Spoonfed (Raleigh)

Mark Petko photographs Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill's culinary scene.

Little Hen | Holly Springs | Chef Regan Stachler

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Chef Regan Stachler, Dawn Stachler, Bo Peterson, Craig Rudewicz, Holly Springs Restaurant, Farm to Table

Double-Cut Pork Chop, Pepper Salad

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Chef Regan Stachler, Dawn Stachler, Bo Peterson, Craig Rudewicz, Holly Springs Restaurant, Farm to Table Chef Regan Stachler, Dawn Stachler, Bo Peterson, Craig Rudewicz, Holly Springs Restaurant, Farm to Table

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Chef Regan Stachler, Dawn Stachler, Bo Peterson, Craig Rudewicz, Holly Springs Restaurant, Farm to Table

Mama's Grandaddy,Troy & Sons Moonshine (NC),Maker's Mark, vanilla, honey, house boozy cherries

Little Hen
Shoppes at Woodcreek
5160 Sunset Lake Road
Holly Springs, NC 27539
919.363.0000
www.littlehennc.com (link)

Chef Regan Stachler, Dawn Stachler, Bo Peterson, Craig Rudewicz, Holly Springs Restaurant, Farm to Table

Libation Creation-ator and all around 'go to' Craig Rudewicz chalks up the locals.

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here to request permission)

There are tones of achievement in Chef/Owner Regan Stachler’s voice as he describes the work that went into creating the atmosphere of Little Hen.  Not only does he seem accomplished in his own involvement in building out the space but he also speaks loud and proud of the help he has received from his family, friends and employees.  Whether it be a knitted wall hanging family quilt, shared splinters while hand making the wooden benches, or a mention of Dawn, his co-owner wife and her involvement in selecting much of the bric à brac that decorates the nooks throughout, Chef Regan seems to know how important it has all been to the success of Little Hen.  Although Little Hen may not be a Triangle household name yet, Regan is highly appreciative to those regular faces he has been seeing since opening the restaurant. He wants to focus the appeal of the Holly Springs locale as a consistent spot for these hometown regulars, but a favorable review from Greg Cox at the N&O has widened their exposure a bit as that is how this photographer first heard of the farm to table eatery.  Regan’s appreciations and understanding dive deeper than with just the ‘look’ of the space.  He makes sure to introduce me to Jonathan Daniel from Valley Love Organics as he delivers their order of Organic chicken and eggs, and makes extra special mention of the current team he has built including his Sous Chef, Bo Peterson and Pastry Chef, Samantha Kirby.  He reflects on the fortunate opportunities that come with being able to rely on those that have stuck with him and Dawn since the beginning.  He seems excited by the process of allowing those team members to flourish as he hopes to wean his necessity to be in the kitchen so that he can focus on expanding the business as well as relieve some of the front of house duties from his wife.  The excitement in his voice as he describes the work of bartender-all around ‘go-to’ Craig Rudewicz can attest to the value that someone like Craig brings as he creates interesting concoctions like beet infused bourbon and some fizz beverages that are carbonated and bottled in house that elevate the overall appeal.  Craig reciprocates that respectfully as he understands the importance of having the space and being allowed to experiment, which is encouraged by the Stachlers.  Be warned that Little Hen is a true farm to table so menu choices will change as often and as fast as whatever comes from their suppliers, so some of these dishes may not be currently available but rest assured, there will be something of interest to try.

Chef Regan Stachler, Dawn Stachler, Bo Peterson, Craig Rudewicz, Holly Springs Restaurant, Farm to Table

Cauliflower & Potato Soup, Parma Ham, Shrimp, cauliflower, thyme

Chef Regan Stachler, Dawn Stachler, Bo Peterson, Craig Rudewicz, Holly Springs Restaurant, Farm to Table

Grilled Romaine, melted Mangalista ham, fried farm egg, pickled onion & pimenton oil, toasted almonds

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Chef Regan Stachler, Dawn Stachler, Bo Peterson, Craig Rudewicz, Holly Springs Restaurant, Farm to Table Chef Regan Stachler, Dawn Stachler, Bo Peterson, Craig Rudewicz, Holly Springs Restaurant, Farm to Table

Chef Regan Stachler, Dawn Stachler, Bo Peterson, Craig Rudewicz, Holly Springs Restaurant, Farm to Table

Pear Bake, Pumpkin Ice Cream

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here to request permission)

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Little Hen on Urbanspoon

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October 23rd, 2012 at 10:33 am

