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An Oprah Favorite Brings Family Recipes to Upcoming Raleigh Restaurant

Kenny Gilbert joins the other celebrity chefs in Raleigh

Kristen Penoyer

As Raleigh’s culinary scene continues to grow, with consistent restaurant and bar openings, celebrity chefs from near and far are taking note. Top Chef alum Katsuji Tanabe’s new High Horse opened doors Sunday, November 17, in City Market, while celebrity chef Kenny Gilbert announced the opening of Cut & Gather (13100 Falls of Neuse Rd.) for late February 2020.

Kenny Gilbert
Kenny Gilbert
Agnes Lopez

Gilbert, a renowned TV personality and chef to stars like Oprah Winfrey, is excited to be a part of the city’s thriving culinary community. “I first came to Raleigh in 2010 as a special chef guest at the annual Southern Women’s Show and was fortunate to experience firsthand the exciting level of food talent here even back then,” says Gilbert. “Fast forward to today — national, award-winning names such as friend and former Amelia Island colleague, Scott Crawford, have cemented the Raleigh food scene on the map. I am thrilled to plant roots here and add my own experiences and passion for reimagined Southern cuisine to one of the fastest growing areas of the country.”

Cut & Gather’s menu will feature a menu of wood-fired Southern cuisine with inspiration from his Florida native mom’s cooking — while including a selection of his “tried and true” special chef dishes from over the years of his chef career. Gilbert notes to expect mix of modern and traditional Southern dishes, barbecue, and local seafood, as well as a standout weekend brunch menu. Highlights will include items like smoked pork belly burnt ends with pickled pineapple and scallions; Southern ramen with pulled pork; farm-fresh C&G deviled eggs complete with whipped pimento cheese, redneck caviar and andouille sausage; an epic garlic crab grain bowl; smoked fried chicken BLT biscuits; and a sweet potato pie with buttermilk sauce, blackberries and whipped cream, to name a few. A full service bar will also highlight inventive cocktails with a focus on moonshine, whiskey and bourbon.

Gilbert intentionally chose North Raleigh over downtown. “All together that area is a perfect demographic match for what we have in mind,” he says. “In fact I bet people will make the drive from downtown ‘uptown’ to see us,” noting many of the community immediately reached out to express gratitude to not having to trek downtown and deal with parking to experience good food. “Everyone is downtown,” he adds. “There are areas of the city beyond downtown that are underserved with good non-chain dining options.”

While Gilbert won’t be preparing Oprah’s Thanksgiving dinner this year, he’s still got his work cut out for him in the kitchen. “[Oprah] gave me a lot of love on social media and in her magazine and so I’m now busy working to prepare 60+ turkey orders to go,” he says. After the holidays Gilbert plans on finalizing all of the details and menu for Cut & Gather. In addition to cooking nonstop during the holidays, Gilbert is in the midst of commuting back and forth to Raleigh to weigh in on the buildout, interviewing and hiring Cut & Gather’s staff, planning local events, conducting interviews and much more. “My plans are to be [in Raleigh] 10 days into opening and then every weekend, Friday through Sunday.”

‘Top Chef’ Alum Katsuji Tanabe Joins Raleigh’s Growing Food Scene [ECHS]
High Horse [Instagram]
Cut & Gather [Official]
Raleigh’s Most Anticipated Restaurant Opening Kicks Off with 2,000 Reservations [ECHS]
Oprah’s Thanksgiving Menu [Official]