There is a new chef in town.
By Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson
Satterfield’s Restaurant welcomes new, executive chef, Tripp Mauldin. Located at 3161 Cahaba Heights Road, just below The Summit, Satterfield’s is open for dinner Mondays through Saturdays. The People
Mauldin stands on the shoulders of executive pastry chef and owner, Becky Satterfield. She opened the restaurant in 2005 and has since developed close, loyal relationships with local f
armers and regional purveyors, who supply the finest of food products and ingredients to Satterfield’s. And when in season, she supplies produce from her own organic garden. Satterfield also supports the organic food movement, and proudly boasts Alabamians for GMO Labeling initiative with the group’s logo on the menu. And she serves as President of the Birmingham Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI), a select group of women who educate and mentor women in culinary professions.
A native Alabamian, Mauldin attended the University of Alabama and graduated with a degree in Finance before graduating from Johnson and Wales University’s culinary school. He then moved to San Francisco, to work with some of the top chefs in the Bay Area. Afterwards, he served as chef at Angele Restaurant in Napa, before returning home to Alabama. Here he had stints at Montgomery Country Club and Side by Side in Tuscaloosa. In the kitchen with Mauldin is Brittany Garrigus, who whips up almost too pretty to eat desserts in her role as Chef de Pâtisserie.
Satterfield’s offers free valet parking in its own parking lot. The restaurant has two entries, one door leads to the hostess stand and dining room, and the other door opens to its separate bar. The ambience of both spaces is warm and welcoming in tones of sage and cinnamon. The bar is anchored by two circular banquettes in each corner of the exterior wall, with tables in between. Televisions in the bar draw patrons who enjoy pairing dinner with football. The dining room has its own spectator sport, watching chef Mauldin prepare dinner in the open kitchen. 50-yard line seats are also available at the Chef’s Counter. The restaurant also has a private dining room for intimate events or business dinners and a patio for al fresco dining. Favorite Fare
Tonight we have a before dinner drink at our favorite corner seats at The Bar, here we sip cocktails of Jungle Bird and Chocolate Martini. The Jungle Bird is one of their specialty cocktails. This luscious rum based tropical drink is melon in color with a foamy white head, served on the rocks in a generous glass, with lime and mint. The chocolate martini is a frosty, creamy treat that is not too sweet to the appetite.
We begin dinner with glasses of Champagne a plate of their beautiful breads and two salads, Butter Lettuce Salad and Heirloom Tomato Salad. The butter lettuce salad is crowned with sliced muscadine grapes, crisp apple slices, pecan halves, and crumbles of Blue Cheese in a honey-balsamic vinaigrette. One bite of these muscadines, and I am eating a sweet memory. My grandmother had a muscadine vine that I picked ate the grapes while playing in her yard, as a child.
The tomato salad is equally as delicious. A variety of colors and flavors of juicy Habersham Farms heirlooms are dotted with cucumbers, yellow corn, bits of bacon, which add bites of texture. The salad is formed in a semi-circular shape enveloping a dollop of classic Green Goddess Dressing, providing creaminess to round out this dish. The tomato season will end soon. Thus, an appetizer of Fried Green Tomatoes is also a must.
The golden, fried tomatoes arrive in a tower of three layered with a succulent blue crab salad, with sieved egg and a Tabasco dressing. Highly recommended. We also order another fried app, Fritto Misto. This mix of fried Gulf oysters, snapper, shrimp, and okra, crisp and golden on the outside and succulent on the inside. It is served with a tasty House Gribiche for dipping.
Entrée selections of Seared Sea Scallops, Jurgielewicz Farm Duck Breast, and Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin arrive next. Three large, pan seared, scallops float above bites of Conecuh Sausage, yellow corn, potatoes, bell peppers, in a lovely corn coulis, which add a heap of heartiness to the delicate scallops. Two generous, thick slices of duck breast are accompanied by an array of colors and layers of flavors from its fresh blackberries, beets, and baby carrots bursting with freshness, and a sweet potato puree. And the tender and juicy pork tenderloin—encased in thick, crisp bacon—towers above a bed of smashing tomato gravy dotted withshiitake mushrooms, rattlesnake beans, a scrumptious chow-chow, and a gorgeous grit cake. If you love pork, order this dish.
Desserts are always a must at Satterfield’s. And tonight I see my favorite cake on the menu, German Chocolate. Garrigus take on the cake is not like any other. This dark, decadent petite chocolate cake, in a rich, dark chocolate ganache is dolloped with crème fraiche, encrusted with candied pecans and drizzled with a salty caramel that makes me close my eyes as it awakes my palate. My German, great-grandmother would be jealous.
Published, B-Metro magazine, October 2017
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