Supporting local at a seaside escape in Beaufort

by | Dec 27, 2021

A passion for all things local is what drives Chefs Kim Bell and Jonathan Haas and their menu choices at the Inn on Turner in Beaufort. This coastal getaway is appealing for visitors due to it’s short walk to the town’s historic waterfront shopping area and historic sites, but it also offers its guests a chance to enjoy a breakfast that features the best of North Carolina’s seasonal offerings. Below, Bell provides her recipe for Sorghum Sweet Potatoes with Vegetarian Red Eye Gravy, which is a seasonal offering at the Inn.

“We feature as many North Carolina small family farms as we can on our menu,” Bell said. “Supporting our local farmers is a win-win because it gives our guests quality and freshness and fuels small business and a sense of community. I think these choices represent what Beaufort is all about.”

Kim and her partner Jonathan opened the Inn is 2015. Before then they both worked in the restaurant, catering, construction and interior design fields. Their unique combined experience has made the Inn on Turner a contemporary seaside escape that is focused on superior hospitality and field-to-fork dining experiences. The Inn on Turner has become a destination for couples and others looking for a few days of relaxation. It is also Green Travel Certified and both Kim and Jon serve as ambassadors for the Got to Be NC Program. In addition to a daily breakfast, the Inn serves local wine, spirits and cocktails at its daily Happy Hour for guests. They also regularly host a dinner club at the Inn. These dinners support a nonprofit mission to address food insecurity in Carteret County by giving to the backpack student program.

After a weekend relaxing and embracing all things local in Beaufort, you might be tempted to try to incorporate more local products into your own home menu. Bell recommends becoming a regular at your local farmers market as a way to accomplish this.

“Sometimes the choices may be a little more costly, but you really can taste the difference,” she said. Bell also uses the Visit NCFARMS App when traveling the state to help locate local farms. “This has been a great resource for us. That way if we are the mountains we can source apples or apple cider to bring back to the Inn, or find other offerings to complement the menu. We are adventurer seekers ourselves and when traveling, love to find local places to support.”

Her menu inspiration always comes from what’s in season. Her recipe below is one served at the Inn on Turner. This recipe would be a great way to use any leftover sweet potatoes from your holiday menu. And better yet, book a visit at the Inn on Turner and let Chef Bell cook breakfast for you. “Beaufort is a great place to visit in all four seasons, there is always something to see and do,” Bell said. Included in the recipe are Bell’s choices for local farms she supports when making the dish.

Sorghum Sweet Potatoes with Vegetarian Red Eye Gravy

  • 3 large NC sweet potatoes
  • 6 Medjool dates (Raisins or prunes can be substituted should you not find the dates)
  • 1/2 cup NC pecans
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick Pumpkin Spice blend
  • 2 tablespoons Simply Natural Creamery Butter (melted)
  • 1/4 cup The Dutch Kettle Sorghum
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee (we use Larry’s Beans or Camp Coffee)
  • Splash of bourbon
  • 1/8 cup apple cider from Perry Lowe Farms
  • Pinch of Smoked Salt (Charleston SC’s Holy Smoke) <- the other Carolina 🙂


  1. Slice sweet potatoes
  2. Toss in melted butter, spice blend, pinch of salt
  3. Sear sweet potatoes in skillet on high heat until starting to brown and soften slightly when pierced with fork
  4. Add dates and pecans, combine and cook for 2 minutes
  5. Add bourbon. CAUTION: stand back as hot skillet will ignite bourbon.
  6. Once flame stops, add coffee and cider plus sorghum
  7. Gently mix, bring to boil …simmer as sauce will thicken and sweet potatoes will become tender
  8. Cover with lid until serving time (If sauce thickens prior to sweet potatoes softening, you can cover with lid to steam and conserve moisture or add a little more apple cider/coffee.)

Plate as a flavorful side with eggs ensuring each guests receives a date
(total cooking time 10-15 minutes)
(serves 6)