I didn't get to try nearly everything as I was chasing my three year old around most of the time, and she got tired after a while, but some of the best things I had were:
1) Arancini from Toast Restaurant: grilled eggplant, Carolina gold rice, and CH Creamery smoked mozzerlla, served on heirloom tomato passata. These things were huge.
2) Two things from Magnolia Grill: One was a CH Creamery mozzerella and tomato "summer pudding", which was more like a soft caprese-flavored bread pudding sandwich (?); the other was a CH Creamery quark panna cotta with blackberry and cornmeal shortbread. Both extremely delicious.
3) Orechiette from Il Palio: with sausage, zucchini, peppers, pesto, asiago, and a liberal application of olive oil
4) Tomato popsicle from Watts Grocery
5) Squash fritter from Market Restaurant: herbed soft pillow of squash with sweet tomato chutney
6) Sausages from Farmhand Foods, especially the spicy one
7) Black and blue Berry Buckle from Scratch
8) The pizza from Stone's Throw Pizza was pretty good
Like I said, I really didn't try everything, and I couldn't anyway, as I got really stuffed even splitting stuff with my daughter. There were some things that sounded great but were only so-so, but overall the event was really awesome. I felt like they could have had a lot more people attend, as it was really easy to just stroll up to each tent and get whatever you wanted - there was no waiting in line at all. Already looking forward to next year!
It was an amazing event. Perfect summer weather and a picturesque setting. This year there was an enormous tent with tables and chairs so there was comfortable seating out of the sun.
With 30 farms and restaurants paired up it was wild, wild wild! creative food! over the top!
1. Cane Creek Farm & Il Palio - Orecchiette Genovese: Italian Sausage with squash, zucchini, red and yellow peppers, pesto, Chapel Hill Creamery Asaigo cheese and white wine. Amazing combination of flavors and to the minute fresh.
2. Rare Eath Farms & Herons's - Smoked grass-fed beef brisket with pickled tomato barbecue
3. Massey Creek Farms & Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen - Smoked lamb sliders
4. Four Leaf Farm & Poole's Diner - newley dug potatoes with pickled beans, charred onions, cherry tomatoes and bacon aioli
5. Sunset Farms & Piedmont - gazpacho, blue crab-basil salad, old bay potato chips
6. Coon Rock Farm & Zely & Ritz
Sungold tomato, cucumber & bell pepper salad with sweet onion vinaigrette
7.Whitted Bowers Farm & Scratch - Black and blue berry buckle, Heirloom melon agua fresca with bitter coffee ice
8. Chapel Hill Creamery & Magnolia Grill - Quark panna cotta with cornmeal shortbread
7. Full Steam Brewery Beer - Summer Basil Farmhouse Ale.
Lucky 32 Restaurant
109 S Stratford Rd, Winston Salem, NC 27104
Zely & Ritz
301 Glenwood Ave Ste 100, Raleigh, NC 27603
I posted some pictures of the event (mostly of the individual dishes) here:
I thought the pasta from Il Palio was really great. The braised pork posole from Watts Grocery was really good, too, as was the Bruschetta from the Chef and the Farmer. I also really liked the Black and Blue Berry Buckle. I thought the potato salad from Poole's was excellent (great aioli). And I made multiple stops to get donuts from Sari Sari Sweets.
I'll second most of what everyone's already said. I think I'm still suffering from a food hangover, but I'm ready to go at it again. So sorry I didn't get to try the donuts and I only had a tiny nibble of the lamb sliders but I was soooo stuffed. Oh, and the flatbread from Scratch was also very good.
I wanted to give a couple of shoutouts:
Thank you to whoever decided to put up the central tent. It was a very welcome upgrade from last year.
Thank you to all the chefs who were willing to accomodate "special orders." So many dishes had cilantro garnishes and nobody gave me any problems about making me a plate without cilantro. I'm sorry I had to skip a good number of other dishes in which cilantro was integral. There seemed (at least to me) to be too many of those. One of my friends does not eat pork and many chefs were even willing to make her pork-free plates, when possible. Big thanks for your consideration.
Looking forward to next year....
Get Ready Ya'll !
CANE CREEK FARM
CELEBRITY GOAT DAIRY
CHAPEL HILL CREAMERY
CHAPEL HILL CREAMERY
CHEF AND THE FARMER
CHICKEN BRIDGE BAKERY
COON ROCK FARM
CORE SOUND SEAFOOD
DOS TAQUITOS CENTRO
DUTCH BUFFALO FARM
EASTERN CAROLINA ORGANICS
ELAINE’S ON FRANKLIN
FARMER'S DAUGHTER BRAND
FICKLE CREEK FARM
FOUR LEAF FARM
FOWL ATTITUDE FARM
GLASS HALF FULL
GOAT LADY DAIRY
GRANITE SPRINGS FARM
HICKORY MOUNTAIN FARM
HILLSBOROUGH CHEESE COMPANY
LUCKY 32 SOUTHERN KITCHEN
MAPLE SPRING GARDENS
MASSEY CREEK FARMS
RARE EARTH FARMS
SAGE & SWIFT
SARI SARI SWEETS
SAXAPAHAW GENERAL STORE
SIX PLATES WINE BAR
STONE'S THROW PIZZA
THE CAROLINA INN
WEAVER STREET MARKET BAKERY
WHITTED BOWERS FARM
WILD HARE FARM
ZELY & RITZ
There are (like a restaurant) hits and misses, but more based on personal likes than the dish being awful. For instance, Herons had a gazpacho shooter that I liked, but my fiancee wouldn't try because it had some spice to it. I had a fish dish that Magnolia brought and I thought it was pretty awful, but someone else may have loved it.
I would say go. Yes it is 60 dollars which you could pay at a known great restaurant for 3 courses.. However here you are giving it to a good cause, if you don't like something you don't have to feel guilty about eating it, there is alcohol, it is outside (weather could be great), and the food is usually simple and tasty. Especially if they have lamby joes or Saxpahaw's shortrib sammich.
re: Tom from Raleigh
Last year there was a large tent that had the silent auction items and the beer and such. ISTR there were some chairs in there.
There are some hay bales scattered about, but most people bring chairs or a blanket. It was HOT last year and I was envious of those with beach umbrellas!
Be aware that parking is far enough away from the event that you will want to watch the weight of what you pack in. You may want to bring bug spray. This is in the middle of a field which can be mucky if wet, so appropriate footwear is best. I saw a woman having a rough time with her high heels last year!
It will be a scorcher again this year with a chance of showers. High is going to be around 89. I went last year and you should act like you are going to a big picnic. If you don't mind standing than don't bring a chair. YOu can bring a blanket just as well, but do bring something to sit on is my recommendation.
Do you happen to know if this is going to be another event where no one under drinking age is allowed? I understand why they have to do it, just wondering if this is the same thing. I'm solo with Lulu that week; my husband will be traveling, so I'll only get to go if she's allowed to come too. But I'd really like to.
Oh, yes. My little monster and one of her classmates nearly wiped out Jason Smith's non-alcoholic drinks. There were many under-agers and the ones that I saw had a great time. We haven't broken the date to my kid yet since she will be at camp and we still intend to go without her. She will be soooo ticked off.
The beer tent was separate and you paid by the drink.