CANA — “Chef T” Restaurant Owner Travis Hiatt is set to bring back the firm’s “Melting Pot” feature for its third outing on August 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s a chance for participants to sample the “blue plate special” of the day artistically and culinarily and find their next favorites.
During the event, the restaurant will be offering its fare of favorites from the menu, its “secret” menu and other specials. Featured artists will include Christy Williams and her “customization pieces” and Lara Giesbers and Deborah Alexander.
“This will be chapter three for the melting pot,” said Hiatt. “The response for two was actually very interesting. We only had three (artists) that time. It was so interesting for Christy to have her artist there to show this is the actual art piece which inspired her. We really want to show people that the community has so much and stories just as cool as anywhere else which otherwise wouldn’t get published.”
Hiatt said Alexander and Williams gave participants a unique opportunity to see how Williams drew inspiration from Alexander and translated that to personalize a variety of items. While keeping the Melting Pot a venue for local voices to be heard, have sought to enhance interaction, Hiatt and company.
Hiatt said the authors, not he, came up with the name for what is designed to be a melting pot of local artisans. The event follows his original concept of setting up melting pot mixers on fixed dates, such as before Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends to aid in planning and publicity.
“The first time we did this we had three artists. In Chapter Two we hadLara and Deborah who customizes everyday items, I mean it goes down to pillows and floor mats. I have a doormat of hers out front of the restaurant. She gets much of her inspiration for design from Deborah, who creates in water paint. The Melting Pot is not just art but doing artists with different talents,” Hiatt said.
Christian novelist Lara Giesbers, creator of “Aries,” returns the Melting Pot. The Pizza Hut waitress’s story for this work centers on the Holy Spirit choosing people with supernatural strengths to protect mankind from itself until Christ’s return. She hopes eventually to get a mini convention of artists in Cana from the Melting Pot events, akin to Galax’s “Authors on Main.”
At the time of the first Melting Pot, Giesbers said she knew people were interested in her work because they are asking about when the next book was due. Giesbers said the story resonated in ways she hadn’t thought of with readers.
“People like the idea of good versus evil. They are using the Bible along with the book. They like the Zodiac signs. I hope people will read the book and let me know what they think. Come into Pizza Hut and I’ll sign it, preferably not in a lunch rush. I’ve had that happen before. My manager has been very gracious,” said Giesbers at that interview.
Chef T is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“It’s odd hours but great food,” Hiatt said. “We want to be the little place that does food the way you want it. It’s getting people out of the whole eating out of the box mentality. We get people all the time who say ‘all the way’ and I say wait a minute. You gotta define all the way. You tell me that and I’m putting everything on there. I hate going to a place and I have to tell them plain is a condiment. I think if you really want something to eat then you should tell somebody what you want to eat, not whatever they are going to put on a plate for you.”
He explained he and his wife, “Sam,” want their customers to know they are encouraged to customize what is on the menu. The philosophy “You never know until you ask” underpins the restaurant’s approach to food done the way customers want it rather than a take it….and pick off what you don’t want… style.
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.