Tag Archives: NC

HEARD! #11 JAY PIERCE

I started Food Punk to create a space to celebrate food and music. Where else could I herald the magic of both Ramps and Pusha T? Cooking, like music, is an art. Both can be visceral, sensory experiences that transport, inspire and define us. I’ve often found that those who play with knives are also into ‘deep cuts’ of another nature. It is in this spirit that I bring you this series: HEARD! highlighting the music enthusiasts behind the line, the bar, the pass and the pen.

JayPierce
Jay Pierce is the Executive Chef at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen in Greensboro and Cary, NC. He is generally known as a smart ass that came in third on Jeopardy. He loves to eat, drink and be merry. He blogs here!

What was the first live music performance you attended?

My mom, dad and little brother all went to see AC/DC on the Who Made Who tour in July 1986 at the New Orleans Lakefront Arena. It was definitely the loudest show that I’ve been to (except for Ministry at Lolapalooza 2, and THAT was outside!) Brian Johnson hitting that bell with a sledgehammer for the encore will stay with me forever.

What was the most recent (show, concert etc.)?
Drive By Truckers at Ziggy’s June 2013 Winston Salem, NC. Great songwriters, they have a great following, and the live show was amazing.

What album/artist changed/defined/etc your life?
I first heard Master of Puppets in May 1986. Metallica came to town opening for Ozzy on the Ultimate Sin tour. My neighbor came back ranting about this awesome band that opened for Ozzy. He let me borrow the tape and I played it nonstop for two days, until he asked for it back. Six months later I bought Reign in Blood for five bucks off of a dude who’s mother was afraid that he was going to be possessed and made him sell the tape.

Also, moving back to New Orleans and hearing Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana on WTUL and having my mind blown as Gish and Nevermind came out simultaneously. That led to a shift in the music industry, where “alternative” became a currency, eventually imploding (the idea of an alternative subculture and how the internet killed it is delightfully explored in “The Authenticity Hoax,’ by Andrew Potter) One more mind-blowing, life-changing moment was working in a Jamaican restaurant in Eugene, Oregon, listening my way through “the Story of Jamaican Music” box set, and the dishwasher introducing me to the Fela Kuti catalog on Shenachie Records. I felt like such a radical. That music was so refreshing in the late 90’s, when music was severely lacking a message.

Do you have a musical equivalent to a guilty pleasure?
Jesus Christ Superstar with vocals by Ian Gillian of Deep Purple. I grew up listening to the original cast recording on vinyl, and I could never get into to the movie, because there was a different Jesus. A buddy of mine listens to it every Easter. Every time I listen to SoundGarden, I feel like this album made a big impression on Chris Cornell too.

What album is your go to for when you wanna smash stuff and life is sticking it to you?
My car CD player has Black Sabbath Vol.4 stuck in it right now, but the most cathartic music to blare out of your car speakers would be Slayer -Decade of Aggression or Suicidal Tendencies first album or Stormtroopers of Death or Straight Outta Compton

What album is your go to for fist-pumping-this-is-the-best-ever-happiness times?
Check Your Head or Paul ‘s Boutique, ACDC –’74 Jailbreak, Butthole Surfers – Independent Worm Saloon

What is on your turntable at home right now?
Mickey Newberry -Frisco Mabel Joy, but I need a new belt, so I haven’t heard it for a while. Drive-By Truckers -The Dirty South, as I’m writing this.

Is there anything about your love of music that you’d like to add?
There is a soundtrack to my life. songs are always playing in my head. Chefs, like musicians, are performers whose true art is consumed live, when transcribed in a cookbook, or captured in a recording, the art loses a dimension, a vitality and is more difficult to understand, than a full body experience.

When or how you listen to music?
Driving, on my phone, or on my home stereo w/ big speakers like an old guy.

Favorite genres?
Rock, late-eighties rap,

Desert island albums or songs?
Siamese Dream -Smashing Pumpkins
Small Change – Tom Waits
Rage Against The Machine
Murder The Mountains Red Fang
Age of Winters – The Sword
Black Sabbath Vol 4
Amerikkka’s Most Wanted -Ice Cube
The Bends – Radiohead
Disintegration -The Cure
Funkify Your Life -The Meters
Original Gangster – Ice T
World Wide Live -The Scorpions
Live After Death -Iron Maiden
Mellow Gold -Beck


What do you play in the kitchen?

It’s all in my head

LIKE THELMA AND LOUISE BUT WITH MORE (PIMENTO) CHEESE. WAY MORE.


Our Pimento Cheese trip was a blast.
Think Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but substitute all the drugs with food and replace the search for the “American Dream” with the search for “Pimento Cheese”.

It was a whirlwind of cheese spreads, biscuits, local Southern fare, splendid (and stiff!) cocktails and most importantly- fabulous Southerners.
On the way to South Carolina we had our very first “Chicken Biscuit” from Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen.

Christophile enjoying breakfast

From our car, patiently perched in the right lane waiting to just get on the property, we watched countless Chapel Hill college students and high school kids get their morning biscuit fix.

There is a fellow in a window making the biscuits as you approach the drive-thru. Believe you me when I say that this was an out-of-biscuit experience. SO FRESH and FLUFFY and……. FRIED CHICKENY. Christophile and I actually squealed with delight when it dawned on us that we were eating fried chicken for breakfast.

The beautiful City of Charleston made the perfect backdrop for our interviews

Just look at the lush background behind Chef Robert Stehling of Hominy Grill. We got this interview at the very last minute, barging into his busy restaurant at that fleeting moment between the lunch and dinner rush. Thankfully he was a big sweetheart about it and even let us peep into the kitchen as they put together a classic PC sammie.
We drove an hour north of Chucktown to beautiful Pawley’s Island to meet The Henrys of the Sea View Inn and Palmetto Cheese.

They were the definition of Southern hospitality and I am really surprised Christophile and I did not just pitch a tent on their dock and move in. It is beyond comprehension how serene Pawley’s Island is.

This was the “creek” at low tide. Look at the oysters camped out! At high tide lots of mud skippers leapt about as the sun set in all sorts of psychedelic colors. Please go to Pawley’s Island. Please.

Coconut cake from Page's Okra Grill in Mt. Pleasant - SUPERB!

Some other highlights were:
Meeting Ted Lee and Matt Lee whose Lee Bros Boiled Peanut Catalog, I sent away for waaaay back in 1995-(I admit I was a wee bit starstruck) and whose collective charm has inspired me to develop a cocktail in their name (to be divulged here on Food Punk, soon).
A spontaneous trip to A Southern Season where the food is fine and the folks are even finer.
Getting our pimento cheese education from Robert F.Moss, food historian and BBQ expert.


Marty said they served this at school when he was a kid..yikes!

The bar at HUSK. RUN, don't walk!!!



So much road yet to scour in the quest for Pimento Cheese!

 

DON’T BOTHER ME, I’M CRABBY

This past weekend we took a whirlwind 24 hour trip down to the Crystal Coast, as I learned it is called, of North Carolina. As we were there only for the day on Sunday, there was not too much going on food-wise. Winter time in a beach community was desolate to say the least. Most of the restaurants were either closed or did not open until dinner. We drove down to buy some records in Morehead City, where there more places open and it was there that I got to eat this:

oyster "burger" and hushpuppies!


An oyster sandwich from an actual Drive -In! We pulled into the parking lot, there were no actual spots marked with white paint, just all willy nilly every which way parking and a woman clad in winter boots and a hat and sweatshirt came out and took our order. Ten bucks and about 8 minutes later- BANG. I’m eating a fab fried feast and happy as a clam ( sadly, they did not offer any clam items).

Also this happened: