Memphis’ Secret Weapon: Acre’s Chef Wally Joe

first_img Is Classic French Technique Still Relevant In Today’s Culinary World? How to Make Lasagna Bolognese, According to a Chef [nggallery id = 136]Tonight, the sporting world’s attention will turn to the city of Memphis as the hometown Grizzlies take on the Los Angeles Clippers in what promises to be the next thrilling entry in their physical NBA Playoff match up. However exciting the game will be, this afternoon, our attention is turned to Memphis, but for a different reason—the local restaurant ACRE.Located little more than a twenty-minute drive from Beale Street and the FedEx Forum, ACRE is helmed by Chef Wally Joe. Chef Joe was born in Hong Kong and moved to Mississippi as a child. Being the son of Chinese parents with a deep appreciation for fresh food, Wally actually butchered his first chicken at age eight.“My grandmother showed me how to do that,” Chef Joe says. “The thing is that I grew up with farming and livestock and having everything fresh. It wasn’t until I got to school and saw what other kids grew up with—McDonald’s and Pizza Hut—that I realized I was different.”In Mississippi, Chef Joe’s parents ran a grocery and then later opened up their own restaurant, KC’s. However, since he grew up in the restaurant business, cooking was “the last thing” that Wally wanted to do. Instead, he studied banking and finance at the University of Mississippi. But, when the four years were up, he decided to assess his options. “I took the LSAT, but I decided that three more years of school was not for me and neither was sitting behind a desk in an office.”Instead, he decided to travel the world and was exposed to new places and cities as well as a variety of freshly prepared dishes and cuisines. The entire experience set off an “epiphany” for Wally. He returned to Mississippi to work at KC’s, where business was growing and his parents needed his help. As he worked in his parents’ kitchen, Wally’s newfound love for the culinary arts flourished and he was off and running as a chef.In 2002, Chef Joe moved to Memphis and opened his own restaurant, Wally Joe’s. After running that restaurant for four years, Wally wanted a new challenge. So, he teamed up with business partners Mary and Frank Staley and opened ACRE in 2011. “It’s actually a dream restaurant,” Chef Joe says. “It’s a former home that has been renovated into a beautiful and relaxed space and its right in the middle of the city. It’s just a small, perfect restaurant.”At ACRE, Chef Joe specializes in dishes that utilize only the freshest seasonal ingredients. For most of his time in Memphis, Wally’s cooking was seen as “too edgy”; he was ahead of his time, but now the food world has caught up. There are a variety of flavors and cuisines at work on Acre’s menu—aside from the Hazelnut Fed Pork Brisket, you wouldn’t suspect that it’s in the South. But Chef Joe doesn’t want to be fenced in by classifications. “I don’t need ten ingredients on a plate anymore. I just want the freshest flavors I can get. So whatever that is, I’ll use. We buy what we can locally, but some of my favorite fishes are skate and wild striped bass and I want to be able to serve those things when they are fresh.”This month, while you will find regional pork dishes and vegetables on the menu, Chef Joe says that diners can also expect to find soft shell crabs, (“They are really one of the great delicacies of the season”), as well as fresh mushrooms, fava beans, wild salmon from Alaska, spring lamb and all-around bright flavors.Aside from keeping his menu fresh, Chef Joe wants to continue to build ACRE as a Memphis institution and to become even more of a fixture in the food scene. “One of the most exhilarating parts about opening Acre has been seeing all of my old clientele from Wally Joe’s and just re-connecting with the city. I’d been on the sidelines since I moved on from my last restaurant, so I’m just re-introducing myself to the city and to the culinary scene at large.” How 2 Brooklynites are Reviving an Iconic Midwestern Supper Club How to Grill Fish: A Quick and Easy Guide to Getting it Right Every Time Editors’ Recommendations Cigar Humidors 101: What They Are, How They Work, and the Best Pickslast_img read more

