Clark Barlowe, Heirloom Restaurant (Charlotte, NC)
There are those that simply talk about good ideas, and then there are those that do their best to put those ideas in practice. Chef Clark Barlowe of Heirloom Restaurant in Charlotte is definitely the latter. He wants foraged mushrooms to be able to be served in restaurants? Then he, a native of Lenoir, NC, lobbies for it. He considers the meaning of local? He decides to limit his ingredients to those from North Carolina. And he wants to create a community neighborhood restaurant? Well, then he builds his restaurant in Northwest Charlotte, close to where he lives and where he can get to know his neighbors and cook for them. Oh, he makes some delicious food too, of course, which you’d guess with a resume that includes hometown mainstay Mama Ricotta’s, El Bulli in Spain, and The French Laundry in California. He’s thoughtful about what goes on the plate and how he interacts with the world, and of course, that’s someone I’d love to share a beer with, so that’s what we did.