Local Food Made Easy with Home Delivery and Subscriptions

Hi All, This month for my food segment on My Carolina Today, I was excited to talk about companies offering you fresh, local, high quality meats, produce, dairy and artisan food products. These companies make it easy to enjoy farm fresh foods delivered right to your door and offer convenient pick-up locations throughout the Triangle. Each one of these small companies is run by hard-working, dedicated folks who want you to enjoy the best food available by making it easily assessable Bella Bean Organics, Papa Spud’s and The Produce Box all offer a home delivery service making eating local and heathy easier than ever. Firsthand Foods offers a (M)eat Box subscription that you have to sign up for to receive your monthly box of meat during the allotted timeframe. Sign-up is open now but will be closing soon. Having cooked several cuts of their meats, I know firsthand (no pun intended) just how good the quality is. I suggest signing up asap!! NC Made was a company recommended to me by my friend Andrea Weigl, Food Writer at the News and Observer. WOW!! These are top-notch gift boxes of NC artisan food products and make perfect gifts for family and friends, corporate clients and wedding guests and any special event. I for one would be ecstatic to receive one. Thanks to all listed below for sharing your stories, products and enthusiasm for local food. Johanna Local Food Options Delivered to Your Door (Link to Video) 4966613_G   Firsthand Foods  Firsthand Foods   Firsthand Foods connects North Carolina’s pasture-based livestock producers with local food lovers, restaurants, food service providers, and retailers.  We source from a network of remarkable farmers who raise their animals humanely, on pasture, without feeding antibiotics or animal by-products, or using added hormones.  We do the legwork necessary to get a consistent selection of quality local meats into local markets. Firsthand Foods Meat box Firsthand Foods’ (M)eat Local Box is a seasonal subscription program that provides home cooks with a monthly delivery of fresh, pasture-raised pork and beef sourced from a network of remarkable North Carolina farmers who raise their animals humanely outdoors without growth-promoting antibiotics, hormones or animal by-products. Boxes are delivered to selected pick-up locations throughout the Triangle. (M)eat Local boxes are curated by us to include a mixture of fresh cuts, adapted to the season, with an emphasis on grilling cuts such as steaks in the summer and braising cuts like roasts in the winter. hire_the_wagon You’ll enjoy familiar products like pork loin chops and flat iron steaks. And you’ll discover more novel items like pork shanks, hangar steaks and marrow bones. To meet your every day needs, frozen ground beef, sausages, and pasture-raised whole chickens are available as “add-ons” when you pick up your box. Because they are sourced and sold locally, our meats are exceptionally fresh and contain no fillers, additives, nitrates or artificial colors. You can choose from a small box (3-5 lbs) or a large box (5-7 lbs).  Not sure what size is best?  Click HERE for some examples of what meats you might find inside a typical box. Website: www.firsthandfoods.com Twitter: @firsthandfoods Facebook: Firsthand Foods Papa Spud’s PapaSpuds_logoPapa Spud’s is an online farmer’s market, working to connect Triangle residents with local and/or sustainable farmers and their products. By using Papa Spud’s you can customize and purchase weekly deliveries of your favorite fruits and vegetables, direct from the farm – ensuring superior freshness and quality, while supporting local and/or sustainable growers, and offering them a fair price for their labors by cutting out the supermarket middle-man. How it Works 1) Sign up for service Sign up for service through our easy to use, mobile friendly website. http://papaspuds.com/subscription.php 2) Farmers list products Local farmers communicate weekly harvests to us and we list them on our website.

View products here 3) Custom Order or Auto Order Login to your online userpage and pick out your local selections for the week 


