If I can get you with the food, then I can tell the story and spread the word about how amazing Appalachia is,” says Chef Travis Milton. “I want people to come here, to see the beauty, experience the culture—to get a literal taste of the place.” Milton grew up in Castlewood, a small town in Southwestern Virginia. The foods of Appalachia have largely been left untouched by chefs, but Chef Milton is passionate about his roots.
Opening Miltons, in St. Paul, has a tactical advantage, as the soil grows the ingredients he was raised on, which are so challenging to find elsewhere. While he will grow some himself, using seeds that have been passed down for 10 generations, he will also buy from local farmers, helping support the economy, which he sees as key for the future of the cuisine and the region. “I’m working hard . . . to create a base of knowledge and create a way for [others] to obtain these ingredients and know the story behind them. That has to happen for this cuisine to sustain itself and not be in the spotlight for five minutes,” he says.
Featured Appalachian Cuisine
Meat-and-three concept will allow you to pick your meat selection and 3 sides. will play with the tension between classic and more modern Appalachian food, with Milton’s take on dishes like kilt lettuce (greens dressed with hot bacon fat), turnip greens and collards stewed with dried apples, apple stack cake, and a brined and fried catfish with tomato and bacon gravy.
It’s also a type of cooking that is inextricably linked to a culture of subsistence, to making the most out of what the earth can give and helping it last through the seasons when the ground doesn’t yield much.
Monday-Saturday 11:30a-10pm, Sunday 9-2pm