An Interview with Erik to kick off Root to Table!

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An Interview with Erik to kick off Root to Table!
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Blue Ridge, Culinary Trail, Events, Go Blue Ridge Travel, Shenandoah Valley

We’re introducing Taste of Blue Ridge’s weekend extravaganzas: Blue Ridge Root to Table! With over 30 partners coming together to collaborate over three weekends this year, Blue Ridge Root to Table will prove to be the ultimate foodie experience! This provides guests everywhere the chance to cook with top local chefs, using the best ingredients grown right here in the Valley, experiencing the best wineries and breweries in the area, all while staying at top lodging destinations! It’s adventure with a main footing in cuisine! What better way to kick off a campaign than with an interview of a partner that will be involved in these culinary experiences? I sat down with head chef Erik Foxx-Nettnin to discuss Magnolias at the Mill and their upcoming Argentinian Wine Dinner, being held on May 11th.

Why an Argentinian wine dinner? Any particular inspiration behind the event?

“We tend to partner with wineries more than we partner with distributors. If you pick a winery, you’re putting all of your money into that winery. In our case, the winemaker actually approached us this time! He’s an Argentinian wine maker, and it just so happens that Argentine-style cooking is very popular and pairs well with wine. We also try to do our larger events with local vendors as much as we can.”

I know that there’s a menu that can be found on Magnolias website, and the line-up looks stunning. Give me a heartier view of the menu.

“What we’re doing is we’re having all of the sides and sauces on the table, family style, and taking the meats around and slicing them off individually. The focus of the night is on the wine, which are all Malbecs. The higher the elevation of the grape, the stronger the wine, and these wines are incredible. My favorite course is the first course because I like the white Malbec it’s paired with, and just the fact that the Langosta doesn’t usually get cooked this style.”

How large of a crowd does an event like this usually draw to Magnolias?

“50 people, which is our limit; our comfort zone. It’s an expensive event that’s going on, so that’ll naturally draw the size of crowd we expect and are prepared for.”

Is there anything else you’d like visitors to know? 

“We cook every day, we teach every day, and we do custom menus… We get the best and freshest seafood, which a lot of the times have been out of the water for less than 12 hours. It took me a long time to develop a relationship with vendors who were willing to drive this far west! Overall, we use the best and freshest ingredients.”

Here he laughingly says he doesn’t want to sound too cheesy, clearly not wanting his love for the restaurant and what he does to overwhelm the interview.

“We’re very transparent and approachable, but we haven’t always been that way. In the last few years we’ve made great, drastic changes that I think will ensure Magnolias future in the spotlight as one of the top restaurants in the area.”

On Blue Ridge Root to Table:

“This event has so much promise, with tons of great people to work with. The market is very saturated, so I do just want to make sure we don’t get lost and that we offer the real thing, on our own terms. We’ll be working with great local farmers pulling vegetables straight from the soil and using them. That’s as honest and true as it gets.”

There still time to hold your reservation spot for the Argentinian Wine Dinner! Click here.

Stay tuned to GoBRT for more information featuring our Blue Ridge Root to Table foodie event!