Do nothing and we will automatically send you a box of seasonal products based on your account preferences. 4) We deliver to you! We receive products in from our farm partners, pack them up, and deliver them to your front door for you and your family to enjoy! Eat the freshest food available while doing something positive for the local community. Website: www.papaspuds.com Twitter: @papaspuds Facebook: Papa Spud’s The Produce Box  The Produce Box Enjoy NORTH CAROLINA farm-fresh fruits and veggies delivered each week to your front door or office! Eat good. Our NC farmers fill our weekly boxes with fruits and veggies harvested at the peak of freshness. And we offer local meats, cheeses, bread, honey, jam and more NC goodies that you can add to your box at any time!  Click here for prices, examples of our boxes and more on how our service works! Do good.  With every order, you help us to provide grants to NC farmers, programs for schools and boxes for low-income families in our area. Feel good.  Delicious, fresh produce gives you energy, strengthens your body and sharpens your mind. TPB BOX From award-winning peppers, eggplants and heirloom tomatoes to lettuces, melons and cabbages, our farmers work hard to put food on YOUR table! And it’s AMAZING how many delicious varieties of veggies and fruits we have in this state! John has an amazing field of asparagus near Pinehurst. Becky gives us those amazingly sweet Asian pears and NC persimmons. Glenn sent over 200 lbs of shitake mushrooms and Lou in Orange County grows fantastic garlic for us (as do Tom and Jan in Johnston County). Our farmers practice “good agriculture” by using filtered or closed water systems and cover crops. They are good stewards of the land they farm.  Many use little to no pesticides, and although most are not certified organic (very expensive to do), they are thoughtful and careful in the way that they farm. Each year, our partners diversify more and more and grow an amazing amount of fruits and veggies for our members. This is good for the environment, and good for you. These friends help us all to eat healthier! Website: www.theproducebox.com Twitter: @TheProduceBox Facebook: The Produce Box Bella Bean Organics  Bella Bean Organics About Organic local home delivery of produce, meat, eggs and artisan goods in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham, RTP, Burlington, Greensboro, Mebane, Winston Salem, Wake, Durham, Orange, Chatham, Franklin, Guilford, Forsyth and Alamance Counties. Description Farmer Grown, Farmer Owned From our Farm to Your Table Bella Bean Organics is the leading home delivery grocer for organic produce and artisanal provisions in the triangle. We focus on offering food for the conscious consumer and work with local farmers and artisans. You can see a list of our offerings at market.bellabeanorganics.com You may be familiar with our sister farm, Coon Rock Farm in Hillsborough. Bella Bean Organics offers many Coon Rock Farm meats, eggs and produce alongside other local farmers’ goods. When you buy from Bella Bean, you’re buying from people that know how to grow food as well as sell it. The team at Bella Bean Organics is dedicated to providing organic, local produce as a main pillar of a healthy and nutritive diet. We’re committed to transforming the local food economy by educating our customers via our business model. We believe in our food. Bella Bean is the Piedmont’s leading home delivery service focused solely on local, organic, sustainably raised produce, meat, and artisan products. We are the only home delivery service in the state actually owned and run by local farmers. The Bella Bean team has invested years finding sustainable foods for their own table and their restaurants. Now all of these products area available through our service so that health and food conscious consumers in the Triangle and Triad areas can have a complete selection of sustainable, organic food delivered fresh to their door. Local & Organic Food Delivery Serving Wake, Durham, Orange, Franklin, Alamance, Chatham and Guilford Counties Bella Bean is an online farmer’s market and weekly delivery service. Each week we deliver fresh local and organic produce, meat, eggs, bread, cheese and specialty foods to your front door. Our delivery area includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Burlington, Winston Salem, Mebane and any other location in Wake, Orange, Durham, Forsyth, Franklin, Alamance, Chatham and Guilford counties. Support Local Farms & Sustainable Agriculture We partner with local farms and artisans to provide you with the freshest seasonal produce, meat, eggs, bread, cheese and specialty foods available. Your customized produce box is delivered weekly to your front door. Fresh Enjoy the freshest selection of produce, meat, eggs and specialty foods from local farms and food artisans – ripe and full of flavor. Flexible Customize your delivery. Pick and choose from a variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables, local meats, fresh baked bread, and local cheese. Travelling or don’t need a box one week? You can use our automated “hold” system to skip any week. Fun Order online. Your produce, meat, eggs and artisan foods will be delivered right to your door. No travel, no hassle. Our Service We offer weekly local and organic produce and artisan food delivery to the local area. Each week you may choose between our Recommended Box or a custom box with your favorite items. Our market is open between noon on Wednesday and 5:00 on Friday and deliveries occur on Tuesday and Wednesday depending on your location. The Recommended Box $20 (plus shipping & handling) Each week, we make a recommendation for your box. If you like our recommendation, then no action is required. The Recommended Box will arrive at your door on Tuesday. The Recommended Box is a $20 box perfect for individuals, roommates, or couples. Sample Recommended Box Lettuce Kale Eggplant Bell Peppers Sweet Potatoes Squash Customize Your Box If you know exactly what you want, you can order it by customizing your box. Choose from local & organic produce, pasture raised meats, cage-free eggs, local cheese, fresh baked bread, organic cookies & brownies, jams & jellies, and other specialty foods. We offer over 400 local products. Every Wednesday, we will send you a link to our online market where you will be able to customize your box. Website: www.bellabeanorganics.com Twitter: @SustainableEats Facebook: Bella Bean Organics NC Made  NC_MADE_LOGO-transparent

NC MADE curates gift boxes featuring handcrafted NC foods with a focus on tastiness and design. With its deep agricultural roots, North Carolina offers a world-class bounty of handcrafted gourmet foods. NC MADE was founded on the belief that these artisanal foods should be available in beautiful packages that you’d be proud to send as gifts.

