Joe Trull comes from a long line of chefs. His grandfather operated a commercial bakery in Winston-Salem in the 1920s, and his whole family was in the bread business. During high school, Joe spent summers working in his family’s bakery, and he too got bit by the baking bug.
Shortly after graduating, Joe secured a spot at the award-winning French restaurant, La Chaudiere. During his time there, he worked closely with the pastry chef and cultivated the care and attention to detail required of the world’s finest pastry chefs. He further honed his skills as chef at the Glendale Springs Inn, cooking from the fresh vegetable and herb gardens, and changing the menu daily. And though his next step took him to be the head chef of the nationally-renowned Asheville restaurant, The Market Place, Joe came to realize that his heart was in the details and desserts. So he spent a year at the Blue Moon Bakery before being lured to New Orleans with the offer of the prestigious pastry chef position at Emeril Lagasse’s world-famous French Quarter restaurant, Nola.
Joe enjoyed a richly rewarding 10 years as Emeril’s pastry chef, setting the dessert menu, training new chefs for Emeril’s other restaurants, and helping Emeril’s culinary empire grow from two to nine restaurants.
When Joe and Heidi decided to simplify, returning to their roots to raise their son, Tom, Joe looked forward to being in the country near where their cooking ingredients are grown and produced. Wherever possible he stocks Grits and Groceries with locally-grown organic produce and dairy products and when you come out to the restaurant you will see the extensive and changing menu of desserts that have made Joe famous. Some of his specialties include Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie and Vanilla Root Beer Marbled Pound Cake, and he hand-makes a full range of ice creams (using local Happy Cow Creamery products) including enticing flavors like Coffee Toffee and Bourbon Butter Pecan.