The product of an evergreen tree, nutmeg has a rich, woody color and a spicy, tingly flavor when grated. It’s considered part of the warming spice family, along with cinnamon and mace. Native to the Spice Islands of the West Indies, it’s often incorporated into rum drinks, but also punches up rich dishes like mac and cheese or creamed spinach. A bonus? It’s reportedly helpful for reducing inflammation.
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.