Chapel Hill's TerraVITA Food & Wine Event has earned its reputation as a premier culinary event in the Southeast for featuring superior local and sustainable food and beverages in delightful settings.
Not that we don't trust The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which named it one of the “10 Southern Food Festivals You Need to Taste,” but just to be sure, we did a quick pulse-check with our Chapel Hill foodie friends, and yep, they give it their enthusiastic endorsement.
TerraVITA returns for its fourth year this October with a series of educational and tasting events featuring renowned North Carolina chefs, artisans and makers of top local and sustainable wines, microbrews, coffee and spirits.
Another quick pulse-check is that the food magazine The Local Palate, which we love, is among the sponsors. (Several of you may recall our reporting of the magazine's kick-off NC event held at Fearrington House, and a follow-up report we did for their blog on our cooking school experience with Fearrington chef extraordinaire Colin Bedford.)
So, we believe this event won't disappoint. Here are highlights:
• Thursday, Oct. 10, Harvest Dinner
The three-day festival opens with this Harvest Dinner featuring never-seen-before clips and outtakes from the highly anticipated PBS Series, “A Chef’s Life,” featuring Chef Vivian Howard and her team at Chef & the Farmer in Kinston, NC. A protégé of Howards’, Chef Jeremy Law of SoCo Farm & Food—whose Wilson, NC restaurant & inn benefits from his own farm—will prepare a “Southern comfort” farm feast, while the stars, producer, director (and a special guest) will engage in an intimate discussion about the lives of chefs and farmers today, as well as the realities of producing this intensive program.
• Friday, Oct. 11, The Sustainable Classroom
Culinary workshops, food and beverage tastings, demonstrations and panel discussions featuring visionary producers, chefs, journalists and cookbook authors. Panelists include Glenn Roberts of Anson Mills, Bill Smith of Crook’s Corner, Kaitlyn Goalen of Short Stack, Marian Bull of Food52.com, and many others including "Suds & Seafood… Brew Pairings & Early Happy Hour "with The Local Palate. Lunch will be provided by La Farm Bakery between sessions two and three.
• Friday, Oct. 11, East Meets West Dinner
The Carolina Table: East Meets West, TerraVITA’s celebration of the rich culinary scene from NC’s coast to mountains, is dinner prepared by some of the most exciting emerging talents in the region today. Regan Stachler of Little Hen near Raleigh, James Clark of The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, and The Eddy’s Isaiah Allen in Saxapahaw will collaborate on a six-course farm-to-table menu, featuring the finest farms and artisanal producers in the state. French Broad Chocolate Lounge will create the dessert and guests will dine with local food artisans whose cheeses, meats, artisan breads, brews and spirits will be highlighted in each dish.
• Saturday, Oct. 12, Grand Tasting on the Green
TerraVITA culminates with a flourish with the Grand Tasting on the Green (at Southern Village) with offerings alongside from more than 100 sustainably-produced beverages from around the globe. Returning favorites include On The Square in Tarboro, French Broad Chocolate Lounge in Asheville, Herons Restaurant from The Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary, and Chef & The Farmer in Kinston; new restaurants and rising stars include Ashten's in Southern Pines, Little Hen in Holly Springs, Spring House in Winston Salem (let us rave a sec - we just ate with Chef Tim at Spring House recently - awesome), and Cameo 1900 in Wilmington.
Organic coffee producers, biodynamic, organically-grown and natural wines, and a dozen sustainably-produced microbrews and local distilleries also will be on site for sipping and sampling. Live music and a silent and live auction will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
As in years past, TerraVITA has set the additional goal of producing a zero waste event by employing the intensive use of compostable and recyclable goods and recycling nearly all of the waste produced at the event.
TerraVITA sponsors include Chapel Hill-Orange County Visitors Bureau, The Local Palate, NC Department of Agriculture, Mitre Agency, TOPO Great Room & Distillery, PNC Bank, The Siena Hotel, Our State magazine, Locals Seafood, Edible Piedmont, Orange County Waste Management and more.
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Husband/wife team Kathy M. Newbern and J.S. Fletcher, report on luxury destinations, spas and cruising around the globe. They are award-winning members of the Society of American Travel Writers and created YourSpaReport.com and YourNovel.com, their personalized romance novel business.