Order/fire : Kindred
I attended my first Order/fire a couple Sunday's ago at Free Range Brewing, S2E5. Having only read bits about it online I didn't have a clear idea of what to expect.
I needed answers to so many questions. Is this a ticketed event? Will I meet the guests? Will there be food? Does Free Range always host? Will I see anyone I know? How is the seating arranged, will there even be seating? How long is this going to take? Are they interviewing and recording it today? Ahhhh!
Order/fire is a Charlotte video web series featuring our local restaurants, chefs, farmers, mixologists, restaurateurs and the like. They provide a casual platform for their guests to give us a heartfelt glimpse into what inspired them to follow their dreams, what they're doing now and where they see the future of their business.
Food & Beer
Turns out Free Range Brewing is home of every Order/fire episode. This particular episode featured the nationally acclaimed owners Joe & Katy Kindred for their restaurant in Davidson, NC named "Kindred". Shortly after opening, they were voted 7th best new restaurant in the country in 2015 by Bon Appetit.
I giggled when I learned this episode would about Kindred. I have been wanting to visit Kindred since they opened 2 years ago. Everyone I know in the local food blogger community has pretty much demanded I go ASAP. And here was my chance, sort of.
After parking, I walk up to the entrance of Free Range and see Joe behind the grill cooking up dry-rub wings for everyone. I was ecstatic. So I made a bee-line to the bar, grabbed a Grapefruit IPA to hold my seat at the inside picnic tables and headed back out to get some "Wings & Beans". I was now ready to enjoy the show!
Milk Bread, Pickles & Beer
A little bit about Joe, Katy and the restaurant that had a name before it had walls.
When Katy starts talking on screen I was immediately in awe. She lit up the room with her fresh, natural beauty, kindness and intelligence. She opens up by describing herself as a "gypsy beat-nick kind of gal". Traveled the world in her twenties, a design nerd, loves to mix modern and old school. Like how Kindred has an old pharmacy feel but has a herringbone-design wine wall. This is where she thrives, it's all about the details.
She does her homework on the guests too. Claims to be a "big time stalker, but not in a weird way." They strive to provide the best possible experience, to "break bread" with you. If they have to make two dishes so that they can pick the best one, they will. Joe likes to avoid having gnocchi nightmares and broken sauces.
Their famous Milk Bread is Katy's creation, "an analogy of their relationship"she calls it. Her own take on a Japanese Milk Bread recipe and is served right when you sit down. It's Joe and Katy's way of welcoming you to their private little space and to relax. This bread is meant to recreate positive and fun memories as a kid growing up in the South with that light, airy, nostalgic flavor of a yeast roll. They also use this recipe for donuts, cinnamon rolls, and shrimp roll buns.
Joe starts telling a story and laughs saying, "You're going to eat it, and you're going to like it." when talking about spending time with his Grandfather and the pickles he ate as a kid. I grew up in Hickory, NC and we always had these "pickles". I still make them when I get homesick.
They're not you're average pickles. They are fresh, thinly-sliced cucumbers submerged in white vinegar, water, salt and a few chili's, or black pepper. The leftover brine is used in their other recipes like fried chicken, yum!
The BFC is baked for those employees showing outstanding character, kindness, amazing-ness and all of the other great reasons that justify such a dessert. I'll leave you to decipher what BFC means ;)
After two years they are ready to dive into restaurant number two. You can park your boat on Lake Norman and grab a bite. Joe grew up eating at this spot formerly known as Jack's BBQ and the Rusty Rudder. He says it's "not chefy". They want it to be a fun, less serious atmosphere, a tiki bar-ish feel with sailor themed decor.
They were in a bidding war with some corporate restaurants and thought to themselves, let's just go for it and put it all out there, if it's mean to be, it will be. Luckily, the owner wanted to go with the little guy. He chose to be a part of something he could be proud of and went with Joe and Katy's vision. High fives!
Over 250 people came to this event and raised a thousand dollars in the raffle to benefit the Lake Normal YMCA. Through these charity raffles, Charlotte has raised over ten thousand dollars! Incredible. You can watch the entire episode here.