We know that coming up with gift ideas is hard, so we make it easy. Our North Carolina food gift boxes are perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, expressing appreciation, housewarmings, and other special occasions. You can order via our website where shipping within NC and tax are included, or you can contact us to discuss custom or volume orders.

NC MADE gift boxes also make perfect corporate gifts. If you want to impress your clients and employees and support local North Carolina food producers while you’re at it, contact us. We are currently taking custom and volume orders for Christmas and the winter holidays.

We’re also perfect for weddings! If you want to feature North Carolina-made artisanal and gourmet foods at your wedding, contact us to discuss our North Carolina wedding welcome box and wedding favor offerings.

Our partners include the best in food from across the state. We’re proud to feature Durham’s Big Spoon Roasters nut butter, Waynesville’s Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon pickles, Hillsborough’s Farmer’s Daughter Brand preserves, Mt. Olive’s First United Methodist Church blister-fried peanuts, Concord’s Ritchie Hill Bakery cheese straws, Raleigh’s Videri Chocolate, and many more.

Follow our food journey on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

NC MADE Food Gift Door Photo Our partners:

  • Big Spoon Roasters (Durham)
  • Blue Blaze Soda Syrup (Asheville)
  • Cloister Honey (Charlotte)
  • Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon (Waynesville)
  • Crooked Condiments Apple Butter (Asheville)
  • Crude Bitters (Raleigh)
  • Farmers Daughter Brand (Hillsborough)
  • Hickory Nut Gap Farms Salami (Fairview)
  • Mt Olive First United Methodist Church Blister-Fried Peanuts (Mt Olive)
  • Num Num Grilling Sauce (Durham)
  • Outer Banks Sea Salt (Kitty Hawk)
  • Ritchie Hill Bakery Cheese Straws (Concord)
  • Tonya’s Cookies (Chapel Hill)
  • Videri Chocolate (Raleigh)
  • White Whale Cocktail Mixer (Durham)

Website: www.ncmade.net Twitter: @ncmadenet Facebook: NC Made  Happy Eating, Johanna    

Celebrating the Grilled Cheese at Whole Foods Market – Durham

The beginning of Fall always gets me excited about comfort foods like soups, roasts and seasonal salads. One thing that always makes me smile though is a good grilled cheese sandwich.

The beauty of the grilled cheese is it’s simplicity. “Grilled cheese can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They can be devoured on their own or paired with soup; jazzed up or dressed down – it really doesn’t matter, they taste just as good” says Eatocracy.

Whole Foods Market Vertical CMYK Logo copy

Whole Foods Market in Durham is celebrating fall by grilling cheeses! Learn how to grill cheese, taste the season’s best cheese and try different grilled cheese sandwiches at the Whole Foods Market’s quarterly Cheese Night event on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 from 6-7:30 p.m. TONIGHT!!!!

You can also win a $50 gift certificate to Whole Foods Durham by commenting on this blog post. Details  listed below.

This event is free and open to the public and a great way to introduce kids to new and fun ways of creating their perfect grilled cheese. Let your kids sample a few cheeses and pick out their favorites. This gives them ownership over their sandwich and are more likely to try something new.

“We will taste a unique selection of delicious grilled cheeses and pairings. This event is FREE to the public, so come join us and learn what happens when heat meets cheese!,” says Whole Foods representative.

Whole Foods Cheese

Whole Foods Market Durham, Cheese Monger Ashley Cooper has this to say ; “A good grilled cheese should be melty, gooey, and provide contrasting flavors. On a simple grilled cheese, the best way to accomplish that is by pairing a base cheese to provide substance – such as Seaside Cheddar – with a slightly more flavorful cheese such as Gruyere for additional kick. Always use slices – never shreds – as it results in a more even melt and a better consistency.”

Ashley recommends the following combinations for Grown Up Grilled Cheeses:

“Always start a grilled cheese with your favorite bread – a rustic Ciabiatta alwas provides a nice combination of substance and flavor, and makes for a great presentation. Get creative with your components – I really enjoy pairing Gruyere – a complex rich and creamy cheese – with a simple fig spread and caramelized onions. Or Seaside Cheddar – a sharp, mature British Cheddar – with a local pepper jelly.”

Ashley Cooper is the Associate Team Leader of the Specialty Department at Whole Foods Market Durham. She’s received certification as a Certified Cheese Professional from the American Cheese Society, a title held by only 406 cheesemongers in the United States.

As for “grown-up” grilled cheese,” the possibilities are endless. Here are a few that popped to mind. Creamy havarti with blue cheese and fig jam. Aged extra sharp cheddar with apple. Fontina, Gruyere, Heirloom tomatoes and pesto spread. Gruyere and caramelized onions with a side of beef jus (think French onion soup in grilled cheese form). The list of combinations is endless and there is no right or wrong. That’s the beauty of grilled cheese! YOU OWN IT!!

