Underbelly, a fresh take on southern food culture

Introducing Underbelly, a fresh take on Southern food culture, created for foodies by foodies

Mike Moore - Photo by Cindy KunstThe creators of Blind Pig Supper Club, aka Mike and Darlene Moore, have taken the gastronomical concepts and innovations that arise during their popular pop-up dinners, and packed them into a glossy, full-color quarterly journal. Topics including Appalachian food traditions, profiles on small, regional producers, recipes, and opinions on culinary matters are presented by area food writers and chefs in prose that is as fresh and nostalgic as a ripe summer tomato or homemade buttermilk ice cream.

“Underbelly means to give chefs, bartenders, farmers and craft food producers a voice, and to act as a central hub for creative and passionate culinary discourse,” says Mike Moore, who’s also the editor-in-chief.

A soft launch of Underbelly’s first 36-page installment, The Heritage Issue, happened in November 2012. The upcoming issue, Soul & Comfort, will release the first week in April, and offers articles on Cajun, Creole and ethnic cooking, and an in-depth interview with Chef Nate Allen of Knife & Fork discussing the process of making charcoal. The third issue, which tackles the subject of Approach, will include stories on innovation in the kitchen and modernist cuisine, as well as an interview with James Beard award-winning Chef Sean Brock of Charleston’s acclaimed McCrady’s and Husk restaurants.

Underbelly, designed by Darlene Moore and produced by editor-in-chief by Mike Moore, is Western North Carolina’s first publication solely devoted to cuisine, communicated heavily through the voices of local chefs and restaurateurs. Issues can be purchased for $14 each; an annual subscription includes four issues and costs $44. Copies can be purchased at Asheville at Hops & Vines, Brusin’ Ales, the soon-to-open Seven Sows Bourbon & Larder on Biltmore Avenue and Ambrozia Bar & Bistro on Merrimon Avenue. Subscriptions can also be purchased online at www.blindpigofasheville.com/underbelly.

Blind Pig Supper Club provides a scrumptious celebration of the culinary arts through monthly charity dinners and catering services. For tickets and information, visit www.blindpigofasheville.com.

Epicurean Note: I got my hands on the first issue of Underbelly. Glossy and printed on heavy stock, it looked, felt and read like a cross between a magazine and coffee-table book. The Moores have created a publication that features unique content specific to  the Southern culinary world.

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