Although our training is in fine cuisine with strong French influence, we both pine for the southern classics. Our aim with the Familiar is to adapt those classics with refined technique while holding true to the concept that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Familiar food is the type of food that reminds you of your childhood and makes you want to sit and stay for another drink.
We are proud, as well, to be working hand in hand with North Carolina’s farmers.
Although we would never say that “Farm to Table” is just a tag line, we suggest that maybe it is becoming one. Our style of cuisine takes into account a Chef’s responsibility to take the best possible products available when the farmer is growing them. We are not asking the farmers to grow strange produce to a uniform size and shape. We are not asking them to cross breed for better storage life. And we are not making unrealistic demands as to when a product should be available. We are simply allowing ourselves to be flexible and inspired by the abundance of the Carolinas. We are allowing our farmers to grow on their own accord.
Another part of the Chef’s responsibility is to respect what is grown.
The farmers have cared for and given themselves to being stewards of our land and it is our aim to uphold and respect what has been given through long hours, sacrifice, and sweat. We will uphold these values through near 100% product utilization. If you can eat it…we will be cooking it. This is Nose to Tail and Leaf to Root Cuisine.
For our inaugural dinner on August 10th, we are featuring “Sweet Corn and Swine.”
Our partnerships include Armin Lieth of Beechcrest Farm (Chapel Hill)and Adrian Thorn of Brae-Burn Farm (Siler City.) Meeting and spending time with these farmers has not just been helpful in so far as they produce the best free range pork and non-GMO sweet corn in the area, but we have had the privilege of visiting their farms and gleaning their inspirations and passions for the work that they do. This has given us a new appreciation of the importance of our relationship with our land and, we hope, will show in the food we produce.
The event will be held in the Great Room at The Top of The Hill and cocktails will be taken care of by TOPO Distillery(Chapel Hill.) Coffee for the event is being provided by Muddy Dog Roasting Company (Morrisville) and a portion of our proceeds will go to benefit Abundance NC.
It is our hope that you can join us at our table and enjoy and imbibe in all of the bounty North Carolina has to offer as much as we enjoy serving at your pleasure.
Join Chef Sheridan at Top of the Hill on August 10! Register here!
Evan Sheridan is pastry chef of the Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond The Umstead Hotel and Spa and its signature restaurant, Herons. Sheridan brings a great craftsmanship to his position at Herons, with a focus on clean, straightforward ingredients that are balanced in flavor. His presentation style is simple and refined; a natural complement to The Umstead’s sensibilities, and his culinary background spans both savory and sweet, which gives him a unique perspective that elevates The Umstead’s pastry program.
He works closely with culinary farmer Maggie Lawrence at the nearby Culinary Farm on SAS Campus to source the freshest ingredients, such as eucalyptus for ice cream, and he relies on local producers to ensure his creations reflect the region’s best fare. Chocolate is a particular specialty, and Sheridan competed in the 2012 World Chocolate Masters U.S. Selection Finals.
Chicago-trained, Sheridan most recently served as pastry chef at the award-winning Inn at Little Washington in Va. An Iowa native, Sheridan received his training from the French Pastry School in Chicago and resides in Cary, N.C. with his wife and two young daughters.