North Carolina cooking gets pigeonholed into barbecue and collards, biscuits and grits. But with 300 miles of coastal waters, down-home cuisine is rooted in the seafood shacks of NC’s backwaters and beaches.
If anybody knows NC seafood, it’s Chef Ricky Moore. At Saltbox Seafood Joint in Durham, Chef Ricky cooks what he grew up eating on NC’s Crystal Coast—daily fresh catches, fried and griddled—from a 192-square-foot roadside “joint.” Chef Ricky says, “To me, mise en place and hip hop freestyle have a lot in common,” a philosophy that comes across in his approach to cooking and running a restaurant with focused creativity. Business is booming six days a week, with long lines of customers from 11am until “the fish runs out.”