Lucky diners in New York

Published 9:12 pm Friday, March 11, 2016

One lucky group of diners in New York will get a taste of Suffolk, Va., during a special, $170-a-plate dinner being held by the James Beard Foundation in April.

Suffolk’s Harper Bradshaw, the award-winning chef and proprietor at Harper’s Table restaurant on North Main Street in the downtown area of the city, will cross off a bucket-list item that exists in most chef’s minds as only a dream when he joins a group of small-town chefs from Virginia and North Carolina for the Southern-themed dinner.

Compared to the other communities represented in the event — Staunton, Spruce Pine, N.C., Candler, N.C., and Hickory, N.C. — Suffolk could hardly be considered a small town. But Bradshaw’s classical take on local ingredients and homegrown recipes fit him squarely into the evening’s Southern-cuisine theme.

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According to its website, the James Beard Foundation’s mission is to “celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire.” Beard was a cookbook author and teacher dedicated to advancing the cause of American cuisine, and the foundation maintains his historic house in Greenwich Village to use as a “performance space” for visiting chefs.

Suffolk residents are blessed to have a variety of good restaurants, including a few known as some of the best in Virginia. The city is doubly blessed to have an emissary such as Harper Bradshaw to share its own culinary history with the world.

We hope the folks in New York enjoy Harper Bradshaw’s creation as much as the people of Suffolk do.