I have had the great opportunity to eat Chef Cade’s cooking on several occasions; everything from casual S. Carolina BBQ sandwiches, to filets that cut like butter. Though it’s easy to fold to your senses and get lost in enjoyment while eating something he’s prepared, when I come back to reality there are distinctly three reasons why I can’t get enough of his food.
The first is pretty straight forward: He’s talented, and he’s good. It is clear he has spent years mastering his craft, testing and perfecting his taste and abilities. He has full control over the flavors he presents; balanced when he wants it, sharp when he demands, and mellow without even trying.
The second is near a dear to me, and that is where he sources his ingredients. He jokes that his number one ingredient is patience, which as a Texan and meat lover is music to my ears. But seriously, he chooses the produce and fish and meats and spices, meticulously. With intention each bushel of Brussels sprouts, each catch of langoustine, each petal of lavender (for his lavender ice cream… that’s right) selected for quality exclusively from the local vendors he trusts. That level of attention to detail is rare, and it tastes so good.
Finally, perhaps one of my favorite aspects of Cade’s cooking, is that he gently encourages trying something new. It isn’t in-your-face culinary adventure, but it’s the kind of adventure that feels comfortable, exciting, and never stale. I’ve seen people cringe at the thought of Brussels sprouts, and then sing with joy after trying Cade’s. The modest twists and turns he makes do not remove from what I expect, they simply add a touch of brilliance, and that is what makes his food incredible.