CHEF’S DAY AT HOMEARAMA ~ Wed. July 29th – 11 am to 1 pm
Area chefs will be on hand to share samplings of their specialties and a favorite recipe with show visitors. Wine samplings will be held in The Welsh House built by New Old Luxury Custom Homes – compliments of Vintner’s Hill, a new upscale wine bar opening in a few weeks in Mint Hill. Make plans to come to Chef’s Day and have some fun!

FEATURED CHEF: Geoffrey Bragg

11694845_1047866041892379_1230739380139249176_nGeoffrey Bragg was born on Fort Rucker in Alabama to an Army major raised in Tampa and his Vietnamese wife. Needless to say, the blend of cultures created an interesting culinary dichotomy Geoff feels was extremely influential to his cooking today. At fifteen he started his first restaurant job, like many chefs, in the dish pit. It wasn’t long before he found himself prepping vegetables and eventually on the line. That was 27 years ago and he hasn’t looked back.

It was after the suggestion of a friend of his while attending the University of Georgia that he decided to cook professionally. He moved to Charleston and began classes at Johnson and Wales University. While living in Charleston he worked at Fulton Five which hosted some of the Southeast’s best chefs. After graduating in 1994 he moved back to Charlotte where he began working as sous chef at The Pewter Rose Bistro. He was offered his first Head chef position soon thereafter at Charlotte’s first vegetarian restaurant, The Peaceful Dragon. Through this he became very active in working with local farmers, helping to pioneer the farm-to-fork movement in Charlotte. In 2003 he attended the Italian Institute of Culinary and Pastry Arts where he was instructed in fundamental cooking techniques by Italian Master Chefs. In 2005 he returned to The Pewter Rose as an owner and Executive chef. In 2010, after the birth of his son, he and his family moved to Asheville and he was honored to accept a position with The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa. At the Grove Park Inn, he headed up the central restaurant for the resort, The Sunset Terrace. Nine months out of the year his kitchen averaged 600 meals a day and kept him busy. There he had the opportunity to work alongside James Beard award winners and host a wine dinner with the president of the Western North Carolina chapter of the ACF.

In 2012 he moved back to Charlotte where he accepted a position with the Jackalope’s Food Group to head up their new restaurant, The Peculiar Rabbit, a farm-to-fork gastropub. After leaving the Peculiar Rabbit he focused he decided to move towards culinary instruction and helped Sur La Table to establish their cooking school at SouthPark Mall. He is currently working as a personal chef with a focus on culinary instruction. In addition to working with private individuals, he also does consultations and works as a culinary chef instructor at the Community Culinary School of Charlotte. He is excited to be back in the city he calls home, close to family and friends and working on a project he feels will help to shape Charlotte’s already explosive culinary scene.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta
2 Tbs water
1 package unflavored gelatin
1 c heavy cream
½ c sugar
2 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Combine the water and the gelatin in a medium mixing bowl and stir. Allow the mixture to sit for a couple of minutes so the gelatin will bloom. In a small sauce pan heat the cream, sugar and vanilla bean paste. Heat until the sugar is just dissolved. Pour the heated cream into the bowl with the gelatin and whisk thoroughly. Add the buttermilk while you stir. Pour the mixture through a sieve into another bowl. Pour your panna cotta mixture into your serving vessels. (I used 6 wine glasses, but this stuff will set up in anything. At the restaurant we used martini glasses or 5 oz ramekins). Put in the fridge and allow to chill for at least 4 hours.