Wrightsville Beach Brewery has named Wilmington chef Jeffrey Porter as its new executive chef, following the departure of David Owens last month.
Porter has worked for the Dixie Grill on and off for many years in between internships and positions at a variety of high-end restaurants, and is well known around town for his Port City Pop-Up dinners.
Porter said he was asked to fill in and host one of the brewery’s monthly beer and wine dinners at the time of Owens’ departure. The dinner went so well that owner Jud Watkins asked Porter if he would consider a 30-day interim position, which eventually led to his being offered the permanent position.
“I’m really excited about the position and look forward to making some changes to the menu that will really set the bar high for gastro-pub food here in Wilmington,” Porter said.
Porter said he plans to use the brewery’s beer in as many recipes as possible, and to continue working with area farms and fishermen to source the freshest possible produce, meats and seafood. A new brunch menu will launch this Sunday and Porter is hoping to launch the new menu within the next couple of weeks.
Wrightsville Beach Brewery has been working with area beef and pork suppliers to purchase whole ani mals that are fed with their own hops and grains in order to further enhance the flavor of the meat. A pig from Red-Tailed Farm in Burgaw willbe the centerpiece of this month’s beer and wine dinner, which will be held on Wednesday, April 25.
The five-course dinner will feature pork and avocado spring rolls, ginger pulled pork pho, spring vegetable- and goat cheese-stuffed pork loin, and a maple bourbon mango cheesecake topped with a Belgian chocolate bacon strip. Reservations can be made at 910-256-4938.
Porter said he is thrilled to have to opportunity to continue to host special event dinners that allow him to create new dishes and pairings each month, and he hopes to join up with other Port City chefs for collaborative dinners at the brewery.
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