In 2002, Brendan Reusing and his sister, Andrea, opened Lantern restaurant, in Chapel Hill. Both had been in the restaurant business—Andrea had made waves (the good kind) as executive chef and general manager of Raleigh’s Enoteca Vin.
They created an ingredients-driven menu of Asian dishes. The Reusings, who originally hail from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, cultivated relationships with the many farmers in the area. Now there are about 300 small farms within an hour of the restaurant, many of whom supply Lantern.
Lantern has been named one of America’s Top 50 Restaurants and one of the “best farm-to-table restaurants” by Gourmet magazine, as one of America’s 50 Most Amazing Wine Experiences by Food & Wine, and as Restaurant of the Year in 2009 by The News & Observer.
After eight years at Lantern, Brendan went on to do stints as a chef at Nana’s in Durham and Laurey’s in Asheville. He’s the current chef-partner in All Souls Pizza, where he and master baker David Bauer (of artisanal bakery Farm and Sparrow), make fresh-milled heirloom wheat the star of their wood-fired pizzas. All Souls sources its meat from local farms and is proud to smoke and cure it right there at the restaurant.