My friend, a connoisseur of shrimp and grits, and I think the Granary at Fearrington Village does them the absolute best. I have eaten them at the Granary for brunch, lunch and dinner, and would love to fix them for my brother and his wife when they visit from Arizona. Please see if you can get this recipe.
Offering a casual alternative to the acclaimed Fearrington House, the Granary is part of this collection of posh shops and residences in the rolling hills south of Chapel Hill. The Villages genteel country charm including a neighboring pasture with trademark belted Galloway cows has made it a popular destination for everything from Sunday brunch to weddings.
Another major attraction is the food. In the three years since Colin Bedford took over as executive chef at Fearrington House, he has firmly established himself as one of the areas premier culinary talents. Thats not surprising, given that Bedfords star-studded resume spans the globe from the Castle Hotel in his native Somerset County, England, to The Prince of Wales Hotel in Ontario, Canada.
Judging by the chefs take on shrimp and grits, his travels have taught him how to adapt to local customs. While decidedly more lavish than most, the Granarys version remains true to the spirit of this classic Southern dish.
We tried to make it our own, which at Fearrington means making it a little more indulgent, Bedford said. We use both bacon and andouille, and we cook the grits in milk and vegetable stock for a richer flavor. We even add a little extra sauce so you still have some when you get to the bottom of the grits.
The result is a winning formula. Initially offered only for brunch, the Granarys shrimp and grits proved so popular that the dish is now available for lunch and dinner as well.
Asked if hed like to suggest any variations, Bedford replied: We have a lot of regular customers from the Village, and theyre creatures of habit. If I tried to change that recipe, Id be hunted down and shot.
Hes exaggerating, of course. Still, it gives the phrase to die for a whole new meaning, doesnt it?
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Fearrington Granary Shrimp and Grits