Heart Healthy from WakeMed Heart Center

Grouper | Sneads Ferry, NC

April 9, 2019 |

Original Air Date: April 9, 2019

Flavor, NC | Lisa with Chef Bud TaylorThe Bistro at Topsail
Please click for a note from Chef Bud Taylor.
The Bistro at Topsail, a fine-dining farm to table restaurant holding the recent distinctions of Open Table’s 2016 Diners Choice award, Wine Spectator’s 2017 Award of Excellence and Winner of The James Beard Foundation’s 2017 Blended Burger Project, was located in the heart of Surf City, North Carolina on Topsail Island. The restaurant served a seasonal menu with a focus on North Carolina products and high quality ingredients, many of which were grown on Executive Chef and Owner Bud Taylor’s farm in Holly Ridge, North Carolina. Inspired by his childhood spent learning to cook in his family’s Southern kitchen, Chef-Owner Bud Taylor incorporated Southern foods and flavors into his menu at the Bistro at Topsail.

Captain Joe Hifko
Vessel: “Unreel”
New River Marina, 104 James Road, Sneads Ferry, NC 28460

Captain Joe Hifko from Topsail Beach, NC has been a commercial fisherman for 30 years and also takes charters. He is well-respected and a premier grouper fisherman in NC.
He will test and evaluate Black Hole rods exclusively for grouper fishing.


Recipes courtesy of Chef Bud Taylor.



A Note from Chef Bud Taylor

It’s with mixed emotion that I put these words to paper. As most of you know last year was a very trying year for so many in our community. Unfortunately, my year took a wrong turn long before Hurricane Florence landed on our coast.

In early January I was admitted to the ER for shortness of breath. I spent four days in the hospital being treated for Atrial Fibrillation and dangerously high heart rates. During that visit, I underwent four cardioversions to correct my heart rhythm. It stayed in rhythm for three days. Over the next several months the Afib along with uncontrollable heart rates resulted in a diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure. By early June my heart function had reduced to 34% and the decision was made to undergo a surgical procedure to try and correct the problems. The week of the surgery in mid-July my heart function was measured at 26%. I underwent the 6-hour procedure and thankfully it was a success. The doctors think that in time full function can be regained.

Seven weeks later Hurricane Florence devastated our state. Like so many of our neighbors, we suffered a massive amount of damage to our restaurant and have been picking up the pieces since. In the days after the storm, I went through a myriad of emotions from anger to disbelief and at times, tears. I have spent the last six months struggling to return my life and business back to the place it was before. The layers of destruction Florence left seem to never end.

I’ve taken this forced time away from the day to day of the restaurant business to heal, weigh the pros and cons, reconnect with family and friends and to just live. As the days turned to weeks I started to realize a change. A change in my health, my stress level, my relationships. These changes were all positive. In recent years there have been a number of Chefs that have come forward and shared their stories of abuse and addiction and their roads to recovery. While reading one such story I realized that while I wasn’t abusing alcohol or drugs, I had for years been abusing my body, my health, my relationships with family and the few friendships that had survived the last 26 years in the restaurant business. I had worn the stress, long hours, bulldozing through illness, and general insanity of the industry like a badge of honor. That has changed.

After much prayer, discussion with family and soul searching I have decided not to reopen The Bistro at Topsail. I’m closing this chapter of my career and life and stepping away from restaurants for the immediate future. I’ll be spending time with family and friends, getting healthy and enjoying the next chapter that I’ve been blessed with.

I want to offer a heartfelt Thank You to each of you that have dined with us over the last 12 years. We could not have made it without your unwavering support. Many of you became family along the way and that will never change. I want to say Thanks to all of the team members who worked with us through the years, I hope your memories are fond and that you took something away from your time with us. I can’t say enough great things about our farmers, fisherman, and suppliers, Jena Schmidt, Tom Mahan, Chris Eves, Herbie Cottle, Davis Seafood, the folks at Surf City Crab, just to name a few.

I’ve also had the honor to cook alongside some truly inspirational Chefs through the years and it was a pleasure getting to know and learn from each of you. My team over the last couple of years deserve a huge hand for helping to take The Bistro to heights I only dreamed of. I think we are going out on top. We garnered awards and recognition that put us in very select company in this industry. I’m so proud of the team that took us there.

We will see you all very soon, please stay in touch, invite us over for wine, and remember you’re always welcome at our table.

Last but not least, thank you to my wife and family for always being there no matter what.

Sincerely and God Bless,
Chef Bud Taylor
The Bistro at Topsail


Category: Episodes, Flavor, NC, Season 8

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