A native of Durham, Amy Tornquist has cooked all her life, first with her grandmother in Eastern North Carolina, then after college with Bill Neal, the nationally known chef at Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill; she also trained in France and since 1992 has operated Sage and Swift Gourmet Catering. In 2007 she opened her restaurant, Watts Grocery, with “local foods by the forkful.” Amy is acclaimed for seasonal cooking with local ingredients and has been featured in the NY Times, Food and Wine, and other magazines. She works with a wide range of local farmers and with Walking Fish in Beaufort, NC, and she is widely recognized for her commitment to sustainable agriculture and fishing.
Amy's Favorite Picnic Recipe
Beaufort County Shrimp Salad for 8
2 lbs (26-30) shell-on North Carolina shrimp
¼ cup minced green pepper
¼ cup minced red pepper
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped dill
¼ cup minced celery
2 teaspoons minced chives
2-3 dashes of Tabasco
salt and pepper to taste
- Blanch shrimp in boiling water until shells are bright pink and flesh is cooked through (approximately 2 minutes). Stir while cooking.
- Peel shrimp and clean with a small knife.
- Slice each shrimp in fourths.
- Fold in all other ingredients while shrimp are warm.
- Check seasoning.
Watts Grocery is located at 1116 Broad Street, Durham NC 27705.