Is there anything more refreshing than the bright, grassy flavor of dill weed? Early Eastern Europeans sure didn’t think so, relying on the plant’s bright green fronds to bring the taste of summer to year-round preserved dishes like pickles. A relative of parsley, the herb has a layer of licorice-like flavor. Adhering to the adage “If it grows together, it goes together,” it pairs beautifully with fresh lettuces, green beans, cabbages, and so on.
In 2009, Meherwan Irani quit his day job in sales to open his first restaurant – Chai Pani, a unique Indian street food joint in downtown Asheville. Whether it was a midlife crisis or a stroke of genius is debatable. Since then, the self-taught chef has opened four restaurants, one bar, and now, Spicewalla. With four James Beard Award nominations for Best Chef in the Southeast under his belt, he’s finally confident this might just be working out. His restaurants have been written up in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, GQ, Food & Wine, Saveur, USA Today, and Bon Appétit, among others.