On an unseasonably warm Halloween Eve, the back room at Lenny Boy Brewing Co. was full of knife, saw, and Dremel-wiedling chefs, farmers, mixologists, and other local culinary luminaries all focused on creating a sea of carved pumpkin masterpieces. Carved 2016 was underway! In the end, Chef Ashley Boyd of 300 East and her pirate-carving teammate Candy May garnered most votes and was named Carved 2016 champion!
Townes Mozer has had a rough weekend. On this Monday afternoon in mid-September his usually forceful gaze is a bit hazy, his green eyes red-rimmed. Inside the cavernous taproom of Lenny Boy’s new South Tryon location, the Charlottte native sits at the long shiny bar and rubs his stubbled face. He’s trying to recall specific dates from his career, emerging from pizza-chomping college student to the Queen City’s king of kombucha.
Cheese changed Randy Fisher’s business. While he grew up on Cackleberry Farm, overflown by incoming flights to the Concord Airport, he went out and saw the world before settling back down to the family trade. He estimates he is the 8th generation of farming Fishers in the area, having inherited the place from his father.
When it comes to farming and gardening, it always pays to think ahead. Especially when it comes to your soil. Rather than applying fertilizers and other soil amendments your plants may or may not need, you should conduct a soil test to find out what you already have and what you need to create a healthier soil and a better return on your fertilizer investment.
Twelve years ago, Mary Roberts was living the American dream. She had a well-paying corporate job, a home in the country and a new man in her life. Then, like many Americans in the past decade, she saw that dream life suddenly turned upside-down. Roberts was fortunate to quickly find her feet again, only this time they were planted firmly in the soil … at her Windcrest Farm.
Elizabeth Anne Dover was a student at Davidson College, studying towards becoming a diplomat. Instead, she got Carolina clay on her hands. “I saw this PBS special on vineyards, and that they were the new and coming thing,” she says today. “I like challenges, and it sounded like my sort of lifestyle. I love being outside. I love living with nature.”
To look at the large, beefy hands of cheesemaker Zack Gadberry, you’d never guess them capable of pulling and wrapping the thin, delicate strands of mozzarella to make up a round of burrata. About 400 times every week, Gadberry plunges those hands into near-boiling water to form the popular little cheesy pouches found all over Charlotte. From farmers market stands to local retailers to some of the finest dining in town, Uno Alla Volta cheese has stolen its way onto our plates and into our hearts …
Chef Greg Collier and his food have a lot in common. Both seem straightforward at first glance: breakfast means eggs, grits, potatoes, sausage. Collier, a formidable presence manning the grill in his t-shirt and half apron, means plate after plate of simple, hearty food that won’t break the bank. But in both cases, you’d be missing the point if you looked no further.
Let’s get one thing clear: being a farmer was not Dani Rowland’s dream. She grew up a South Charlotte suburban girl with parents hailing from New York City. Flash forward to March 2016, as the slight, energetic Rowland leaves her last remaining hourly job to devote herself full-time to the success of Rowland’s Row Farm in Cabarrus County.
On March 13, 2016, 110 attendees came to Johnson and Wales University in Uptown Charlotte for the first Piedmont Culinary Guild Food and Beverage Symposium. Chefs, farmers, food artisans, educators, food journalists, plus eager consumer foodists – coming as far away as Virginia and Charleston – came to be introduced to or deepen their knowledge of the growing, preparation, and management of sustainable foods.