On Sunday, March 8, Passion8 on Elizabeth Avenue in Charlotte, NC was packed with the area’s leading farmers, chefs, food artisans, provisioners, and other Piedmont local food notables. The reason: the inaugural membership meeting of the Piedmont Culinary Guild.
While the Guild has been in existence for two years, Sunday’s get-together was its first as a fully certified North Carolina 501C3 non-profit organization.
In her first membership address as PCG Executive Director, Kris Reid formally introduced the Guild’s Board of Directors, gave an overview of finances, recapped the successes of the past year, as well as outlined the organization’s growth goals – in one, three, and five-year plans. Among those:
- Establishment of a scholarship fund to award selected members to attend notable conferences, seminars, and other educational opportunities.
- Creation of a “Craigslist-style” resource for PCG members.
- Initiate a micro-grant program for area farmers.
- Provide an ongoing program of live and virtual PCG educational workshop, classes, and panels.
- Open a “brick and mortar” PCG space to house administrative offices, cooking demonstrations, collaboration dinners, and meeting space.
Brief Excerpt of PCG Executive Director Kris Reid's Meeting Presentation
A key point in the presentation was the unveiling new membership guidelines and the establishment of annual dues – as approved by the Board. Dues will be $30.00/annually, “Just enough to keep the lights on,” remarked Reid. It is hoped that dues will cover day-to-day expenses, such as web maintenance, insurance, bank fees, basic design costs, and general administrative expenses. Moneys raised via PCG events and donations can then be used to fund the goals outlined previously.
Within 24 hours of the Inaugural Member Meeting of the Piedmont Culinary Guild, over 90 members had their annual dues paid in full. A fantastic start.
And it’s only just begun!
Membership into the Piedmont Culinary Guild is by invitation only. To receive an invitation:
- You must be a working chef, farmer, food artisan, food provisioner, or related full-time food professional in the Piedmont region of North Carolina or South Carolina.
- You must have demonstrated the dedication to supporting and sustaining the local food environment in our region, as outlined in the PCG Charter.
- You must have demonstrated superlative skills within your respective profession.
- You must be sponsored by a current, dues-paying member of the PCG.
Each Board member present gave a brief report on the activities of the PCG committees they chair: Ben Philpott (Web), Terra Ciotta (Education), Kristi Martin (Marketing), Eric Williamson (Membership), and Luca Annunziata (Social).
Special guest Catherine Schopher of Anson Mills gave a talk on heirloom grains, the Anson Mills operation and philosophy, plus presented an opportunity for PCG members to establish a group discount buying program. “We realize not every chef can buy 50 pounds of grits at one time,” she said. (The creation of the program is currently being developed.)
Then a quick round of community announcements, followed by some extended networking and fellowship at the Passion8 bar, and the event was complete.
And a new era for the Piedmont Culinary Guild had begun.