Monday, November 22, 2010

3 questions with Chris Spotts, catering chef

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Let’s talk turkey. Are you the one with the daunting task of preparing the gobbler this Thanksgiving? Worried your bird will come out dry and dissatisfying? Why go through all of the holiday hassle when you could have a satisfying Thanksgiving dinner prepared for you — and the best part is? No one has to know. Chris Spotts, catering chef for Good Gracious! Events— associated with both, the Morehead Inn and The VanLandingham Estate — will be spending his Thanksgiving Day preparing meals for Good Gracious patrons and for the children at Alexander Children’s Home, before spending the holiday with his own family.

Creative Loafing: I read in a local blog that you have been in the kitchen, professionally, since you were 13 years old. What were your responsibilities at such a young age?

Chris Spotts: When I was 13 I worked as a scraper — yes a scraper. I stood at a large trash can and scraped the plates, as the servers brought them back, and handed [the plates] to the dishwasher. I made $2.50 an hour and was tipped out by the servers, often making $100 or more on busy nights. I was only 13 and my high school sweetheart was a bit older and also had to drive me to and from work.

What is the greatest reaction or compliment you have received from someone you have cooked for?

Recently a wedding took place and I found out that the bride loved Pimento Cheese. So I made her pimento cheese grilled cheese sandwiches and she was overly appreciative. The couple sent an e-mail explaining their joy and appreciation for the wonderful food and experience, and wrote thank you for fulfilling her wish of Pimento Cheese.

What do you have on the menu for Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving meals for Good Gracious are fabulous but are only available through pick-up or drop-off. We are in the business of making people happy, so the food is a great start. We feature the classic dishes such as roasted turkey, apricot-glazed turkey breast, cheesy potato casserole, and all the sides you can think of. Then [we top it off with desserts such as] a Chocolate Chocolate Wonder Cake, Apple Spiced Cake, and a Bourbon Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

I will be preparing Thanksgiving Day food for the children at Alexander Children’s Home, as they do not have many of the luxuries and family ties that we often take for granted. Following that daytime feast I will be home preparing the remainder of the food with my mother and sisters who will be in Charlotte visiting me for the weekend from Florida. When I was younger, my favorite part of Thanksgiving was eating and watching the games on television. Also eating the cheesy potato casserole is one of my many favorites and finishing that with an overload of Chocolate Chocolate Wonder Cake and Egg Nog.

— Nicole Pietrantonio

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