Chef Bloodworth goes West
Edwin Bloodworth has always taken great satisfaction in seeing
the eye-opening delight and yums that follow when people sample his culinary creations.
This driving force of creating a meal from scratch, owning the particular dish with your signature trademarks as a chef and hearing lofty praise from visitors harkens back to his early days at a country club, where he literally earned his chops as a chef.
“This country club I started out at, you would have guests and members come back in the kitchen and tell you, ‘Hey, that was the best salad I ever had,’” Bloodworth said. “I just really loved seeing that satisfaction.”
His love for preparing food eventually landed him a gig at The Gamekeeper Restaurant in Blowing Rock. Although he has left the restaurant on multiple occasions to pursue outside opportunities, Bloodworth said there is something about Boone that “keeps pulling him back.”
As he slowly began to make headway in the culinary profession, which at times can border on stardom for world renowned chefs, Bloodworth began attracting praise and an equal amount of attention from restaurant owners across the country.
For the second year in a row, Bloodworth was invited to Indie Chefs Week in January in Austin, Texas.
“The basis of the event is to (bring) chefs together that are under the radar and are doing reputable things in the culinary field,” he said.
The weeklong invitational, which Bloodworth described as “somewhat informal,” featured culinary artists from across the nation, who share their unique interpretations of dishes that entice the most diverse of palettes.
“It’s just chefs hanging out, sharing ideas, influences and talking about the reasons they are in (culinary),” Bloodworth said. “For me, personally, I had a lot of questions about where is Boone and what it is like. It’s a good opportunity to meet chefs and network, as well as pick up tips and showcase your inspirations. People come from around the country, so there are many different styles.”
Bloodworth was one of the featured chefs for the weekend portion of the cook-off in which he prepared a signature dessert piece and a trout entrée. “On both nights, I tried to represent my view of Appalachian cuisine,” he said.
Despite the distance between Austin and his North Carolina home, Bloodworth felt his East Coast connection shine through when he ran into a couple from Winston-Salem who travelled to Texas to see their son, who is also a chef, participate in the chef’s week.
By attending the event, Bloodworth also received opportunities to prepare meals for restaurants in Los Angeles, Portland and Pittsburgh.
Having the globetrotting mentality that accompanies some chefs is one of the reasons he wanted to pursue a career in the heat of the kitchen.
“I really enjoy the people and the alternative lifestyle,” Bloodworth said. “It’s also my personality. Cooking is a particular, anal-retentive kind of job, which I guess any job can be, but there are just a lot of great aspects to it.”
For more information on Indie Chefs Week, visit http://indiechefsweek.com.