Now is the best part, join the fun and tell me what creative ways you would make your perfect grilled cheese sandwich. Leave your comments below for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Whole Foods Market Durham. Winner will be picked at random and announced Friday at noon. Just in time for your weekend shopping. Deadline to enter is 10am Friday, September 19.

More from the Whole Foods Market Durham Cheese Department can be found here.

The Perfect Grilled Cheese (Courtesy of Whole Foods Durham)

Grilled Cheese and Tomato on Multi-Grain Bread

Grilled Cheese and Tomato on Multi-Grain Bread

Simple. Sublime. A textural masterpiece. From college hotplates to 5-star kitchens, few foods offer such a combination of approachability, ease of preparation and sheer unadulterated yumminess. Delicious in its purest form and accommodating enough to welcome a broad range of party-crashers (Granny Smith apples, anyone?), the GCS is a joy to make and devour. Here are some basic guidelines for perfect grilled cheese sandwiches every time.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato on Multi-Grain Bread

Grilled Cheese and Tomato on Multi-Grain Bread

The Bread

Of course many breads work quite well, but a favorite is nice, long oblongs of rustic country bread. Something with backbone, maybe a little chewy, with a crunchy crust.

The Cheese

Good melting cheeses include: Gruyère, cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, gouda or Havarti. Grate your cheese. It melts more evenly and is a great help when you want to blend cheeses—say a nice, melty Gruyère with a bit of tangy blue. Let the grated cheese come up to room temp before cooking.


Think of things that go great on a cheese board: figs, ham, sweet pear or tart apple slices, balsamic-marinated veggies, chutney, honey—arugula or other spring greens are nice if added inside after the sandwich is done.


It’s important to spread a generous layer from edge to edge for that uniform golden crunch.

The Pan

Non-stick if you have one—you won’t have to use quite as much butter. A pan with a heavy base is great too, for an even heat.


Low-medium—you don’t want to blacken the bread, just golden it. Plop the sandwich in when the pan is heated up. No more than two minutes a side. Gentle pressure with a spatula helps move the heat into the center where the cheese is.

Bonus points: Once both sides are done, use a tong to hold sandwich edges to the griddle. This gives the oozed cheese that savory cooked crunch.

Preheated Oven

If cheese hasn’t thoroughly melted (don’t be afraid to open the sandwich up and check), pop the sandwich in the oven, pre-heated to 300, for about five minutes. The bread won’t overcook, but the cheese will melt completely.

For variations on the theme, take a look at all these grilled cheese recipes.

There’s nothing quite like melting, grilling or searing cheese! On your next Whole Foods Market visit, please stop by and chat with one of our cheesemongers. They are experts who love talking cheese and will happily give you a taste of any of our cheeses!

And don’t forget to come taste and sample at our next Cheese Nights. This one focuses on Grilling Cheeses. Tuesday, September 16th, 6:00 pm—7:30 pm. It’s free!

Happy Eating,


Upcoming Food Events Around the Triangle

Once again I had the opportunity to talk about several of the upcoming food events around the Triangle on My Carolina Today. You can tune in the first Tuesday of every month for an updated list of events, or learn about local food products. Here is what we discussed today.

If you missed the episode this morning, the link is below.


Straw Valley Café Beer Garden Grand Opening, September 5 & 6, 5:30pm

Straw Valley

The Beer Garden will open this coming Friday and Saturday to the public with a soft opening. They will have light snacks and 8 drafts to start. The menu and beer selection will continue to evolve over the next few months. The Beer Garden will have casual waiter service and a full bar in addition to the beer. The doors will open at 5:30pm.


Where: 5420 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard
Durham, NC, 27707


Little Hen Restaurant Western Wake Farmers’ Market dinner, September 8, 4pm


Little Hen

Little Hen will be hosting the market, it’s vendors and customers. The menu will feature several of WWFM’s vendors (Crude Bitters & Sodas, In Good Heart Farm, Muddy Dog Roasting Company, The Hillsborough Cheese Company, Piemonte Farm, Locals Seafood), some of whom will also have products on hand for sale. There will be face painting and balloon animals. This event is open to the public – for those of you who do not yet frequent WWFM, please stop in for a drink/dinner and learn more about one of the area’s best farmers market! Bar opens at 4pm, dinner starts at 5pm.

Where: Shoppes at Woodcreek, 5160 Sunset Lake Rd. Apex, NC, 27539


Hoedown at Raleigh City Farm, September 11, 7-10pm

Farm Aid

Raleigh City Farm’s 1st Farm-Show coinciding with Farm Aid 2014, a national celebration of farms and good food right here in Raleigh. Join the party to celebrate with local farms, food, music and drinks!