Justin Trudeau keeps low profile at G7 as election campaign looms

BIARRITZ, France — He may have spent the weekend an ocean away from home, rubbing elbows with world leaders during tense talks on international crises, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kept cool, collected and decidedly out of the fray.For a political leader who thrives in the flash of cameras and curated social media content, it was an uncharacteristic approach for Trudeau at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, which wrapped up Monday.With the start of an election campaign just weeks away, Trudeau kept things low-key. He steered a wide berth around the debris field trailing U.S. President Donald Trump, save for one largely uneventful bilateral meeting, and stayed focused squarely on the Liberal party’s key election talking points: the economy, taking action on climate change and raising the fortunes of the middle class.In their meeting Sunday, Trudeau praised the new, albeit not yet ratified, free trade agreement between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, a favourite subject of Trump’s. Gone was the tough talk about Canada not being pushed around — a sentiment that triggered a Twitter tantrum from the confines of Air Force One in the final moments of last year’s G7 meeting in Charlevoix, Que.It seemed to work: when right-wing commentator and Rebel Media founder Ezra Levant called out Trudeau on Twitter for what he called “submissive” body language, Trump himself came to the prime minister’s defence.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.“No, we actually had a very good and productive meeting,” Trump tweeted in response to Levant. “Nice!”No, we actually had a very good and productive meeting. Nice!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2019In each and every bilateral meeting with a world leader he held on the margins of the two-day summit — Trump, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, among others — Trudeau made sure to mention trade, the global economy and climate issues.Indeed, climate was top of mind throughout the weekend, thanks to the wildfires ravaging the Amazon rainforest and burning up social media feeds around the world.Canada pledged $15 million and the use of Canadian water bombers, adding to a separate US$20-million commitment from the G7, part of which will be earmarked for a long-term global initiative to protect the rainforest.The money the G7 nations put forward for the Amazon will be aimed specifically at Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay, said Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, with urgent brigades to combat fires and specialized planes. “We think we have to protect these real lungs of our world,” Pinera said.Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a populist, far-right leader who initially dismissed the gravity of the threat, relented Friday and promised 44,000 soldiers to help battle the blazes, which mostly seem to be charring land deforested for farming and ranching rather than burning through stands of trees.Trudeau wasn’t the only world leader hoping to quell any suggestion of discord. Both Trump and Macron sounded notes of unity as the gathering wrapped up, a markedly different tone from last year, when Trump demanded his name stricken from the shared communique.This time, leaders opted instead for a short, single page of statements about the economy, Iran and Hong Kong, among other global hotspots.“We actually had a very good meeting,” Trump said at a press conference of his own.“I had it out with one or two people where we disagreed in terms of concept, but we actually had a pretty good meeting last year. I would say that this was a big step above in terms of unity, in terms of agreement. We have really great agreement on a lot of important subjects, but last year was good also.”He added: “Last year might have been a little bit underrated.” Macron: Brazilian women should be ashamed of Bolsonaro for mocking my wife Brazilian warplanes dump water on Amazon as military begins fighting fires Brazilian states ask for military help as Amazon fires rage Fissures between the U.S. and six of the world’s other advanced economies were apparent, however, on issues including trade policy, Russia, Iran and climate change. Trump skipped the climate session, and repeated his push to invite Russia — ousted in 2014 over the annexation of Crimea — back into the group. That’s not about to happen, Trudeau insisted.His closing remarks sounded a lot like a stump speech — to say nothing of the Liberal campaign ad that happened to drop early Monday morning.“Around the world, hard-working middle class people are already having a hard time making ends meet, even with a growing economy, ” Trudeau said.“They’re worried about their jobs, about their businesses, about their future. They wonder what this uncertainty around the global economy means for their retirement, for their kids, for their communities. We in Canada believe that we should put the best balance sheet in the G7 to work for the middle class.”He denied any sort of pre-campaign strategy was in play — it just so happens that the G7’s priorities happen to align with the priorities of ordinary Canadians, he said.“When we had the opportunity to host the G7 last year, our focus was on the global economy, on growth for the middle class and indeed on climate and oceans. The year before that, we brought forward strong issues on the global economy and climate change. These are the issues that matter to Canadians and indeed to people around the world, and we will always highlight them in our actions and in our engagements,” Trudeau said.“I’m going to continue to do that at every opportunity I get to serve and represent Canadians both at home and on the world stage.”— With files from The Associated Press read more