The mountains are vast, the spa is state-of-the-art, and the linens are luxurious. But in true Southern fashion, hospitality at Blackberry Farm – a 9,200-acre farm, resort, and Relais & Châteaux hotel in Eastern Tennessee – is served up on a platter brimming with the area’s finest homegrown cuisine. Named the #1 hotel in America for food lovers in Bon Appétit magazine’s May issue, the menu changes with the bounty of the season and nearly every dish is made with ingredients that have been grown, raised, or cultivated on-site – all the way down to the honey in your tea.
Beer lover? Along with raising their own livestock and planting their own fruit and nut orchards, Blackberry Farm now brews and serves three different beers to guests.
Living and breathing farm-to-table cooking, Chefs Joseph Lenn and Josh Feathers – along with countless gardeners, beekeepers, cheesemakers, butchers, and preservationists – have fresh, exquisite taste in mind. To give you an idea, we leave you with a recipe to try at home: Shrimp & Grits, a traditional Southern dish, in four parts.
Shrimp & Grits with Spicy Tomatoes and Pickled Pepper Emulsion
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup stone-ground grits
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- In a heavy-bottomed sauce pot, bring milk and water to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- Whisk in grits and reduce heat to low.
- Cook for 45 minutes to one hour, stirring grits occasionally.
- Season with salt and reserve.
- 1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and wedged
- 1 bunch sliced scallions
- 1 minced jalapeño with seeds and ribbing
- ½ cup Champagne vinegar
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 cups olive oil
- 1/8 cup minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon mustard seed
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- Combine tomatoes, scallions, and jalapeño in a bowl and set aside.
- In a saucepan, mix together vinegars, sugar, and salt, then bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat and pour over the tomatoes.
- Heat olive oil in hot sauté pan until smoking.
- Remove pan from heat and immediately add garlic and spices, tossing for 30 seconds.
- Slowly pour the oil into the vinegar and tomatoes. This should sizzle and bubble violently.
- Store in refrigerator for at least 24 hours before use.
Pickled Pepper Emulsion
- 1 quart shellfish stock
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- Hollandaise sauce
- In a saucepot over medium heat, reduce shellfish stock to ½ cup.
- Add heavy cream and hot sauce and bring to a simmer.
- Whisk shellfish cream into the warmed hollandaise sauce and then strain into a container.
Shrimp & Recipe Assembly
- 12 shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- Salt, to taste
- 4 ounces Andouille sausage, cut
- ½ cup chopped Spicy Tomatoes (recipe above)
- In a large sauté pan, heat grapeseed oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Salt shrimp and place into sauté pan.
- Cook shrimp until pink on one side, then turn and cook until pink on other side. Once cooked, remove from the pan.
- Place sausage and spicy tomatoes in the pan the shrimp were cooked in, and warm through.
- Divide grits into 4 bowls. Divide tomato and sausage into the bowls. Place 3 shrimp in each bowl and complete by topping with the Pickled Pepper Emulsion.
The Blackberry Farm – Walland, TN Boutique opens Tuesday, April 30, at 11AM ET.
By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer
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