Posted in Holly Springs

Mandolin | Raleigh NC | Chef Sean Fowler

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Tilefish, Hot and Sour Consommé, Eggplant Croquettes, Seabeans, Broccoli, Lotus Root

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Mandolin

2519 Fairview Road

Raleigh, NC 27608

919.322.0365 (reservations)

www.mandolinraleigh.com (link)

I had been itching to visit Mandolin to shoot for some time now, ever since first hearing about their opening.  The desire started early on by following their twitter account @MandolinNC last fall.  They wisely chose to begin collecting a following before opening and tempted all of us with some construction photos during the progress of renovating their space, which I’ll have to say, is very tastefully  done.  When mixing brick floors, pine paneled walls and multiple fixture details with flower topped, white linen tables and ivory upholstered chairs the result is comfortably sophisticated.  This aesthetic seems in-line with the presentation of Chef Sean Fowler’s dishes, ‘Down Home’ enough to not alienate the average diner yet skillfully elevated enough to create a unique experience.  A native son to Raleigh, Mandolin is Fowler’s debut restaurant after polishing his skills at multiple heavyweight restaurants, most recently with a stint at Pittsboro’s Fearrington House.

Through speaking with Sean during the shoot, I found his passion for food obvious, not only in his descriptions to me about menu items like an ever changing trio of sorbets based on what ever is in season but with minor details on the finishing touches like the use of begonia petals as garnish that not only add beautiful color but a bright punch of flavor to the most recent Gray Snapper dish (seen below).  Fowler also supports his local vendors as he promotes the use of local ingredients with a chalkboard list of recently acquired goods alongside the farms they came from displayed next to the hosting station as you enter the space.

In addition to Mandolin’s regular fare they are also open for weekend brunch Saturdays and Sundays 11am-2:30pm as well as offering Wine Tastings on Wednesdays from 6pm-7pm with wine director Charles Kirkwood.

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Grilled Shrimp, Watermelon, Cucumber, Cous Cous, Cilantro

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here to request permission)

Pan Seared Gray Snapper, Grilled Cucumbers, Herbed Hominy, Muscadine Grapes, Caper Berries, Preserved Lemon

detail from above: (shot with smart phone): cucamelon, also called pepquiño, mouse melon, Mexican sour gherkin, and sandía de ratón.

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here to request permission)

Fig Pudding, Brown Butter Cake, Lavender-Black Pepper Tuile, Sage, Orange Sherbet

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Chef Chris Malito expedites the pass

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Mandolin on Urbanspoon

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August 16th, 2012 at 8:51 am

LUva Enoteca | Durham NC | Chef Jim Anile

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Luva Enoteca; Durham; North Carolina; Jim Anile; Teresa Anile; John Tate; Spoonfed Raleigh; Food Blog; Food Photography;

Fettucini with Lamb Bolognese

My oooooh my, how time flies…It has been quite a stint since I visited this space with some updated work, but finally, we are back.  As I write this post I noticed that my last Spoonfed Raleigh update covering Capital Club 16 was written last August (two days short of a full year ago) and that is a bit upsetting.  The past year has been a bit of a whirlwind and I won’t go into too much detail except to say that the majority of that time was spent making a transition from living in two cities to fully living in Raleigh.  Yet, for now, I am here.  I am back.  I am looking forward to returning to getting some goals accomplished, one of which is to recommit some efforts to this blog.  Thanks to all that have questioned my absence, especially Rob at A Photo Editor whose timely inquiry helped me to stay focused.  Aside from the 9 months set aside for refurbishing and selling our home in Atlanta I also began a new platform related to photography.  Due to the experience collected these past couple years blogging and working with restaurants and with considerations of the ever changing world of photography, I began creating an on line educational system geared towards teaching food photography to those that are interested in capturing the same quality images found here.  We are still in the early building stages but please, pay us a visit when you are through checking out this post.  (link at bottom).

