212 Market Restaurant has partnered with UTC biology professor Hill Craddock for a celebration of locally-grown chestnuts that will benefit research aimed at restoration of the American chestnut tree. From Nov. 18-24, the restaurant will serve special dishes made with chestnuts grown at the UTC experimental chestnut orchard.
Dr. Craddock, an internationally-recognized expert on chestnut breeding and a board member of TACF, will host a chestnut tasting with wine pairings at the restaurant on the evening of Nov.
22. See www.212market.com
for event details.
“We’re very excited to partner exclusively with UTC to offer Chattanoogans locally-grown chestnuts,” said 212 Market Chef/Owner Susan Moses. “We have supported TACF for years, and we hosted a dinner for them when they came to Chattanooga a few years ago. I love chestnuts and I’m looking forward to creating a wide range of specials for the week, including chestnut soup, chicken crepes with chestnuts, and castagnaccio, an Italian chestnut cake.”
In the first half of the 20th century, the American chestnut was decimated by a disease called chestnut blight. By the time The Christmas Song -- “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” – was written in 1944, the blight had wiped out almost all American chestnut production. Dr. Craddock’s Chattanooga Chestnut Tree Project is working to restore the American chestnut to the Cumberland Plateau and Southern Appalachian regions, and he is also breeding trees for commercial chestnut production.
“Most people I talk to have never tasted a chestnut,” Dr. Craddock said. “It’s great to work with Chef Susan Moses to give Chattanoogans an opportunity to discover how delicious they can be. The chestnuts we are growing in north Hamilton County are much better quality than the imported nuts you find in the grocery store during the holiday season.”