Fancy foraging: Top chef to make Clifton Inn visit

Jeremiah Langhorne, the 26-year old Albemarle High School graduate who went from delivering pizzas to cooking at, literally, one of the world's best restaurants, appears to be a man of his word.

"I love Charlottesville to death," he told the Hook in June. "If I was invited to cook there, I would definitely come."

Well, as it turns out, he will!

Clifton Inn chef Tucker Yoder, who used to work with Langhorne at Oxo, an upscale eatery in the space now known as Escafé, recently extended an invite for Langhorne to make a guest appearance at the Clifton on September 12.

Langhorne is currently at McCrady's in Charleston, South Carolina. Recently chosen by Newsweek as one of the 101 best places to eat in the world, McCrady's is the creation of well-known chef Sean Brock who recently promoted Langhorne to head chef. And in April, the dining guide named Langhorne one of the top 5 rising chefs in America.

Prior to becoming chef de cuisine at McCrady's, Langhorne apprenticed at Copenhagen's Noma, which was named the world's best restaurant three years in a row by Restaurant magazine.

"He has a great ability to think of creative dishes using a wide range of interesting flavor combinations and techniques," says Yoder. "Plus, he's a good friend of mine."

Indeed, one of those "interesting" techniques involves taking local sourcing to a new level– he forages for "indigenous" ingredients in the wild to bring a sense of place to his dishes. Yes, he means digging up some onion grass, or finding a particularly tasty root in the ground or mushroom growing on a tree.

As Langhorne writes in his McCrady's bio, "It’s all about showcasing the place where we live and eat."

At Clifton, Langhorne says he'll bring the noted rice dish called "Charleston Ice Cream," a buttery bay laurel-infused concoction that's rewritten the rule that side dishes bow down to the main course.

"It'll be really fun for me to come back and cook," says Langhorne, promising to slightly alter his line-up of Charleston favorites "with stuff that's foraged on Clifton's property."

The showcase will cost $75 for a 7-course meal. Get your reservation in soon.