Chapel Hill's TerraVita is a food-and-drink festival with a mission | Food Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

Chapel Hill's TerraVita is a food-and-drink festival with a mission 

At TerraVita, find Craig Rogers on the grill.

Photo by Sara Logan

At TerraVita, find Craig Rogers on the grill.

Two years ago, Colleen Minton nearly pulled the plug on TerraVita, her thriving food-and-drink festival in Chapel Hill.

Even with a team of dedicated volunteers, the event was growing at a pace she worried she could not sustain.

But Minton pressed on through TerraVita's fifth anniversary and now to its sixth edition. From Thursday to Saturday, the latest slate will present nearly 100 chefs, artisan producers and ardent food advocates preaching the gospel of sustainability to as many as 1,800 attendees. Yes, it's a bit of a party with excuses to eat and drink exceptionally well, but that's not entirely the point of one of the Southeast's premier food festivals.

"What I hope is that people come into this wanting to enjoy a meal or a class and walk away with a positive, lasting impression about sustainability in our food and drink systems," Minton says. "We want our attendees to interact with a diverse group of people who really care about these issues."

Indeed, this year's TerraVita will launch with a panel discussion facilitated by Jeff Polish of The Monti, the popular local storytelling series. Six industry leaders will talk about using their culinary platforms to become voices on topics related to the future of food. Raleigh restaurateur and chef Ashley Christensen will address food insecurity among children and families. Atlanta chef and cookbook writer Virginia Willis, whose Okra is part of the UNC Press Savor the South series, will talk about vulnerable seafood species.

Minton has also added after-parties for the elaborate dinners on Thursday and Friday. These smaller gatherings will allow for increased interaction between chefs, providers and participants. On Friday, for instance, after a grilling extravaganza called Hill Fire, Film & Fire will feature Kelly Cox of the PBS culinary travel show, Original Fare. Steven Deveraux Greene of Herons at The Umstead Hotel and Lionel Vatinet of La Farm Bakery will prepare nibbles featuring fish from Sunburst Trout Farms and chocolate from Videri.

Big names in the food world dominate the schedule and help drive ticket sales. Several James Beard Award winners are involved, including last year's Best Chef Southeast, Ashley Christensen, current champion Jason Stanhope of Charleston's FIG and potential future honoree Scott Crawford. (See page 12.) But TerraVita also provides an opportunity for less famous contributors to show their skills.

Minton points to the local pastry chefs who will create Friday's dessert. Deric McGuffey, who crafts decadent desserts at G2B in Durham, will prepare pies with blueberry-wood-smoked pecans (his wife, Kether Smith, runs Cedar Grove Blueberry Farm) and topped with apple cider ice cream. Norma Kessler of Cary's Sweet Arielle Bakery will prepare roasted banana cream pie s'mores with bourbon caramel sauce.

"Amazing, right?" Minton says. "We always strive to present the very best people available, but the scope of talent this year is mind-boggling."

Good thing, then, TerraVita stuck around.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Rows to work"

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Food Feature



Twitter Activity

Comments

A great little family Italian restaurant. Good menu. Quiet setting. Good service. …

by Anthony Dean Morgan on Pulcinella's Italian Restaurant (Durham County)

The Refectory is no longer on the Duke Campus. Their new, permanent location is on Chapel Hill Blvd, and yes …

by Beth Owl's Daughter on The Refectory Cafe (Durham County)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

What is "ugly" and extremely cruel is animal abuse. Science has shown that fishes are sentient, they suffer fear and …

by MaryF on One Fish, Two Fish, Local Fish, Ugly Fish (Food Feature)

So they want a garden. They buy a house with a shady backyard and a HOA. Sounds like they engineered …

by millertime on After Years of Looking the Other Way, a South Durham HOA Cracks Down on Front-Yard Gardens (Food Feature)

The Woodcroft HOA sounds sadly out of touch with current home trends. Family-friendly neighborhoods with play equipment and gardens--whether in …

by CCreek on After Years of Looking the Other Way, a South Durham HOA Cracks Down on Front-Yard Gardens (Food Feature)

My wife and I have lived in sight of the Lakewood for going on thirty years. We remember the Davis …

by Steve Coombs on What Do Lakewood Residents Think of Their Neighborhood's Newest High-End Restaurant? (Food Feature)

A similar conservative highjacking of the HOA and selective enforcement of covenants happened to us in Fairfield neighborhood in Durham …

by MMR on After Years of Looking the Other Way, a South Durham HOA Cracks Down on Front-Yard Gardens (Food Feature)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation