The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

Tag: Tucker Yoder

“Best Thing I Ate All Year” 2016

Looking back at 2016, what stands out as the best thing you ate all year?  Top area chefs provide their answer. (Here are last year’s picks.) A tribute to Charlottesville’s bounty:

Mitchell Beerens (Lampo)

Agedashi Tofu at Now & Zen. “The silken tofu is made crispy by dusting it in potato starch and frying it. Then, it’s set in a spa of tentsuyu broth made smoky from the katsuobushi and a little sweet from mirin. Perfect balance of big flavors.”


Craig Hartman (BBQ Exchange)

Spaghetti all’ Amatriciana at Parallel 38. “When restaurants around the world jumped to support the town of Amatrice in Italy after it was devastated by an earthquake, we were fortunate enough to experience a version of Spaghetti all’ Amatriciana at Parallel 38. Their version was almost exactly the same as what we experienced in Italy. It was also so delicious that we went back the next night to have it again.”


Brian Jones (The Alley Light)

Brebirousse from Flora Artisanal Cheese in Timbercreek Market with Seeded Roll from Albemarle Baking Company.  “The seeded roll is a beautiful roll, made from baguette dough,  crusted in fennel seeds, poppy seeds and white sesame seeds. What a yummy combination of flavors. Brebirousse is a soft, smooth, creamy, buttery sheep’s milk cheese from the Rhone-Alpes region of France. Not to take anything away from these two ingredients, but food memories often have more to do with the eater’s condition at the time of the meal than the actual meal itself.  Food always tastes better when you are hungry!  I have eaten at some amazing restaurants in my life but I the best meal I ever had in my life was on a backpacking trip when our rations were low and our calorie output far exceeded our calorie intake. We savored every last morsel, scraped our cooking vessel clean, so clean that there was nothing left to wash. Possibly food is at its best  when the aromas or tastes remind you of a forgotten memory lost somewhere in the back of your mind. Think Ratatouille the movie when the food critic Anton Ego bites into Chef Remy’s ratatouille.”

cheese seeded

Christian Kelly (Maya)

Duck Liver Terrine at The Ivy Inn.  “This pâté en terrine is a slice of art. The perfect suspension of fat in meat wrapped in what appeared to be paper-thin cured duck breast slices and served with traditional pommery mustard and pickled vegetables. Angelo’s food is truly inspiring. The work of his kitchen is a delight to the taste buds. Well done.”


Tommy Lasley (Fry’s Spring Station, Ivy Provisions)

Live Scallop with Uni Broth at Mican (now closed). “The best thing I ate this past year was way too much amazing sashimi at Mican Japanese Restaurant, which unfortunately is no longer open! Everything I had was the best example I have tried in years, Charlottesville or otherwise. If I had to pick one bite it was the live scallop with uni broth.” [Note: Mican’s owners are now serving sushi at Lemongrass.]

Thomas Leroy (Kardinal Hall)

Pork Belly at BBQ Exchange. “I went there and ordered  the meat combo plate of course. The ribs were outstanding, but that pork belly with a fried crispy finish to balance the smoking flavor was amazing. I topped it with their bacon bbq sauce of course. Next time I go, that’s all I’m ordering.”


Michael McCarthy (Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie)

Salt Honey Pie from Greenwood Gourmet by Polina Chesnakova. “Nuff said.”

Loren Mendosa (Lampo)

Olive Oil Gelato from Splendora’s. “I don’t know if PK’s running it regularly, but it was truly fantastic. She used our Mosto olive oil from Liguria and we topped it with sea salt and a drizzle of the Galardo olive oil that Hodges and Jill Myers are importing. It was the perfect combination!”


Jenny Peterson (Paradox Pastry)

Roasted Chicken and Street Corn Off the Cob at The Fitzroy. “Holy moly! Food tends to be an ‘in the moment’ experience for me, and that chicken and corn just hit the spot at the right time, and it was so comfy and cozy in there.”

chicken corn

Ian Redshaw (Lampo)

Sunchokes from Wayside Produce. “Any vegetable from Wayside Produce, especially the sunchokes. These are the best vegetables I have been able to find thus far in my career.”


Ivan Rekosh (ZoCaLo)

Flank and Brisket Pho at Thai Cuisine & Noodle House. “This time of year I’m loving the pho from Thai Cuisine. I usually opt for the flank and brisket but sometimes add the tendon. The broth is amazing. I love to stick my whole face in the bowl and breathe in the steam while I’m slurping the noodles. Really warms you up from the inside out on these cold days. Also a great family runs it.” 


Wilson Richey (co-owner, The Alley Light, The Bebedero, The Pie Chest, Revolutionary Soup, The Whiskey Jar)

Chicken Liver Mousse Tart at Timbercreek Market. “Just redefined what can be done with chicken liver, so smooth and elegant. I would eat the whole tart if it were not frowned upon to do things like that.”


John Shanesy (Petit Pois)

Black Bean and Corn Relleno at ZoCaLo. “It hits on every texture, and all the flavors are very well pronounced but at the same time all working in unison to be a joy to eat. They’ve been great new neighbors to get to meet and have greeted me so warmly as well.”


Andrew Silver (ZoCaLo)

Polpettine Panuozzo at Lampo. “Meatball parm sub was my go-to late night, altered state, munchie meal.  Lampo’s is the refined, grown up version.  Plus the fact that the bread is baked ‘a la minute’ seals the deal.”


Angelo Vangelopoulos (The Ivy Inn)

Petit Kouign-amann from MarieBette. “I found this gem at the city market. Will Darsie filled my request for a mixed bag of goodies while I picked up my veggies from Susan and Wally Parks at Broadhead Mountain Farm. It’s an over the top decadent croissant dough masterpiece with apples and a metric ton of butter and sugar. My market visit is no longer complete without one of them.”


Tristan Wraight (Oakhart Social)

170 Dry Aged NY Strip at Lampo. “Ridiculously delicious. Cast iron crispy and served with a head of roasted garlic. Not even fair.”


Tucker Yoder (Timbercreek Market)

I Don’t Even Own a Gun by Twenty Paces.  “I Don’t Even Own a Gun and Noah’s Arcade are some of the best cheeses I have ever tasted. Could easily rival European cheeses. Great funky cheeses. All their cheeses have been a revelation this year but the soft gooey ones are a Yoder family favorite.”



Virginia Abounds in Good Food Award Finalists


We are blessed to live in an extraordinary food region. And, every now and then, someone happens to take notice. The latest are The Good Food Awards, which have long been good to Virginia, and this year is no exception.  To be eligible for a Good Food Award, in categories like Charcuterie, Cheese, Chocolate, Coffee, Spirits, etc., the 2,059 entrants must show that they meet “industry-specific environmental and social criteria.”  Then, a blind tasting by experts determines the winners.

Local artisans abound on this year’s list of Finalists, just announced. Just 23 charcuterie items made the finals, and two are right here in Charlottesville. Timbercreek Market’s Duck Rillette, created by Tucker Yoder, and JM Stock Provisions’ Beef Tongue Pastrami join a list of the who’s who of top American charcuterie producers.

It’s no secret that this is one of the nation’s best cider regions, too, and, of the thirteen cider finalists, two call the Commonwealth home: Blue Bee Cider – for their Harvest Ration – and Castle Hill Cider – for 1764 & Levity.

For coffee, Red Rooster Coffee Roaster’s Ethiopia Hambela Washed was honored. For Pantry items, Lindera Farms’ Black Locust Vinegar made the cut. And, for adult beverages, Port City Brewing’s Port City Porter made the Beer list and Texas Beach’s Bloody Mary Mix is a finalist in the Spirits category.

Congratulations to all of Virginia’s finalists. Winners will be announced on January 20, 2017.

Yoder Succeeds Redshaw at Timbercreek Market


Talk about landing on your feet. Lose one of the area’s top young chefs, and turn around and snag another star.

Since opening last year, Timbercreek Market’s kitchen has been run by chef Allie Redshaw, the former Pippin Hill sous chef whose inspired sandwiches, brunches, dinners, and take-home meals have been among the culinary highlights of Charlottesville’s last twelve months. So, it was sad to learn this weekend that she had decided to move on. In the short term, Redshaw says, the change will allow more time with her infant daughter Sawyer, but she admits there are aspects of the market she will miss. “I loved the aspect of whole animal butchery,” Redshaw says, “and having the opportunity to use every part of the animal.”

Losing a talent like Redshaw was not easy for Timbercreek Market. “It is always hard to lose a valued team member,” says co-owner Sara Miller, “especially one as creative as Allie Redshaw.” The market had recently begun a dinner series which particularly showcased Redshaw’s talent. A dashi noodle bowl she served at one dinner is on a short list of my favorite dishes of the year.

But, as sad as Miller was to lose her chef, she is thrilled by Redshaw’s successor: former Clifton Inn chef Tucker Yoder.  “I am like a kid at Christmas,” says Miller, who says she needed Yoder to repeat his acceptance several times for her to believe it.

Before leaving Clifton Inn in 2014, Yoder presided over one of Charlottesville’s most prestigious kitchens for more than four years. In 2013, he was named one of Charlottesville’s four Rising Star chefs. “What I love about Tucker’s presentation and approach to cooking,” says Miller, “is it’s just about the food.”

So how did a former Executive Chef of a Relais & Chateaux restaurant wind up at a market and butcher? In the eighteen months since leaving, several opportunities have come Yoder’s way, but none captured his interest like Timbercreek, where he will have the rare chance to partner directly with a farmer and producer. “I am really excited to be working hand and hand with an excellent local producer to create memorable food experiences,” says Yoder. Also appealing to Yoder is the youth of Timbercreek’s dinner program, which means he can help to build and shape it.

In addition to leading the kitchen, Yoder will provide guidance to Timbercreek Farm’s gardener.  At Clifton, Yoder oversaw the inn’s garden, and Yoder again looks forward to choosing what produce to grow for his cuisine and when.

Redshaw’s last day at the market will be August 26th. Yoder begins September 6. His first dinner service is September 8, and the market is already taking reservations. Reservation info here.

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