Get your bellies ready for some Gumbo. On hand will be Firsthand Foods and Locals Seafood as well as three of the best chefs in Raleigh from The Fiction Kitchen, Gravy and 18 Seaboard, all committed to supporting local farms, and serving up three uniquely Local Gumbos.

Where: 800 N. Blount St. Raleigh


The Edible South Book Launch with Marci Cohen, September 18, 6:30pm


Celebrate the publication of Marcie Ferris’ landmark book, The Edible South while enjoying some wine and passed light hors d’oeuvres.

“In The Edible South, Marcie Cohen Ferris presents food as a new way to chronicle the American South’s larger history. Ferris tells a richly illustrated story of southern food and the struggles of whites, blacks, Native Americans, and other people of the region to control the nourishment of their bodies and minds, livelihoods, lands, and citizenship. The experience of food serves as an evocative lens onto colonial settlements and antebellum plantations, New South cities and Civil Rights-era lunch counters, chronic hunger and agricultural reform, counterculture communes and iconic restaurants as Ferris reveals how food–as cuisine and as commodity–has expressed and shaped southern identity to the present day.”

Marcie Cohen Ferris, associate professor of American studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the author of Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South.

Can’t make it? Get your copy here!

Where: The Garden Terrace at Fearrington Village, Pittsboro


4th Annual Apex Jazz and Music Festival, September 20th, 3:30 pm – 11:00 pm BEER & WINE GARDEN – MAIN STAGE & 6:00 pm – 1:00 am PUB VENUES


Great line-up of Jazz artists, food trucks, restaurants and wine and beer garden.

“As the only adult-focused fall music festival in the North Carolina Triangle area, this extremely popular pub-crawl experience is expected to draw over 10,000 music fans to Downtown Apex.

Festival wristbands (tickets) are $10, and include entry to all the venues for the entire event.

Where: Downtown Apex


Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival, September 27, 12-6pm (VIP), 1:30-6pm (GA) 


Come sample beer from 50 plus great local brewers as well as brewers from across the state and beyond

Enjoy performances by The Honeycutters and othe NC Bluegrass bands throughout the day.

Enjoy food from some of the areas best food trucks including Kokyu Bbq, Baguettaboutit, Dump Pho King Truck and more

Where: Sugg Farm Park in Holly Springs



Raleigh City Farm’s Annual Harvest Dinner, October 5, 6pm

LRG Standard Foods logo

Standard Foods is collaborating with Raleigh City Farm to host their second Annual Harvest Dinner at 6pm on October 5th, 2014. “It’s an honor to raise awareness and funds for our neighboring urban farm, Raleigh City Farm, so that it can grow into its full potential in serving this community,” explained John Holmes, who will open Standard Foods this winter with Chef Scott Crawford, and who is also responsible for revitalizing Person Street Plaza. “We’re especially proud of what we’ve accomplished, growing into a unique model of community-supported urban farming,” explained Christopher Rumbley, CEO of Raleigh City Farm. “The support of Raleigh’s extraordinary culinary community has been crucial and Standard Foods, opening directly beside the farm, has the potential to take it up another notch for all of us.” Raleigh City Farm is located at Person Street Plaza at 800 North Blount Street.

John Holmes & Scott Crawford in Raleigh City Farm

John Holmes & Scott Crawford in Raleigh City Farm

Together, Standard Foods and Raleigh City Farm invite guests to join them Sunday, October 5th for an all- vegetable family-style feast on the farm. Just as at Standard Foods, Chef Scott Crawford will let Raleigh City Farm’s fall harvest dictate the menu. Crawford will prepare a diverse selection of fall vegetables – raw, pickled, smoked, braised, and in desserts. This seated, multi-course, family-style dinner, will be paired with wines from neighboring wine retailer, Wine Authorities, who has developed a national reputation for their commitment to small estate, “farmer-grown” wines. For guests seeking a more intimate experience with the farm, they may attend at 5pm for a special program including wine cocktails and snacks, an opportunity to meet Chef Scott Crawford and learn about Standard Foods, and enjoy informative farmer- guided tours, prior to the dinner at 6pm, for $200. Tickets for the farm dinner beginning at 6pm are $125. During the dinner, RCF will host a brief auction, including experiences such as a dinner prepared by Chef Crawford in his home, and a wine tasting for 10. All tickets can be purchased through http://www.raleighcityfarm.com in early September.

Terra Vita Food & Drink Festival, October 9 – 11

terra vita

This is the must attend food event of the year and already tickets have sold out for some of the events leading up to the Grand Tasting on the Green. Best to get your tickets ASAP.

