Tuesday, November 3, 2015


I wanted to share a few follow up thoughts after attending TERRAVITA for the first time this month.
I love going to these types of events where you are not only tasting great food and drink, and enjoying the company of other like-minded people, but you are also learning. Since I am not a cook or even really consider myself a foodie, I am fascinated by the more I learn about our local NC food + drink industry.

While at TerraVita, I attended a few of the Sustainable Classroom events. The session led by Chef Scott Crawford of Standard Foods in Raleigh and Chef Jason Stanhope of FIG in Charleston, SC and Betsy Andrews, Organic Life Editor, was called Waste Not: Scraps, Bits & Bites. The session was about using every bit of the food and letting nothing go to waste. Two great quotes from these chefs:
"Every molecule of the animal gets used. That's the goal." - Chef Scott Crawford

"Between cooking and compost is the conscious part." - Chef Jason Stanhope

Both these chefs had some inspiring "food for thought". How to waste less, use more of the complete food item or animal. They had some great stories to tell and offered up good advice and some things to think about when purchasing and preparing food. I am trying to shop more consciously now, taking note of what my family eats or doesn't eat. I make more frequent smaller trips to the store, versus trying to buy for the whole week. I am circling the outer ring of the store where the fresh food lives versus the processed middle aisles. I am trying to come up with more healthy/fresh snacks versus taking the easy way out with processed snack food. I want to learn/know more about where my eggs, meat, poultry, fish or pork come from. I'm getting to be okay with spending a bit more and buying less.  I am now learning to be more conscious of what is thrown away and how those bits of tomato ends or carrot tops or fennel leaves can be used for broths or soups versus tossing them into compost or garbage.

Along with some great info, I enjoyed hearing more from these chefs about their restaurants and what they are passionate about! I loved tasting their food and getting to know a little more about them.  Thank you chefs!

SOUR ALES. (and breaking out of my beer comfort zone)
I attended a sustainable classroom about Sour Ales. My husband loves them and has acquired a taste for them in recent months but I've been quick to dismiss them, especially since my palate lies on the bitter end of the beer spectrum. (I rarely have met an IPA I didn't like).  I was impressed with this panel that included Margo Knight Metzger, NC Craft Brewer’s Guild (moderator); Cameron Read, Edmund’s Oast; Ben Woodward, Haw River Farmhouse Ales; Isaiah Allen, The Eddy Pub; Todd Boera, Fonta Flora. Fondly called the Sour Power Hour, we sampled several different types of sours.

There is quite a range within sours themselves and the trend is currently modernizing and creating American styles of sour ales (which date way back originally from Belgium). They take time and patience, and are hard to replicate and there are some amazing flavors coming from several NC breweries like Wicked Weed, Fonta Flora and Haw River and Edmund's Oast in Charleston, SC, just to name a few. I really enjoyed the passion these guys all share and how excited they are about working the creative process of making these beers. They were fun to listen to and I recommend giving one of their sours a try before ruling them out!


This sustainable classroom event appealed to my desire to learn more NC history and since I'm not a native North Carolinian, I enjoyed learning (and of course tasting!) about certain NC drinks such as Sweet Tea and Cheerwine, Apple Brandy, NC wine and of course NC beer (featuring Durham's FullSteam Brewery).  The panel included Robert Moss, author (moderator); Sean Lilly Wilson, Fullsteam; Elizabeth Cooper, Southern Season; Joy Ritchie, Cheerwine; and Sheri Castle, cookbook author. 

Apple Brandy was really the start for NC, and beer was very challenging to make back in the day in NC. I tasted my first Cheerwine and did not realize that Cheerwine has been around for nearly 100 years! In 2017 there will be a huge state wide celebration in NC. The prohibition era brought forward a lot of our popular sodas and many were named after the alcoholic beverage that they resembled, hence the name Cheerwine!

Lastly, from the Kick off panel event, through the sustainable classrooms, to the final Grand Tasting on the Green, it was amazing to see all these chefs, farmers, distillers, wine producers, bartenders, coffee roasters, retailers, importers, distributors and VOLUNTEERS, come together to share their passion for food, drink, North Carolina, sustainability, people and their communities. I was really impressed with and glad to learn about what these well known local restaurateurs and chefs, are doing for their communities. They are often found spending much of their efforts on fostering a positive change right here in our own schools, churches, restaurants and neighborhoods, serving the greater good.

My heartfelt thanks to all the folks who participated, especially to Colleen Minton for her dedication and hard work and amazing team to make it all happen. This year, TABLE NC was the recipient for donation to help them accomplish their mission to supply good nourishment for as many hungry children as possible in the community.

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