It’s been overwhelming the amount supporting our local farmers, using organic of that. When we share our story and our
of support. We were surprised by it,” Jael ingredients and creating a safe and inclusive brand with the rest of the world, Asheville is
said. “People didn’t know they wanted us environment where everyone is welcome, a part of it. It’s a symbiotic relationship.”

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SCENE
Spartanburg celebrates community
with fundraisers and social events

‘Through
Our Eyes’
PHOTOS BY TIM KIMZEY

A month-long exhibit featuring photographs
taken by people affected by homelessness in
Spartanburg opened on Aug. 1. The show at the
Artist Guild Gallery at Chapman Cultural Center
displayed 20 enlarged, framed photographs from
the second installment of “Through Our Eyes:
Spartanburg Through The Eyes of the Home-
less,” a grassroots photography project. Led by
Jason Williamson, a missions pastor at Anderson
Mill Road Baptist Church in Moore, the photo Jason Williamson, organizer of “Through Our Eyes,” looks over photographs with his son Rylan, 7, at the
project encouraged people to snap pictures of reception.
their friends, favorite places and day-to-day
experiences in Spartanburg over the course of
five days. Williamson and project volunteers
handed out 100 Fujifilm disposable cameras and
had Spartan Photo develop the film from the
returned cameras. Williamson and a team of
judges reviewed more than 800 photos based on
image quality, composition, subject matter, and
storytelling. The judges narrowed it down to the
20 photos that were displayed in the exhibit. The
rest of the developed images were displayed
along a corridor at the Chapman Cultural Center.
A reception for the photo exhibit "Through Our
Eyes" was held at the Chapman Cultural Center
on Aug. 17.
Ryan Barron and Sierra Damato. Karen and Jimmy Gibson.

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Dan Deeter and Jamie Marfurt. Billy and Cleo Crank.

Kameron Klosterman, with her 3-year-old son Henry. Terry and Melanie Shorey.

Sara Mann and Jorge Hernandez. Paul and Mary Halphen.

A recep-
tion for
the photo
exhibit
“Through
Our Eyes”
was held
at the
Chapman
Cultural
Center on
Aug. 17.

Cassie and Dallin Gould. Blaine Alexander and Kakie Verticchio.

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‘Remembering Camp Wadsworth’
PHOTOS BY JOHN BYRUM

A reception took place on Aug. 24 to
celebrate the opening of a new World
War I exhibit at the Spartanburg Regional
History Museum at the Chapman Cultural
Center. “Remembering Camp Wadsworth:
A Commemoration of the World War I
Centennial” will be on display through
Feb. 11. The Spartanburg Regional History
Museum is located at 200 E. St. John St.,
inside the Chapman Cultural Center.

Margaret Kluttz, Ray and Joanne Crawley. Suzanne Brooks and Dr. Jeff Willis.

Jim and Nancy Crocker. Craig Burnette and Carroll Owings. Charles and Debra Barber. Cathy and Ed Hall.

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Doug Evans, and brothers Dale Lyles and Alan Lyles. Michelle Goodman, Rick Jolley and Kim Jolley.

Tailgate Trot
PHOTOS BY WENDY SHOCKLEY MCCARTY

The Hope Center for Children hosted Tailgate Trot: The South's Best Tailgate
Party on Aug. 12 at Indigo Hall. The hall was decorated with tailgate tents from
local South Carolina colleges including Clemson, Wofford, The Citadel, Furman,
USC, and Limestone. Guests enjoyed game day food, music from Back9, a silent
auction, and raffle.

Steve Hammett and “Boss.”

Anthony and Amanda Sumter. Lenny Mathis and Amanda Mathis. Perry and Lou Wiltfang.

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Brianna Woodsby, Alan Lyles, Mary Beth Blum and Shelley Carter. Eric Chastain and Tou Thao.

Visitors at the Hope Center for Children’s “Tailgate Trot” at the Indigo
Allie MCcown, Andrea Elliott, and Joseph McCown. Hall on Aug. 12.

Visitors enjoy music from Back 9 at the Hope Center for Children’s Stephanie Chastain, Jayna Lehrer, Anna Collins, Stephanie Horne and
“Tailgate Trot.” Vivian Thao.

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Patty Stinson, Stacey Dulin, and Andrea Davis.
John Dargen, left, and Scott Montgomery, both of the Spartanburg Regional
Foundation, releases butterflies during the annual Wings of Hope event at
the Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health Garden held on Aug. 19.

The Sandrin family: Mayte, Mateo, 5, Marcus, 9, and Marcelo.

Wings of Hope Priscilla Feemster, Christena Miller-Peeler, Marilyn Miller, and Hope Talley.

PHOTOS BY ALEX HICKS JR.
More than 100 butterflies spread their event is a fundraiser for the Spartan-
wings and fluttered into the air during burg Regional Foundation and benefits
the eighth annual Wings of Hope in cancer, heart and hospice care at
Spartanburg. The event at the Bearden- Spartanburg Regional Healthcare
Josey Center for Breast Health Garden System. John Dargan, senior director of
honors cancer survivors and those who philanthropy at Spartanburg Regional
died of the disease. Their names were Foundation, said the butterfly release
written on the small paper triangles is also a way for people who have been
containing butterflies that were given affected by cancer to come together
to family members to release. The and support each other.

Kendall Wright, 5, and her mother, Heather Wright.

Scott Montgomery Patricia Young Shelly Sinclair and Kim Ross.

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PA R T I N G S H OT

HERALD JOURNAL WILLIS COLLECTION, SPARTANBURG COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARIES

West Main Street
in the 1950s
The Cleveland Hotel, Masonic Temple, Spartanburg Water Works
on West Main Street in downtown Spartanburg in the 1950s.

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