Banana Cream Cheese Walnut Cake w/Bacon & Key Lime Whipped Cream & Candied Sweet Potato
Dessert Runner Up
- Damascus Old Mill | Damascus, Va.
- Johnson City Division
On the dessert menu at Damascus Old Mill you will find the loaded Banana Cream Cheese Walnut Cake with Bacon and Key Lime Whipped Cream and Candied Sweet Potato. As he was taught in culinary school, Wright believes in utilizing all products, including overripe bananas that were being tossed in the trash…and pair well with bacon, for a sweet-savory spin. Rounding it out with sweet potatoes gives the dish a nice earthiness.
The dish uses bacon fat and tartar to stabilize the whipped cream and reinforce the bacon flavor. “I’m a big fan of flavors just popping and the cake was so smooth until the acid made it pop.”
Wright says, “This is one of the desserts that people are still talking to me about to this day! My original batch sold out immediately. Anything with candied bacon is a winner and it’s also a great way to salvage my bananas.”
Damascus Old Mill Inn is one of the most charming hotels in the state, according to its website, and it’s located in “the friendliest town on the Appalachian Trail.” It also features a delicious restaurant led by James Wright. Not only does the menu feature a diverse range of cuisine, they also boast a good selection of local and regional craft beers.
The hotel’s large, full-service restaurant has three outdoor decks overlooking the mill waterfall, and a relaxing pub. Damascus Old Mill is the only full service hotel in Damascus, Virginia and this lodging is truly unique. The town is the gateway to the wilderness, nestled adjacent to Mount Rogers National Recreation Area (including the 5,729 foot high Mount Rogers) and Cherokee National Forest.
"Anything with candied bacon is a winner and it’s also a great way to salvage my bananas.”
-James Wright, Executive Chef at Damascus Old Mill