Thanks again to those that find themselves here again, welcome back…now onward to

L’Uva Enoteca

American Tobacco Complex

406 Blackwell St. Ste. 406

Durham, NC 27701

919.688.8181

www.luvaenoteca.com (link)

Luva Enoteca; Durham; North Carolina; Jim Anile; Teresa Anile; John Tate; Spoonfed Raleigh; Food Blog; Food Photography; Cured Meats

Cured Meats

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here to request permission)

I don’t think it is just coincidence that I return to this blog by showcasing L’Uva Enoteca after a year.  They have been on my radar for some time and this post is close to dropping right around their one year anniversary.  It’s almost as if I’m picking up right where I left off.  Also, Chef/Owner Jim Anile and I have a history since he was one of the earlier chefs to allow me a visit to his other Durham restaurant, Revolution so to visit him once again, would make for an easy going shoot to ease me back into the process.  He admits to the difference between the two places and seems to want L’Uva to have a much more simplistic approach.  It’s laid back, uncomplicated, and straight forward Italian cuisine mixed with small production Italian wines.  Lead by Jim and Chef de Cuisine, John Tate (who actually helped out with the shoot at Revolution a couple years ago as well), L’Uva offers an ever changing weekly menu, so even though the exact dishes you see here may not be currently available, I’m positive the same quality and care will be presented in the menu’s most current selections.

Luva Enoteca; Durham; North Carolina; Jim Anile; Teresa Anile; John Tate; Spoonfed Raleigh; Food Blog; Food Photography; Salmon Carpaccio

Salmon Carpaccio with Citrus Fennel Salad

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here to request permission)

Luva Enoteca; Durham; North Carolina; Jim Anile; Teresa Anile; John Tate; Spoonfed Raleigh; Food Blog; Food Photography;

Mascarpone Gnocchi with Rock Shrimp and Lobster Sauce

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here to request permission)

Like the menu, the decor design is clean, straight forward and comfortable.  A mostly partitioned outdoor patio with handmade wood benches allows lunch and dinner goers to enjoy the American Tobacco Complex’s atmosphere while still feeling L’Uva’s personal presence.  With the idea to extend L’Uva’s capacity by the addition of another outdoor bar area in the general vicinity, Jim continues to build upon the business’s appeal for the local lunch crowd as well as for patrons the locations events.  L’Uva is a great spot for both the dressed down pre or post Durham Bull games as well as for those dolled up for an evening at DPAC.

Luva Enoteca; Durham; North Carolina; Jim Anile; Teresa Anile; John Tate; Spoonfed Raleigh; Food Blog; Food Photography;

Warm Polenta and Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Curd and Almond Praline

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here to request permission)

Other than talking art, business, food and photography while getting to know Jim a bit better during the shoot, my second favorite part of the day was seeing that he carries Full Sail Session.  I’ve been looking for this since trying it in Atlanta at Top Flr.  So the fact that I can now find it, here, in Raleigh, reinforces my correct decision making that this IS the place to live.  It’s nice to be home.

Luva Enoteca; Durham; North Carolina; Jim Anile; Teresa Anile; John Tate; Spoonfed Raleigh; Food Blog; Food Photography;

Full Sail Session

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L'Uva Enoteca on Urbanspoon

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Capital Club 16 | Raleigh NC | Chef Jake Wolf

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Skillet Mac and Cheese-Blended Vermont white cheddar, Gouda, and Jarlsberg, Bratwurst, Roasted Spring Squash. W/Market Greens and Fruit.

With his long locks all a’shagged by his commute, a sleepy ride, Johnny swaggered in wearing black and white checkerboard scoots.  He took an initial look over my equipment strewn all across his one year old restaurant and mumbled something excitedly in a foreign language that I could not comprehend.  I could tell he was intrigued as to what was going on.  I sensed he wanted to investigate without apprehension, yet hesitated, as if he somehow knew he was being watched.  He acted nonchalant as he passed me to the kitchen.  Immediately, I could tell his presence was felt by the others there that day.  As Johnny  appeared on the other side, I heard Chef Jake Wolf’s greeting and praise from behind the glass block and pulled curtain that separates the kitchen from the dining room.  Certain restaurateurs just carry themselves in a way that demands notice when entering a room and it was then obvious to me that Johnny was one of those men.

.

As she introduced herself, Shannon Wolf, who made a point to always be no more than a step or two away from Johnny during his inspection of the restaurant, even took her affiliation a bit further as she donned a necklace with his name scrolled in smooth, shiny gold.  Her style didn’t seem one for flashy jewelry especially considering her background in the fashion industry but it showed true devotion towards her partner in the restaurant.  Her taste shows gracefully as she designed much of the environment we were in, making sure to appreciate the architectural structure but also utilizing it as a canvas to reinforce a classy, non-kitschy, immigrant populated, Americana.  Just the right amount of bric-a-brac hangs and sits paying homage to family, sport, and a little rock and roll.  Small jars of flowers accent the marble and wood tables.  It truly feels like a warm and familiar establishment out of the late 1800′s or early 1900′s, rustic yet polished.  She shook my hand yet shifted attention as Johnny re-entered the temporary photo-studio, atop a red antique scooter.  The boss rolls like that.  He took another look at me and all my gear and I could just feel his inquisitive ‘need’ to touch everything.  He stood up and scanned the room before giving me one last check, from toe to head.  I could tell he was about to step in and really engage me as to ‘why the heck, who the heck, and what the heck are you’ but luckily a slight turn of his head revealed a more desirable target.  He was distracted by some of the plates of food that we had been working to capture before his arrival, upon which, one had a softened lump of vanilla ice cream.   To him my presence vanished as the allure of a mid-day treat of cold, sweet cream consumed him.  He pointed, looked at Shannon and again verbalized something that I didn’t understand verbatim, although I grasped the meaning of his message considering the context.  I too, turn to melt in the presence of ice cream.

