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John Malik
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Chef John Malik grew up in New Orleans. He owned 33 Liberty Restaurant in Greenville, SC until 2008 and following that was Executive Chef at two retirement communities. He received a James Beard semi-finalist nomination for Best Chef, Southeast in 2008. He was named to Who’s Who in American Barbecue by Bon Appetit Magazine and is a Certified Kingsford Flame Master. He owns Jack Russell Social Media and he blogs at chefjohnmalik.com and is author of Doughnuts for Amy. John began writing stories for his Mom when he was in 5th grade and has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Southeastern Louisiana University. His novel, Doughnuts for Amy, will be published by Winter Goose Publishing in spring of 2015.

Entries by John Malik

Sweet Tea and Coriander Smoke

(1) Comments | Posted August 4, 2015 | 3:18 PM

The coriander-laced aroma drifted across our table, cleared our senses, washed away summer's heat and set the tone for a remarkable evening. Much like a religious ceremony, dinner at Herons requires faith in the sacrament of hospitality. As with any profound ritual, one should be in the proper frame of...

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North Carolina's Daily Bread

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 5:09 PM

Lionel Vatinet is dreaming. He's held high by an unseen parent gripping him on one arm and one leg and he's being lofted in a mighty circle, spinning through acres of locally grown, heirloom varieties of wheat. Authentic amber waves, untouched by genetic modification, sprinkle his imagination with renditions of...

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Pork Bark and Chicken Skin

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 3:21 PM

Paul Fehribach hesitates. He's standing over perhaps thirty pounds of succulent, decadent, whole hog barbecue. In a few hours, this particular barbecue pork will be declared the winner of the Whole Hog competition at the North Carolina State Barbecue Championship. The cookers, Boone Town BBQ, are sporting Appalachian State colors...

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Interview with The Poet

(1) Comments | Posted April 19, 2015 | 2:30 PM

A Rod McKuen 8-Track. That was my first exposure to poetry and looking back, it didn't resonate with me because if my sisters liked it then I wanted no part of it. And if this guy was so special, how come he didn't have a real band, with electric guitars?...

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In Defense of Football

(1) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 2:33 PM

My son is a high school football player and I love watching him play the game.

I never played organized football. When I started sixth grade, I told my dad I wanted to play ball. And he said no. Dad was afraid I would hurt myself so he told me...

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Is Your Company on Social Media? Then Take Notes, Please.

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 9:42 PM

I bought a blender a few months ago. It's an Oster bar blender that cost me a whopping $39.99 at Target. After almost ten years of service, my previous blender gave up the ghost and a couple days later I was hustling through Target when I saw a big display...

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9 Reasons Not to Visit or Move to Greenville, South Carolina in 2015

(75) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 1:37 PM

I'm sure you've seen the news and read the headlines. Seems like every time I get online, some travel or food writer is gushing over my adopted town of Greenville, South Carolina. There's ten reasons why Greenville should be on your radar, or your vacation plans, or your retirement plans,...

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I Predict a Tie

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 2:02 PM

As Rich Gore made his way to the front door of my restaurant, I put an arm around his shoulder, pulled him close and mumbled, "I'm gonna wipe the floor with Phillipe."

Rich pulled on his jacket and smiled casually. "Malik, I'm gonna predict a tie."

Once upon a time,...

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Turkey Legs and Pudding Pops

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 12:37 PM

Street food. The best examples are perfectly portioned, regionally correct, delicious, and best when eaten by hand. And as I contemplated the hallmarks of great street food, I was standing in front of an Irish Pub's booth with of all things, a banana pudding pop. And it was so perfect...

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Dumb Luck?

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 10:45 PM

A handful of shimmering leaves, shades of green, yellow, and gold, twisted through my field of vision. Moistened by the midnight rain, they fluttered to the road, clung to the rocky shoulder, and twirled into the mist. A feathery blanket of fog melted into the valleys while sunlight sparkled on...

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Is This Your Car?

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 7:27 AM

We've known for months that a new contractor was about to build in our neighborhood. We were excited as well as a bit nervous. New home construction comes with all sorts of variables and challenges for the existing neighbors. There's the headache of construction debris, the constant traffic, the noise,...

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A Tale of Two BBQs

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 3:44 PM

Hudson Denny has just handed me perhaps the most memorable bite of BBQ I've ever had. It's beef brisket; tender as a poem by Byron, more complex than a fine Bordeaux, redolent with spice, smoke, acid, sweetness and cherry wood overtones. Hudson can tell I'm impressed by my wicked smile....

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A Honey of a Smile

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 11:23 AM

Patrick Square's Farmer's Market was buzzing with activity yet the sky behind Liydia Vdovichenko was starting to darken. The threat of a thunderstorm was in the air yet Liydia wasn't fazed. There were shoppers with money in their hands and she had something precious for sale: honey -- made by...

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"At This Performance": An Interview With Phantom of the Opera's Eric Ruiz

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 12:15 PM

Tears had formed in the eyes of Eric Ruiz and there wasn't a tissue within 300 feet, and I suddenly felt stupid for not being prepared. But I didn't think I would need tissues. After all, Eric plays a character capable of murder, one so intimidating that an entire community...

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I'll Have St. Pete With a Squeeze of Lime

(1) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 10:41 AM

The rain pelted against the house, sounding like rocks tossed by an angry neighbor, waking us well before our 6 a.m. alarm went off. I trudged out of bed, turned up the heater then returned with two cups of strong coffee and crawled under the blankets. A strong gust lashed...

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Goodbye Glossophobia

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 6:02 PM

"Our biggest challenge with respect to our clients is trying to instill a little confidence at just the right moment. We've trained senators and generals, teachers and CEOs, and they all have the same issue: No matter how seemingly confident and prepared they think they are, they just fall apart...
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The Ripple Effect

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 11:38 AM

"Mom? It's John. Just calling to say we just got home."

We had spent an entire week with my mother. We cooked for her almost every day, took her out for oysters, looked through old photos, sat with her in the kitchen and shared coffee, and listened as she told...

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Last Minute Gift

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 5:12 PM

Only a handful of shopping days left before Christmas and you've got a few gits yet to purchase. Why not make a donation in someone's name to their favorite charity? One of my favorites is the Humane Society. The Humane Society will always have needs to be filled...

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Would You Like to See My Collection of Cleavers?

(1) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 1:49 PM

We're a peculiar lot. Professional cooks often have quirks and idiosyncrasies that most rational people would find, perhaps, circumspect. Yet we earn those quirks sincerely. It comes with our territory. Long hours in a brutal environment, late night trips to the emergency room and looking at all those tattoos and...

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Goliath vs. David

(2) Comments | Posted June 21, 2013 | 5:33 PM

Want to compete in a big time BBQ contest? $275.00 is all it takes to enter the NC BBQ Championships and that gets you a 25 by 30 foot piece of grass with water and electricity. The only thing left to pay for is meat, fire, spice and beer. A...

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