An Allegheny Genesis
West Virginia brothers redefine sustainable eating with an artistic approach.
Photos Courtesy of Jared and Jordon Masters
This week we’re introducing you to two young, extremely talented southern West Virginians who are rethinking the art of sustainable food. Brothers Jared and Jordon Masters are the brains behind Allegheny Genesis—a food blog that hopes “to promote seasonal sustainability by encompassing the beauty of the Allegheny Mountains and their importance to the lives of those who live here.” Using only edible plants and wild game, Jared and Jordon are creating gourmet dishes that are more art than meal—changing the way you view a sunflower, a clover, or a crayfish.
The idea for Allegheny Genesis began with what’s now one of the most popular dishes—Sunflower Seven Ways. Jordon, a horticulture student at West Virginia University, sequentially planted sunflowers for the recipe. By staggering the initial planting, the resulting dish showcased how one plant can have a variety of uses over its entire lifespan—from seed to flower. Using the stalk as the dish’s foundation, they then incorporated the petals, leaves, and unopened buds of the sunflower to create the rest of the nutty, delicious concotion. “We like to use ingredients that people see everyday but pass up, and we also like to use different parts of the plants that often times get discarded,” Jared says.
The Crayfish Fabaceae is a reader favorite. Wild grape leaves, redbud peapods, green strawberries, and pea shoots are just a few of the ingredients.
While Jordon studies plants and brainstorms which sustainable ingredients they’ll use, Jared—who has learned the art of culinary design while working at The Greenbrier Sporting Club—provides the technique, flavor, and presentation for each dish. Using only ingredients that are in season and local to the Allegheny Mountains, the brothers discovered that there are endless culinary possibilities. During the summer months, they’re posting a new recipe each week. “Our favorite is the Sunflower Seven Ways,” Jared says. “It was the original idea for the project, and it really incorporates everything we wanted to promote.”
To read more about Jared and Jordon Masters’ adventures in sustainable eating, visit alleghenygenesis.wordpress.com.