In the Kitchen with Chef Heidi Trull

By:Gwen Fowler


South Carolina Chefs Heidi and Joe Trull of Grits & Groceries in Belton
Chefs Heidi and Joe Trull of Grits & Groceries in Belton

Heidi Trull was born in Sumter, and her husband, Joe, grew up working in his family’s bakery in Winston-Salem, N.C.

After stops at several restaurants, he became the pastry chef at Emeril Lagasse’s French Quarter restaurant, Nola. She also worked at a number of restaurants before joining him at Nola. The Trulls decided they wanted to return to the Carolinas to raise their son, Tom, and eventually opened Grits & Groceries in Belton.

The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday, and Heidi Trull describes the food as eclectic soul food with a twist.”

She answered a few questions:

Q: What or who inspired you to become a chef?
My mother, because she didn’t cook.

Q: What are you cooking these days that excites you the most?
Excited to be making ice cream using Watson & Lisa Dorn’s Hickory Hill Milk, a low temp producer who is local.

Q: What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done in a restaurant kitchen?
One time we sent a “to go” order out to a customer about 30 minutes away. It was three burgers. When they got to their destination, they discovered we had sent the buns only, no meat!

Q: Is there a food you simply refuse to eat?
Chicken fingers.

Q: What would your dream meal be?
Three courses of foie gras. I had this meal, by the way, on the final day of my latest trip to France. It was scrumptious.

Q: How important is presentation?
100 percent.

Q: What’s the best tip you can give a home cook?
Eat out more often (!) and be adventurous with your ingredients.

Q: What is something you recently learned even after all of your cooking experience?
Stuck on this one…..I know I did learn something just last week, but it escapes me. I said, “Hey! I learned something new.”

Q: If you were not a chef, what would you be doing?
A contractor or riding horses.

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