Cast in Iron
(WBRC) - Adam Joiner is a professional chef who can probably cook just about anything, but he’s especially proud of his Southern Heritage and the foods which are part of it. Adam believes there is one thing which all good Southern dishes have in common - the cast iron cookware in which they are prepared.
The wonderful thing about vintage cast iron is all the personality traits, says Adam. “You know, these were hand-forged, done by guys? They weren’t run through a machine processing. You can see the person’s hand work in the iron.”
Now Chef Adam Joiner is on a mission, of sorts, to see these vintage pieces of cast iron have a life for generations more. “We could not produce our cultural food items the way we would want to if we did not have cast iron cookware. My grandmother’s cast iron had gotten into disrepair, and as any good Southern Chef or Southern Boy might surmise, it just kind of turned my stomach.”
“Chef Chris Evans and I, who are buddies and long-time work friends, kind of started looking at some YouTube videos. We restored my grandmother’s pieces and I posted them on social media, and it caught like wildfire. We originally started just simply trying to help people clean up and restore their cast iron so it wouldn’t go to the scrap yard,” explains Chris.
“I think I took a $100 bill to an estate sale and bought a five-gallon bucket at a hardware store and that was the genesis. I’m bringing vintage cauldrons back to cook condition for your Brunswick stews, your caramel corns, harvest suppers this fall. Any of those kinds of things that you want to do or if you just wanted some wonderful Halloween decoration, I suppose you could do that.”
Adam’s venture has turned into a two-fold business. “We’re one of the largest retail operations for cast iron cookware in the State of Alabama. We have a really good Facebook page that just celebrated 1,000 followers. We also have an Iron City Restorations YouTube Channel that’s really going to be big for us for education, giving people the historical information behind their cast iron.”
That first clean-up has become a crusade for Adam. “If it’s rusty or damaged, y’all, please don’t throw it away. There should be plenty of opportunities to get resources to get to us, and if we can’t help you out from a business perspective, watch our YouTube content. We’ll coach you through it.”
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