“Would you like some?”  Shannon asked as she led her 18 month old son to sit at a table not too far from our production.  As they sat and enjoyed a simple pleasure I continued with my work, occasionally glancing in their direction and meeting eyes with the tyke, content in sweet bliss, ice cream all over his face.  He would look my direction periodically, still curious but just a little less considering his current status, as if to say “I’m busy now…but I’ll get back to you…a little later…” Johnny, owner, ice cream eater.

Capital Club 16

16 W. Martin St.

Raleigh, NC 27601

919.747.9345

www.capitalclub16.com (link)

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here to request permission)

i got photo-bombed

Capital Club 16 has just recently celebrated their first year anniversary of being open for business, yet Chef Wolf’s culinary experience goes back much further.  From and early start in North Carolina, a middle, traveling thru Atlanta, Germany, and New York, the Wolf’s decided to live the next chapter moving closer to home in Raleigh, to open Capital Club 16 and to focus on the raising of a family.  It becomes clear, ‘the importance of family’ to the Wolf’s.  For a chef based in New York to leave such a food heavy town and open a restaurant in Raleigh would be like a country musician in Nashville taking his twang to ‘make it’ in Jamaica.  Yet, it only took a few moments speaking with Jake before I realized his success will not be tethered to a specific geographic location.  He greeted me at the bar near the front door at the tail end of a lunch service.  As we discussed the process and specific dishes to shoot he would periodically interrupt the discussion as he opened the door and thanked every customer upon their exit of sharing a meal.  He makes mention of some of the background of his upbringing, coming from a family of cooks and food industry entrepreneurs.  He describes how some of the dishes are based on family recipes from both his and his wife’s sides.  He encourages me to visit the wall of photographs that pay homage to this background.  He describes his menu as Classic American but in that definition is the realization that old world influences are through and through as in any one’s American heritage.  So it all seems to fit, the food on the menu, weighted with German influences but open to others, paying homage to simplicity.  The decor that places one in a mindset of an earlier time, and the importance of family, which at the foundation is how one is treated and the reason for Capital Club 16′s existence.

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here to request permission)

Check Out Our Sister Site ‘Your Kitchen Camera’ to learn how to photograph food.

Although the vibe at Capital Club 16 roots itself in tradition that’s not to say it disregards modern Americana.  During the day it’s easy to find a business casual lunch crowd that commuted by foot from offices downtown and at night, as the workday tempers, the ties come off as young professionals get relaxed and enjoy an evening on the town.  The menu, has many selections and specials that stem from what is fresh and local from the market and artisanal such as the often delivered Schaller & Webber meats.  They also keep modern with their options based on some of Shannon’s vegetarian diet influences.

Garden Sandwich- Vermont cheddar, butter lettuce, spinach, tomato, avocado, red onion, red beets and paprika aioli on French Country

mmmmm.....Spaten....

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The Butcher Plate w/Schaller & Webber Artisanal Sausages and Meats: Mixed Grilled Sausages, smoked pork chop, griddled belly w/ sauerkraut, hand cut spaetzle and gravy, sauteed apples and house mustard

Check Out Our Sister Site ‘Your Kitchen Camera’ to learn how to photograph food.

Right around the same time as their one year anniversary, Capital Club 16 won your vote as “Best New Restaurant” Wake County in the yearly Indy Poll.  It would seem that as they have made Raleigh their home and invited you as a part of their family, we have accepted, graciously.

You voted..."Best New Restaurant, Wake County, 2011"

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here to request permission)

We’ve Moved!  Check out the updated website with new coverage of food photography in your city at The Spoon Feeds.com

Capital Club 16 on Urbanspoon

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Written by admin

August 1st, 2011 at 2:15 pm