TerraVita tops off the weekend with the Grand Tasting on the Green. The Grand Tasting offers edibles from more than 45 exceptional chefs & artisans from across the state and features more than 100 sustainably-produced beverages from around the globe, including organic coffee, biodynamic, organically-grown and natural wines, local microbrews and spirits. Guests also will enjoy cookbook signings and intimate interaction with chefs, artisans and beverage producers from the coast to the mountains of North Carolina.

Where: The Green at Southern Village, 400 Market St. Chapel Hill, NC 27516


World Beer Festival Durham, October 11, 12-4pm & 6-10pm 


The festival is put on by All About Beer Magazine and is a beer lovers heaven. General admission tickets are $55 and include a tasting glass to sample from over 200 regional, national and international beers. VIP tickets are $70 and is located in a private hospitality area with air conditioning and real bathrooms!

General admission and VIP ticket holders also have access into the Art of Beer Experience for beer ingredient samplings, food and pairings, educational seminars, a mini commercial brewery and more!

Where: Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Durham, NC


2nd Annual Bull City Race Fest and Food Truck Rodeo, Sunday, October 19th, 


This festival has something for the fastest runners and families alike. Choose from half-marathon, five-mile and one-mile distances and enjoy a fall morning of running and post-race food. The Bull City Race Fest is the culmination of a world-class running experience and a world-class eating experience, all in a world-class city. All races start next to the American Tobacco Campus with a post-race festival on the lawn at the Durham Performing Arts Center. There will be food trucks, a beer garden, a kids’ zone and entertainment.

Habitat for Humanity of Durham is the Official Charitable Beneficiary of this landmark running and food event.

Note: Be sure to check out the website for street closures

Where: Downtown Durham, American Tobacco Campus & Durham Performing Arts Center lawn.


Cooking Classes Around the Triangle

There are always an infinite number of cooking classes throughout the Triangle area. These are great fun and the perfect way to learn how to prepare something new, meet new friends, and taste delicious food.

Look for classes at these locations:

A Southern Season: http://www.southernseason.com/our-stores/chapel-hill/

Durham Cookery: http://www.durhamcookery.com/

Durham Spirits Company: http://www.durhamspiritscompany.com

La Farm Bakery: http://www.lafarmbakery.com/custom.aspx?id=3

Sage and Swift: http://www.sageandswift.com/

Savory Spice Shop: http://www.savoryspiceshop.com/north-carolina/raleigh-lafayette-village.html

Sur La Table: http://www.surlatable.com

Whisk: https://www.whiskcarolina.com/cooking-classes/




Farmers’ Market Delights!

Each month I am honored and excited to have a brief spot on the My Carolina Today show. Usually it is to discuss details about upcoming food events, but this month we decided to feature and sample some of our local artisan food and craft producers. This segment covered mostly Chapel Hill, Durham and the RTP area, but look for Raleigh and Cary next month.


Waterdog Farms – Teas and Fresh Flowers

Waterdog Farms Logo

Grown in Hurdle Mills, NC using only sustainable practices, no synthetic chemicals or fertilizers.

The farm is named after the Neuse River waterdog, a rare salamander that lives in the Flat River adjacent to the farm.

Waterdog Farms specializes in teas grown and processed as whole leaf teas right on the farm.

Also sell lots of flowers and specialty produce at the farmers markets.

The flowers from Waterdog are beautiful and perfect for a special event or wedding.

You can also buy the tulsi and wild bergamot teas at A Southern Season and Weaver Street Market stores.

You can find owners Rickie and Christopher at Chapel Hill Farmer’s Market (at University Mall) on Saturday and Durham Farmers Market on Wednesday ‘s


The Pig 

The Pig

Brings regional flavors and local ingredients to the party in your tummy, featuring whole-hog barbecue, cola-braised pork belly sandwiches and Mee-Ma’s low-country, house-smoked, chicken-fried tofu

They buy only whole hogs from local farmers who raise their pigs on open pasture without the use of added hormones or antibiotics.

In addition to the hot dogs they also make pulled pork and bacon, which is available at any of the Weaver Street Markets.

They will soon be adding heat-and-serve BBQ ribs, Hawaiian style breakfast links and smoked pork chops to the lineup of products.

The restaurant is open Mon-Sat 11:00-9:00 and has several vegetarian options including locally made tempeh, chicken fried tofu and fried shiitake po’boys

They cater!!!  catering@thepigrestaurant.com

You can find Sam Suchoff (Owner/Chef) at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market both Wednesdays and Saturdays


Prodigal Farm 


Creates handcrafted farmstead cheeses, breads, produce and farm-crafted specialty items on a 97-acre farm in rural Rougemont, North Carolina. The family farm, owned by Dave Krabbe and Kathryn Spann is centered on a pastured raised Animal Welfare Approved goat herd.

The “Marinated Feta” is a best seller and often referred to as “crack cheese.”

You can purchase their products form the South Durham Farmes Market and Raleigh State Farmers Market.

You can also find Prodigal Farm goat cheese at various restaurants across the Triangle including Mandolin, 18 Seaboard, Harvest 18 and G2B Gastropub.

Prodigal Farm recently ran a kickstarter campaign to raise 45,000 to build a new cheese making facility, which will allow them to age cheeses and therefore make new types of cheeses. They rose over $48, 000. That is how much people love their products.

www. Prodigalfarm.com 

Evelyn Ward Pottery

goat mug

Potter Evelyn Ward lives in nearby Hurdle Mills, North Carolina. She makes functional salt-fired pottery for the home. Evelyn earned a BFA from Cal State Fullerton and studied at Penland School of Crafts.  Her work can be found in galleries around the Triangle including North Carolina Crafts Gallery and Cedar Creek Gallery.

Each of her whimsical goat mugs is hand-made on a potter’s wheel and salt fired, and has a beautiful feel in the hand. Each goat is drawn by hand so no two are exactly alike.

The mugs are made from durable stoneware pottery and are safe for both dishwasher and microwave. They hold approximately 12 ounces.


There are always several local crafters at every market that are definitely worth checking out.

Big Spoon Roasters


Founded in January 2011, Durham, NC-based Big Spoon Roasters was the first truly handcrafted, small-batch nut butter business since the mass industrialization of the peanut butter industry in the early 20th Century. Big Spoon continues to innovate, working with NC peanut growers to encourage sustainable agriculture and sustainable pricing for their crops.

Big Spoon Roasters makes every batch to order – as opposed to pulling from an existing inventory – so customers get the freshest possible nut butters.

Founder Mark Overbay’s first recipe was Peanut Pecan Butter, which he calls the “quintessential Southern nut butter.” It is handmade with only 4 ingredients – NC peanuts, NC pecans, NC raw wildflower honey, and sea salt.

One of Big Spoon’s bestselling recipes, the Chai Spice peanut & almond butter blend, was created as a favor for Mark and Megan’s wedding. Megan drinks masala chai tea almost every day, and Mark obviously makes nut butter, so he wanted to create a wedding favor that represented them both. Their guests flipped out over the flavor combination, and it became an immediate hit!

On Big Spoon’s website, you can read the story behind every recipe, get updates on special events and farmers’ markets, and see a list of retailers where Big Spoon nut butters are sold.



Loaf Logo

Rustic brick oven breads and pastries, once found only at the Durham Farmers’ Market, are also available daily in the heart of the Bull City.

Loaf carries wonderful (and local!) items such as Chapel Hill Creamery Cheese, Elodie Farms Goat Cheese, Blakemere Company Clotted Cream, Farmer’s Daughter Kimchi and Sauerkraut, Maple View Farms Milk, Firsthand Foods Sausages, Big Spoon Roasters Nut Butters, home-made jellies and marmalades, and more.

My stepson Adrien and I agree whole-heartedly, that the ham and cheese croissant is the best we’ve ever eaten.


Cilantro Mediterranean Grill


Cilantro Mediterranean Grill is a family run restaurant near RTP (Hwy 54 and Miami) serving Mediterranean kabobs, salads and vegetarian dishes made from scratch using the best locally sourced ingredients. Every meal comes with freshly baked bread
 from their clay oven!

Prepared salads like beet salad, edemame hummus and potato salads are available weekly at the South Durham Farmers Market and Western Wake Farmers Market. Perfect for picking up for lunches during the workweek.

They also regularly have at the market: potato salad, tabouli, tatziki, traditional hummus, cilantro hummus, jalapeno hummus, baba ganoush, dolmeh, baklava, lentil rice, and a cold vegetable soup (varies).

They have also started taking single size servings of some of our Persian Stews available as specials at our restaurant through out the week (a take home and warm up prepared meal)


Happy Eating


Pepsi Bottling Ventures is a legacy sponsor of Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series “Fire in the Triangle,” June 23 to August 4


The goal of the Competition Dining Series, the only cooking competition of its kind in the US, is to highlight the best of North Carolina’s food, agriculture, and culinary talent. The competition requires that chefs must use North Carolina-produced ingredients. Each year, the competition calls for chefs to use a secret or featured ingredient and in 2012, 2013 and 2014 Pepsi was featured as such. North Carolina-based Pepsi Bottling Ventures has been a sponsor since the inception of the Competition Dining Series in 2012.

 “We’re very proud to be a part of the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series again as we see who ends up winning this challenging competition that showcases the culinary ingenuity and talent across our state,” said Randy Quirk, vice president of Food Service for Pepsi Bottling Ventures. “We embrace this fun competition because Pepsi was born in North Carolina more than 100 years ago and has been a home-grown N.C. ingredient.”

