Kamal Grant of Sublime Doughnuts arrives at 2 a.m. each day to roll out the dough. "This is my product, my signature," he says, which is why he uses stellar ingredients, like Callebaut chocolate for the icing on his A-Town Creams. Grant decided to open a doughnut shop when he was 14, after someone from Dunkin' Donuts spoke to his class on career day. Following a stint...read on
Many chocolate artisans spend years training with masters; Kristen Hard of Cacao Atlanta is almost completely self-taught. "It used to make me feel insecure," she says. "But it's also why I'm unique." She now spends six weeks abroad each year sourcing beans directly from farmers, creating outstanding new bars like one with Venezuelan cacao and raw sugar. Although Hard sells playful confections like a faux salami flecked with biscotti, she refuses to use anything but dark chocolate in them. To win over milk-chocolate lovers...read on
Anyone expecting to find whiskey at Bourbon Barrel Foods is in for a surprise: Rather than aging spirits, those barrels are giving soy sauce a distinctly smoky flavor. "I got to thinking about small-batch olive oils and coffees and decided to try soy sauce," says owner and former chef Matt Jamie. He now makes the country's only microbrewed soy sauce with the same wheat and limestone-filtered Kentucky spring water used in small-batch bourbons...read on
"In 1858, American farmers grew more than 300 types of apples," says Diane Flynt, a banker turned cider-maker. "Today, 11 varieties make up 90 percent of apples sold in stores." Her Foggy Ridge Cider in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountainsthe first hard-cider producer in the South to have its own orchardgrows around 30 kinds of heirloom apples. But Flynt wanted to do more to help preserve near-extinct varieties, so she formed...read on
"People equate chocolate from the South with fudge," says Scott Witherow, who decided to upend that stereotype by founding bean-to-bar chocolatier Olive & Sinclair. Witherow trained in England at Le Cordon Bleu, the Fat Duck and Nobu, before going home to Tennessee a few years ago. Now he stone-grinds cacao ("just like grits") and uses brown sugar rather than white: "It's so distinctly Southern and gives the chocolate...read on
"I'm a snob about wheat," says baker Jennifer Lapidus. Looking to connect food artisans with locally grown and milled flour, she began experimenting with landrace grains (developed before modern breeding techniques) and last year founded the North Carolina Organic Bread Flour Project (ncobfp.blogspot.com), enlisting seven bakeries in the effort. Here, a few of her favorite grains, all sold at ansonmills.com.