Brian Noyes, Red Truck Bakery (Marshall, VA)
If you got invited to a dinner party with Oprah, Obama, and Andrew Zimmern (and wouldn’t that be some invite?!), chances are they’d want you to bring a baked good from Red Truck Bakery in Marshall, VA. Baker Brian Noyes has served cakes and pies to them and lots of other famous folks from his off-the-beaten-path spots -- now two of them -- in rural Virginia, but I found him through one perfect bite of Lexington Bourbon Cake at Garden & Gun’s Made in the South weekend. See, I don’t consider myself an expert cook but I do know my way around a bundt pan, and this cake was a confection of my dreams. For Brian, it’s a combination of culinary training, sourcing local, and plenty of “go big or go home” attitude that makes his work a continued and delicious success. I had to know more, and well, he said he’d fly to Charleston with pie. Who could turn that down?