Jason Gray at Savannah Red Restaurant at the Charlotte Marriott City
Center (www.MarriottCityCenter.com) were busy creating new growing
programs with local farmers and redesigning the menu to put an upscale
twist on traditional Southern cuisine, the culinary world started to
take notice. Soon, the James Beard Foundation heard the Savannah Red
buzz and the two were invited to come cook in New York on August 19th.
For the Belgian-born Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Marechal who has
worked on more than five continents and in more than 21 countries, the
invitation to cook in New York City at the James Beard House is a
great honor. "It is an opportunity for us to show people that small
restaurants are trying to revamp the culinary culture by bringing a
chef's international expertise into the arena. Additionally, we have
the opportunity to show people that hotel dining can be taken to
exciting new levels as with our 28-seat restaurant at the Charlotte
Marriott City Center, we have a wonderful venue in which to indulge
our passion for food!"
Chef Marechal has found that he is easily able to adapt his culinary
style to whichever location he finds himself to be working in. When
he arrived in Charlotte, he quickly set about learning the Southern
experience, and then opted to create a Southern Fusion cooking style
where he took a classic Southern dish like Peach Cobbler, and
reinvented it for fine dining. As a result, his Brandy-Scented
Lobster Cobbler with Chive-Basil Phyllo Cups was the new
reincarnation, and quickly became one of his signature dishes at
Savannah Red. This dish — along with eight other creative offerings —
will be on the menu for diners to savor on August 19th at the James
Beard House. For a complete copy of the evening's menu, click here.
Chef Marechal has also been creating quite a buzz in Charlotte because
of his partnerships with local farmers. He currently has 60 area farms
working for him to grow fresh produce and has even inspired some to
try growing things they had never harvested before including purple
potatoes, purple beans, zucchini blossoms, and more. Additionally,
whereas many of the farmers chose to no longer grow things like hybrid
purple melons because they only had a shelf-life of two to three days
and usually went bad before a wholesaler could sell them, the farmers
now deliver these fabulous sun-ripened melons to Chef Marechal who
quickly puts them on the menu at Savannah Red. The virtual farmer's
market he is now a participant in is the Farmer's Fresh Market - www.farmersfreshmarket.org
Chef Marechal has been having a ball reinventing traditional Southern
recipes (like turning a bread pudding into a flambeed Krispy Kreme
bread pudding like at left) and has even found an 81-year-old woman
who taught him to take the pesky Kudzu weed and make a fabulous jelly
out of it! The delectable delicacy — which tastes like a cross between
blueberry and grape in flavor, will be on the menu at the James Beard
Dinner and participants will also get a little jar to take home with
Tickets for the James Beard Dinner on August 19th at 7 p.m. are $100
for James Beard Foundation members and $125 for the general public.
Advance reservations are required and can be made by calling
212-237-2308 or by visiting www.jamesbeard.org.
For those who are unable to make it to New York City, Savannah Red
will be offering a Prelude 2 the James Beard Foundation Dinner on July
31 at 7 p.m. The cost of the dinner will be $65 per person plus tax
and gratuity. For more information or reservations for this dinner,
call (704) 358-6524.
ABOUT SAVANNAH RED AT THE CHARLOTTE CITY CENTER MARRIOTT
Savannah Red is a unique, upscale restaurant that elevates the time-
tested flavors of traditional Southern cooking to new heights.
Perfectly fusing imagination and wit into the standbys of southern
cuisine, Executive Chef Jean Pierre Marechal creates a culinary
experience as striking as the interiors. The bold use of color and
modern furnishings — as well as superb service — will set the tone for
a truly unforgettable meal at Savannah Red. Savannah Red's menu has
its roots in the Old South with an added twist of New South sassiness
in its offerings. With awe-inspiring dishes, the restaurant has
something that will please the most discerning palate. For additional
information, click here or visit www.MarriottCityCenter.com.