On Sunday, March 13, 2016, 110 attendees came to Johnson and Wales University in Uptown Charlotte for the first-ever 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.
Everything from the butchering of goats, hogs, and rabbits – to the creation of beautiful vegan dishes – to the proper way for chefs to price their dishes and farmers to price their crops – to the heeding call for reviving heirloom produce and embracing an ethical meats environment – and a whole lot in between were covered in an all-too-short eight hours.
The day was highlighted by the Keynote address of Dr. David Shields, He spoke on The Ark of Taste – a fascinating overview of the recent revival of near-extinct fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes – to which he plays an integral role.
Concurrent wth the Symposium was the first annual Student Scholarship Competition – where local culinary students competed to create the best two courses from the ingredients in a Mystery Basket. In the end, Johnson and Wales student Megan Weathers took home the top prize of a $500.00 scholarship. Naomi Knox of The Art Institute of Charlotte garnered second place and a $250.00 scholarship.
In all, it was a full day of learning, sharing, networking, and fun.
See you next year!