Flavor, NC: Caviar

by | May 19, 2016

Flavor NC logoEach month we take a look at local restaurants, farms and farmers markets featured on episodes of UNC-TV’s Flavor, NC. This week, we highlight an episode from season 4 and a trip to Atlantic Caviar and Sturgeon in Lenoir and Vidalia Restaurant and Bar in Boone. 

“If you love caviar, you love sturgeon,” said host Lisa Prince. “And sturgeon have made the move to the mountains of North Carolina.” Atlantic Caviar and Sturgeon in the Happy Valley area opened in 2006 as the only place in the United States farm-raising sturgeon.  In 2012, they harvested their first caviar.

True caviar comes from species of sturgeon fish. Atlantic Caviar and Sturgeon raises three different species at the farm, Russian, Atlantic and Siberian. Lisa learns a little about the lengthy harvesting process and gets a little caviar 101. She learns that caviar is best served cold, have no odor and should pop in your mouth.

Lisa then visits with Chef Sam Ratchford at Vidalia Restaurant and Bar in Boone. Ratchford demonstrated several sturgeon and caviar recipes. Below is his recipe for lemon pepper pasta with caviar sauce.


  • Minced shallots
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound lemon pepper pasta
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 – 2 grams caviar, or as much as you’d like

Put the shallots and white wine in a sauté pan and reduce the wine by half. Add the heavy cream and reduce by half. Add pasta, lemon with zest and juice, salt and pepper and caviar. Toss until the noodles are coated. Continue to cook until only a small amount of sauce is left. Garnish with Shaved Ashe County Romano cheese. The pasta pairs well with smoked and/or seared or grilled sturgeon.