Chefs to Watch 2014: Justin Burdett, Ruka's Table, Highlands, N.C.

Jacqueline Raposo

The menu at Ruka’s Table might seem out of sync for its location, in a small town nestled in the southern Appalachian mountains. Considering the restaurant’s audience of barely 1,000 folks with largely traditional appetites, you wouldn’t assume glazed beef tongue or pickled apple salad to inspire repeat clientele. Yet for Justin Burdett, using progressive technique to transform conventional Southern cuisine is a...