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Editor's Note: This story is unlocked for everyone to read courtesy of the CRVA, our partner in nourishing culinary exploration for residents and visitors of the Queen City.

March 4, 2022

Where Chefs Eat: Cinder’s Duke Kroger

This chef sticks close to Uptown for his meals


The Dumpling Lady is a favorite of Kroger’s. Kristen Wile/UP

Folks in the restaurant industry know good food, so we want to know where they eat when they’re not cooking. In this series, we ask a local chef, bartender, restaurateur, or server to share their favorite restaurants in town and what they order there. This week, we interview Duke Kroger, owner of pop-up Cinder, a series centered on wood-fire cooking that focuses on farm-to-table foods. As a rising chef in the Charlotte food industry, Kroger has definitely chosen some Charlotte staples.  

PARA, South End
A restaurant specializing in globally influenced tapas plates and carefully-crafted cocktails
Duke’s order: Short rib dumplings

Vana, South End
An more casual sister concept to Bardo focused on open-flame cooking
Duke’s order: Bone marrow

Fahrenheit, Uptown
An upscale spot on the 21st floor overlooking the city
Duke’s order: Lobster grilled cheese
Pro tip: Order a side of the miso dressing as a dip for multiple courses 

The Dumpling Lady, Optimist Hall
A Sichuan food stall and food truck specializing in locally sourced and authentic Asian dishes
Duke’s order: Pork belly dumplings

Haymaker, Uptown
Chef William Dissen’s Southern menu practices local sourcing and sustainability
Duke’s order: Charcuterie Board

More from this series:

Patrick Gourmet’s Patrick Garrivier
Counter-‘s Sam Hart
Community Matters Cafe’s Ashley Anna Tuttle

Your Farms, Your Table’s Sam Diminich
Para’s Alex Verica

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