Nine years ago when the first North Carolina Food and Wine Festival was held at A Southern Season (201 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill, 929-7133, www.asouthernseason.com), folks in the store thought two weeks would be plenty of time to highlight their stock of North Carolina goods. Today, with an expanded inventory of in-state products, however, that's no longer the case. "We've outgrown the festival," says Deborah Miller, communications manager for A Southern Season. This year for the first time, the festival, which began on Oct. 1, will continue through the end of the month.
Look for daily specials and events including samples and in-store demonstrations. Also through October, all North Carolina goods will be discounted 15 to 60 percent, and many product owners will be on hand to talk about their creations.
On Friday evening, look for Alexia Jones Helsley, who will sign copies of her book A History of North Carolina Wine: From Scuppernong to Syrah (see related story). And between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, find "the Food Fairy," Terri McClernon, who will demonstrate dishes from her video "Cook Once, Eat for Weeks." On Saturday, Jamil Kadoura of the Mediterranean Deli will offer selections from his menu, available in A Southern Season's deli, plus pours from New River Winery, located in Lansing, N.C. Most festival events are free.
Looking further ahead at A Southern Season, tickets are on sale now for a Duck-Rabbit Beer Dinner on Oct. 27. For that event, $45 (minus tax and gratuity) purchases a five-course dinner paired with five Duck-Rabbit brews: amber ale, milk stout, barleywine ale, Rabid Russian imperial stout and porter. To make a reservation, call 929-9466.
To sample more local offerings, visit the Wake Forest Farmers Market (110 South St., Wake Forest, www.wakeforestmarket.org) this month. Beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Debbie Moose, author of Deviled Eggs: 50 Recipies From Simple to Sassy, will talk about ideas for tailgating and serve an item or two from her book. Register at the market manager's table to win one of Moose's cookbooks. The winner will be announced at 11:30 a.m. Or if you already have one of Moose's books, bring it with you to have signed during the event.
At 9 a.m. on Oct. 23, the Wake Forest market will highlight food from Cindy Karas, owner of Sassy Foods, as part of its Taste of the Market series. Karas will incorporate ingredients from the market into baked goods.
The North Carolina State Fair (1025 Blue Ridge Blvd., Raleigh, 821-7400, www.ncstatefair.org) opens Thursday and runs through Oct. 24. To learn more about the folks behind some of the fair's classic fare, visit the Indy's food blog, Big Bite. We'll highlight a different vendor and dish each day of the festivities.
Know about a fun food happening in the Triangle? Send it to Now Serving at firstname.lastname@example.org.