Monday, November 29, 2010

Bartlett Yancey House


The following is from The Caswell Messenger (17 November 2010):

Back in July, during the Best Dish in NC competition, contest judge Amber Nimocks asked if I would be a guest on the WUNC radio show. Of course, I said yes. I jump at any chance to promote Caswell County and the restaurant. It wasn't until the end of last week, when the show's producer told me we needed to do a "pre-interview" that I began to feel a bit uneasy.

"PRE-interview?" I asked. "What type of show is this?

She replied, "The State of Things."

I gulped and said, "The HOUR-LONG live show with Frank Stasio."

"Why, yes," she answered.

"Who else is going to be on it? Will there be chefs from other area restaurants?"

"No," she replied. "On Mondays the entire hour is devoted to just one person and this week it's you."

I want to tell you that I was nervous, but I wasn't. I love to talk about the restaurant, Caswell County, local farmers, food, and literature . . . but for an hour? . . . on live radio? And to be speaking with NPR correspondent Frank Stasio who has been the host of The State of Things since 2006?

During his long career, Stasio has been a freelance news anchor and guest host of Talk of the Nation. This man presents radio journalism workshops for broadcasters in former Soviet-bloc countries. What could I possibly have to say of interest to him?

I was fine until I got lost (as usual) in downtown Durham. With the assistance of a police officer and three construction workers, and one homeless guy on a bicycle, and a woman carrying her father out to lunch, I was finally able to find the WUNC complex. I will forever be indebted to the construction worker who stood in the only parking space near the building, preventing anyone else from parking there, while I maneuvered my car into the spot.

Even with the misdirection, I arrived early enough for the sound test and for Frank and I to talk about the interview. He immediately put me at ease and soon we were talking about small town life and the current economic downturn.

We sat across the table from each other, each with our own mike, the music swelled and the interview began with questions about my life in Texas and Louisiana. We discussed Caswell history and slave narratives. And I praised the Caswell Historical Association for keeping the county's history alive for researches such as myself. I described the farmers and businesses with which the restaurant closely works and shared the story of our winning first place in the Best Dish in North Carolina competition and the challenges of writing my first cookbook. Before I knew it, the interview was over and the staff came round to congratulate me.

For those that missed the broadcast, visit to hear the broadcast. If it is no longer on the page, just type in my name in the search box.


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