The upcoming fall issue of NC State magazine includes articles on two alums — Vivian Howard and Vansana Nolintha — who have had tremendous success with restaurants that harken back to the cultures of their childhoods.
Howard, a 2000 NC State graduate, is the chef and co-owner of Chef & the Farmer, a seasonal, farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Kinston, N.C., not far from the farm in Deep Run, N.C., where Howard grew up.
Nolintha is the owner of Bida Manda, a Laotian restaurant in downtown Raleigh that pays homage to his parents and his native land.
We asked them to share recipes for our readers who wanted to try their hand at some of their culinary creations. Enjoy!
Howard’s Grilled Corn with Bacon Lime Mayo and Parmigiano Reggiano
To grill the corn…
Brush each ear of corn with olive oil. Over a medium grill, brown the corn on three sides. Remove from the grill, season each ear with salt and roll it around in the mayo. To serve, grate fresh parmigiano reggiano over the ears like snow. Serve with lime wedges.
Lime and Bacon Mayo
1 egg yolk
zest of 2 limes (removed with a microplane)
1/3 cup lime juice
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. hot sauce (we use siracha)
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup bacon fat (melted)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Blend the first 8 ingredients until smooth in a food processor. Start streaming in the bacon fat slowly to emulsify and finish with the vegetable oil until nice and thick. Adjust seasoning with salt and lemon juice to taste.
Bida Manda’s Crispy Rice Lettuce Wrap
2 cups cooked jasmine rice
1 teaspoon curry spice
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped mint
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1 tablespoon crispy fried garlic
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup crushed peanuts
Mix jasmine rice, curry, salt, and sugar in a small bowl. Mold the mixture into thick patties. Fry the patties until golden brown. In another bowl, break the patties into small pieces, and add cilantro, mint, green onion, fried garlic, peanuts, and lime juice. Toss until fully mixed. Wrap the mixture with fresh lettuce leaves.