 The 2014 Competition Dining Series started in March with the Fire on the Rock competition in Asheville and includes a year-long series of competition dinners in Wilmington, Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte. The Final Fire in Raleigh will kick off in November in which all the winning regional chefs will compete for final bragging rights.

Fire in the Triangle will take place June 23 to Aug. 4, pitting 16 Triangle chefs who will face off against each other. Two participating chefs each prepare three courses centered on the secret or featured ingredient revealed to the chefs only an hour before they start cooking that day. The ingredient must be used in each course. Attending guests serve as judges for the six-course meal.

For more information go to: www.competitiondining.com and www.competitiondining.com/compete/2014-fire-in-the-triangle.

Get Your “Eat” on with Dishcrawl Raleigh

Dishcrawl comes to Raleigh on Wednesday, June 18 at 7pm.


On Wednesday, June 18th at 7pm, join neighbors and friends to eat your way through the heart of the city on a 3-restaurant jaunt in downtown Raleigh. Come see what the city has to offer as chefs of three restaurants invite you to explore their culinary delights in the heart of downtown.

This adventurous dinner is only $45. Drinks may be purchased separately. Reservations are limited so reserve a ticket now at, http://dishcrawl.com/crashcourseraleighevent/

Foodies have the chance to win free tickets online by tweeting which Raleigh restaurant they love. (Twitter: Must hashtag #dishcrawl to be entered.)

Ticket-holders will visit three restaurants in one night, sampling each restaurant’s specialties and meeting the chefs or owners. It’s kind of the same idea as a pubcrawl, except instead of just drinks we are rallying and gathering the community around downtown Raleigh’s terrific food

Which restaurants? The names of the restaurants are a secret for now but here and there some hints will be dropped through tweets at, @DishcrawlRDU.

 Where to Meet? All ticket holders will be notified of meeting location via email 48 hours prior to the event.

If you have any questions, email your local Dishcrawl Ambassador, Isabella Vigilante at, Isabella@dishcrawl.com.

Happy Eating and Dishcrawling!



Yes, We Can! All Day Canning Jubilee at Whisk, May 17th

Contests, Free Demos, Class with Pickles and Preserves author, Andrea Weigl, and more…

Whisk is hosting a daylong canning jubilee on Saturday, May 17th in the Cary kitchen store, located in Waverly Place shopping center. The event is a celebration of how and why we continue to can our food in the 21st century!

Whisk logo

Interest in home canning is resurging and Whisk is dedicating an entire day to this social, healthy, and tasty pursuit. While technically there is no longer a need to “stock up for winter”, we still persist in canning. Why? Says Whisk employee and local canner, Karen Bosse: “With canning you are able to capture your garden and the goodness of the local farmers’ markets – there’s tremendous flavor, ingredient control, and zero waste.”

The day-long event is headlined by News & Observer food writer and Pickles and Preserves author Andrea Weigl who is teaching an ‘Introduction to Canning’ class. Participants will prepare three recipes from Weigl’s book and learn how to can safely at home. This participation-style class runs from 2pm-4 pm, costs $49, with online registration at www.whiskcarolina.com.

pickles and preserves


Sadly this class is sold out  but be sure to pick up a copy of Andrea’s book. I just made her Habanero Pepper Jelly this weekend and it was a huge hit at Mother’s Day brunch. I served it along side grilled chicken but it also pairs very well with pork, fish and grilled vegetables. All the recipes in the book are worth a try.

Habanero Jelly use

There will also be a local Canning Contest that day, with free entry and terrific prizes from Whisk. The two contest categories are Jellies, Jams and Preserves, and Pickled Vegetables. Submissions must have been canned within the past 12 months and must be made using North Carolina produce. Whisk customers will be able to taste and vote for their favorites, and canning contest winners will be announced on Facebook.

Andrea's Pickles

Photo courtesy of Andrea Weigl

Free tastings and canning demonstrations will be offered throughout the day. In addition, all canning supplies will be 20 percent off on May 17th. Visit the store Monday through Saturday, 10am-6pm; and on Sunday, 12pm-5pm. For more information about Whisk and to see a complete listing of its cooking classes, visit www.whiskcarolina.com.

Other upcoming classes with Andrea include :

• 11 a.m.-2 p.m. June 7, Durham Spirits Co., 311 E. Trinity Ave., Durham. hands-on cooking class, $59. Details.

• 6 p.m. June 25, Southern Season, 201 S. Estes St., Chapel Hill. demonstration cooking class, $40, Details.

• 10 a.m. June 28, Sur la Table, The Streets at Southpoint, Durham, hands-on class, $69. Details.

Happy Canning