The ultimate summer lunch always includes the summer tomato

All summer long, Chef Joy Crump keeps her eyes peeled for “anything involving tomatoes.” The 2023 James Beard semifinalist is executive chef and founding partner of Fredericksburg’s Foode+Mercantile, where those plump, juicy red orbs are the stars of summer. 

She describes one of her favorite seasonal dishes equally adored by her customers: a classic tomato sandwich. “We do it ultra traditional—thick-sliced tomatoes, white country bread, Duke’s mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and some kind of green like arugula or basil,” Crump says. “We can’t make them fast enough. They sell like crazy because when we were all growing up, that was the lunch.” Now her goal is to recreate those cozy childhood memories on the plate—“trying to make lightning strike more than once.”

Another nostalgic, tomato-centric summer meal is Foode+Merchantile’s tomato pie, which Crump describes as “summer tomatoes and a really nice, creamy custard; super sharp cheddar cheese; and a wonderful flaky crust.” 

When she’s not cooking, Crump can usually be found trolling local farmers markets. What’s she on the hunt for? The perfect tomato. FoodeFredericksburg.com

Click here for Chef Joy’s tomato pie recipe!


This article originally appeared in the August 2024 issue. 

Hope Cartwright
Hope Cartwright is associate editor of Virginia Living.
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