Listen up folks, there’s a new chef in town: Greg Gettles, most recently the sous chef at Herons in Cary’s Umstead Hotel, has taken over the top slot at Piedmont in downtown Durham. l was already a fan of the much-acclaimed eatery, but after three recent meals I’ll venture this: Gettles is among the best chefs de cuisine in the Triangle’s thriving culinary scene, putting him in the same league with James Beard award-winners Scott Howell (Nana’s) and Andrea Reusing (Lantern and her new restaurant at the Durham Hotel).
Enough with the amuse bouche, and on to the main event: Among my favorite dishes this summer are Gettles’ heirloom tomato salad (made with basil sorbet, okra, and made-from-scratch chia seed crackers) and his chicken entree (served with local corn, sea island red peas, charred tomatillo, and oyster mushrooms). What they have in common is their tie to Coon Rock Farm, which is a major supplier to Piedmont, deepening the farm-to-fork relationship. Also not to be missed are Piedmont’s pork chop, rib eye steak, Carolina amberjack, and its innovative take on a “BLT” appetizer (believe me, like none you’ve ever experienced).
By the way, with Gettles new in the kitchen, general manager Crawford Leavoy remains a constant presence, actually he’s a tour de force, for top-flight customer service at the front of the house.