Rumcow, 121 Grace St. in downtown Wilmington, has announced the hiring of a new executive chef, Andrew Hunn.
Hunn began his culinary training under chef Erin Wiley at Porches Cafe in Castle Hayne while he was still in college. Wiley, who he considers his mentor, is now executive chef for the three restaurants located in the Roudabush building.
Since that time Hunn has also worked at PinPoint Restaurant, where he said he was taught the importance of cooking with local ingredients.
Rumcow owners Joseph and Abigail Obvey said hiring Hunn was an easy choice for them because they share a similar vision for the restaurant.
“We want to focus on sourcing local and seasonally,” Joseph Obvey said, “which forces us to be creative with our specials and seasonal menus. We're dedicated to trying new techniques, regional foods, street foods in particular, and traditional dishes with a Rumcow twist.”
Hunn is working closely with Ridge Farms of Brunswick County and taking in the bounty of fall vegetables they have to offer.
“We’re getting lots of great mushrooms, kale and apples right now,” Hunn said. “We’re taking in new things all the time and creating three to five different specials each week to showcase the ingredients.”
Hunn said he grew up cooking with his grandmother in Snead’s Ferry. They would go clamming, set crab traps and make dinner for the family.
“To me, food represents family, and I’m really excited to work with some of the local ingredients that I grew up on,” Hunn said. “I think the South has some of the best ingredients in the world and I want to help show people the importance of these ingredients.”
For Hunn, promoting sustainability within the community is a top priority. He said he’s concerned about the lack of access to fresh produce in many Wilmington neighborhoods, while at the same time, nearby farmers are struggling to make a living.
“I want to do my part to show people how to utilize healthy foods in a delicious way and encourage them to prepare it in their own homes,” Hunn said. “And to serve elevated food at a reasonable cost.”
As for his leadership style, Hunn said he believes in collaborating with his staff on ideas for new dishes. Because his team (pictured above with Hunn), which includes Barry Balloon and Brandon Campbell, represent diverse backgrounds, each of them are able to bring a new perspective to local ingredients.
“It’s my hope to foster a team that’s passionate about cooking,” Hunn said. “The more input, the more creativity.”
Rumcow is open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for brunch on Sunday.
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