The truth is out OR Things just don’t taste the same outside the restaurant

I recently received my first piece of “fan mail” for my monthly diatribe in the Fairview Town Crier. I was gratified because I really don’t think of myself as any kind of writer. We have people in our community that are writers and I have neither the education nor the talent to consider myself one of them. It was, however a stroke to the old ego.

“Dear Chef Joe Scully;

I just have to tell you how much I enjoy your monthly column in the Fairview Town Crier…”

Now here comes the inspiring part of the letter, “But I have a bone to pick with you…” Oh, God, I thought, what now. “It is concerning the recipe for Vegetarian Lentil Soup… You list all the ingredients except for the real flavoring (her italics) part of the soup, you simply say “various herbs”. Come on now, you and I both well know that the differences between your Vegetarian Lentil Soup and mine are just that; which and how much of those “various herbs”. I’ve eaten at your restaurant often enough to know that to be true. Otherwise, I’d just eat at home…”

So, I stand accused of omitting key ingredients! It seems that I am afraid to reveal all of what I know in order to keep my place as “Chef”! Not true, I say, not true. I am totally willing to divulge all of what I know. It is not a secret, but time and print place limitations on what I actually include in whatever I say or write. There are many factors that go into creating a truly great bit of cooking. Usually is it method, but just as often it is an ingredient. Let me set the record straight, the “various herbs” are what we call the “Herb Mix”. This is a grouping of chopped herbs that define a lot of our style and taste at the Corner Kitchen.

Lavender Herb Mix


½ cup Lavender (picked)

½ cup Rosemary (picked)

½ cup Thyme (picked)

½ cup Oregano (picked)

¼ cup Sage (if available)

1 cup Parsley

Method: Combine and chop all.

For that particular soup, it is just as important to use WAY too much olive oil, and the tomato product, oh yes, and don’t forget the Balsamic Vinegar… There are so many variables. Like this one: you should caramelize the onions to get extra flavor. Then it is a good practice to make a bouquet of herbs “en branche” like those listed above (tie them with twine and pick them out when the soup is complete).

You get the idea. I love to give my recipes away. Mostly because it is fun to see the surprise on the face of the recipient, but also because I like to give things. I do have to admit though, that in the back of my mind I am secure in the knowledge that most folks won’t be able to make the item taste as good as it tasted in the restaurant. There; more confessions…

Here is one of my favorites:

White Chocolate Mac-nut Blondie

Oven to 325f


Dry Mix:

5.5 cups Pecans, toasted and fine chop

5.5 cups AP Flour Combine

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp. Salt

Wet Mix:

1.5 lbs. Butter (soft)

1lb cups Lt. Brown Sugar (packed) Cream

1.5 cup Sugar

Then Add:

6 each Eggs

6 each Yolks

1 cup Lt. Corn Syrup

3 Tbsp. Vanilla

Add Dry Mix and then mix in “garnish”:

4 cups White Chocolate Chips

3 cups Crystallized Ginger

and top with :

1 cup Chopped Mac-nuts

Method: Bake for 25 minutes on a full greased parchment lined sheet pan cool and cut into squares (5×8)

Corner Kitchen is proud to be part of Asheville's vibrant food scene and...don't forget that parking is free in the village (and very abundant during dinner service)!

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project
Asheville Independent Restaurants Association


3 Boston Way
Historic Biltmore Village
Asheville, NC 28803
(828) 274-2439
Open Daily
Brunch: 9:30 - 2:30
Dinner: 5pm until...

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