Best Fresh and Local Chefs North Georgia

Best Fresh and Local Chefs North Georgia: Southern Distinction Magazine assembled the best of “Fresh and Local Chefs” in North Georgia to feature farm to table dining and recipes at their best. Watch for the September 2013 Issue.

Best Fresh and Local Chefs North Georgia

Beechwood Inn Recipes Featured in Southern Distinction Magazine – September 2013 

Chefs David and Gayle Darugh of Beechwood Inn are a pair of the Best Fresh and Local Chefs in Georgia, and are features along with the Best of Fresh and Local Chefs from North Georgia,  in the September issue of Southern Distinction Magazine

The Assembled chefs include: Bill Wilder, Glen Ella Springs, Scott Dixon, Scotts Downtown, Austin Rocconi, Le Vigne Restaurant – Montaluce Vineyards, David and Gayle Darugh Beechwood Inn Bed and Breakfast, Michael Shepherd Nacoochee Grill, Vince Scafiti The Farmhouse, Jamie Allred Lake Rabun Hotel, Bernie Yates and Monda Dodge,Bernie’s Nacoochee Valley Guest House. Great group of Chefs!

Each of these chefs have been given a number of local North Georgia farm, bakery, dairy, brewery and winery products to use in creating wonderful recipes. Here are the recipes created and shared by the Beechwood Inn Chefs. David and Gayle Darugh. Both selected as “Best Chefs America 2013.”  

 Goat Cheese and Green Onion Galette with Capra Gia Cheeses

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour chilled in the freezer
    1 stick plus 1 tablespoon butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled in the freezer
    1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    2 bunches green onions thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 5 ounces goat cheese
    4 ounces ricotta cheese
    ¾ cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
    ¼ cup Crème Fraiche
    ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor and pulse until half of the butter clumps are the size of peas and the rest are a little larger. Transfer to a mixer and using the paddle and add a little water at a time until the mixture forms into a ball.

Handle the dough as little as possible so as not to warm the butter. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough into a 14-inch circle and trim the edges. Place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment and refrigerate.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook onions until soft, 4 to 5 minutes then add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Mix together the green onions, goat cheese, ricotta, mozzarella, Crème Fraiche, and ½ the parmesan. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Remove the pastry from the refrigerator. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge uncovered. Fold the uncovered edge of the pastry over the cheese. The filling will be exposed in the center. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, and then slide the galette off the pan and onto a serving plate.

Striplings Sausage with Fennel and Manchego Crostini

Striplings Pan Sausage and Johnston Farm Manchego and Big City Bread Baguette 

  • ½ pound ground local sausage
  • 6 ounces grated Manchego cheese
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, coarsely ground
  • 15-20 slices of baguette

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Break up the sausage into a bowl and add the cheese, fennel seed, and salt and pepper to taste . Mix until evening distributed. Pinch off about 1 large tablespoon of the sausage and press evenly onto a slice of baguette pressing with your thumbs to cover the surface of the bread. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Bake until crispy, about 12 minutes. Serve hot right out of the oven.

Red Hare Long Day Lager and Flat Creek Lodgee Natural Rind Cheddar Cheese Béchamel Soup with Truffled Croutons and Drizzled with Balsamic

  • 2 bottles lager
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 parsnip diced
  • 4 shallots chopped
  • 2 cups home-made chicken stock (substitute 2 cups low sodium canned stock)
  • 2 cups local cream
  • 1 pound cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 Tbs. cornstarch
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • For the Croutons
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 2 teaspoons white truffle oil
  • 2 cups diced Big City Bread Baguette

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a small sauté pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter with the truffle oil. Toss the bread cubes with the oil and shake the pan to coat evenly. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 – 15 minutes, turning once, until crisp and golden.

Combine the beer, garlic, carrots, parsnips, shallots and cook over medium high heat until reduced by about ½. Add the cream and chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the mixture back into the sauce pan. Toss the grated cheese with the corn starch in a bowl. Add the cheese to the soup and bring back to a simmer (do not boil). Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

To Serve: Ladle the hot soup into bowls, top with the warm croutons and a few dashes of the Balsamic glaze.

Chocolate Pecan Pie with “Mountain” (Award Winning) Sourwood Honey

  • One Prepared Pie Crust
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons Mountain Sourwood Honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups pecan pieces
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Roll pie crust to 11 inches and lay it in a 10 inch pie pan. Fold over the edges and crimp. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine the corn syrup, sugar, salt, vanilla, honey and eggs. Mix well, then stir in the melted butter and pour the mixture into the pie crust. Top with pecans and chocolate chips.  Bake the pie for 70 – 75 minutes rotating once, or until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbling. Serve the pie warm with sweetened whipped cream.

Stonewall Creek Vineyards

Carl and Carla Fackler purchased land in 2004 four miles west of Tiger, Georgia. They planted the first 150 Stonewall Creek Vines to Malbec in 2005. Over the next three years, they planted more grapes including Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Tannat, Petit Manseng and more Malbec. Winemaker Carl points out that “Stonewall Creek grapes are mostly European varieties, but our winemaking is new world.  At Stonewall Creek we’re working to produce wine that is clean, well-balanced and pleasant and goes well with local foods.” In my opinion they have fully succeeded.

2011 Cabernet Franc

This vintage may represent one of the best Cabernet Francs grown and made in Georgia. It is inky purple with hints of anise and vanilla with lots of black cherry, blueberry and blackberry aromas and flavors.

Recommended cheese pairing:

Nice ripe cheese such as Blue Saga

Recommended food pairing:

Perfect with Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin with Gorgonzola Butter and Cracked Pepper.

2012 Petit Manseng

The 2012 is a powerful white wine. It is very aromatic with hints of honey and peaches. It is bright, almost sparkly with acidity, and a viscous lively mouth feel with a long pleasurable finish.

Recommended Cheese Pairing:

Light Fresh Cheeses such as Havarti

Recommended Food Pairing

The lively acidity in this wine will compliment poached sole with a lemon/white wine shallot sauce

2011 Three eagles

This is a blend of Malbec and Petit Verdot.   It has great fruit aromas of cherry, raspberry and a hint of ripe plum.  The mouth feel is medium bodied with perfect acid balance.  Nice aftertaste with a lingering boysenberry flavor.

Recommended Cheese Pairing:

Mild Aged Cheese such as Manchego or Gouda

Recommended Food Pairing

Arista – Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Sausage and Pesto

Pear Poached in White Wine with Caramel Sauce


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups Petite Menseng
  • 2 cups water
  • Zest strips from 1/2 orange
  • Zest strips from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 8 Bosc pears, peeled
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Combine sugar, wine, water, zests, cinnamon and vanilla in a pan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Peel pears and cut a small slice off the bottom to make it flat. Set the pears in the syrup, and simmer over moderate heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the pears to let cool.

Strain syrup into a saucepan. Simmer over moderate heat until the syrup is the consistency of maple syrup, about 2 hours. Let cool to room temperature.

In a bowl, whisk 1/4 cup of the reduced syrup into the mascarpone and chill. Using an apple corer, core the pears, being careful not to cut through the pear’s surface.

In a large bowl, whip the cream. Fold in the mascarpone. Transfer mixture to pastry bag. Pipe the mascarpone cream into the pears and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

To plate, drizzle a tablespoon of the caramel sauce onto 8 dessert plates. Set the pears on the sauce and drizzle a little more sauce over each pear. Poke a small hole in the top of each pear and place a mint sprig in the hole. Pipe the remaining mascarpone cream around the pears.

We are happy to support these local farms, dairies, bakeries and breweries.

Best Fresh and Local Chefs North Georgia

Chef David Darugh