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Farm dinners, wine dinners and farm tours 

All right, kiddos, it's time to plan. Spring is officially upon us, and that means lots of fun food-related events are springing up. And if I wait to tell you about some of them until the week before, they may be sold out. So while you're inside this weekend, quaffing beers and watching basketball, consider all the fun farm dinners, wine dinners and farm tours that could be in your warm-weather future.

The 2008 Dinner on the Porch series at Elodie Farms (9522 Hampton Road, Rougemont, 479-4609, is already under way. Many of our area's top chefs have trucked themselves out to the farm and served up dinners that include Elodie Farms' goat cheese. Cost for each dinner is $65 per person and includes one glass of wine; guests are welcome to bring their own bottles. Sam Poley, formerly of Restaurant Starlu, opened the series on March 15. The rest of the series is (tentatively) scheduled, and Elodie's Web site now takes credit cards, so make your reservations now. The next one is April 26.

Next month also brings the opening of most Triangle farmers' markets—including the new one in Chapel Hill we wrote about last week and another just announced at Raleigh's North Hills shopping center (, which opens April 19. That weekend also marks the first of 2008's farm tours, with the Piedmont Farm Tour April 19-20 ( For a list of farmers' markets, and recipes for their bounty, see our new Locavore Cooking column on page 23.

Savoy (7713-39 Leadmine Road, Raleigh, 848-3535, is now open for lunch and dinner. Chefs Peter Gibson and Marshall Smith, who are brothers, both spent time in the kitchen of Jean-Michel Bouvier in Chambéry, the capital of Savoie, France. Gibson was sous chef at Bistro 607 in Raleigh. Smith trained at the New England Culinary Institute and was executive chef at Raleigh's Michael Dean's. Together, they are serving "contemporary continental cuisine" with seasonal ingredients at Savoy, such as crab louis with jumbo lump blue crab, arugula, mascarpone mousse, boiled egg and roasted pepper with horseradish-spiked dressing (that's one dish!); filet of beef with shiitake-duxelle stuffed potato "bone" with buttered lobster and asparagus; and slow-fried chicken leg with spiced apples and cider caramel.

Last week, I wrote about an intrepid historian traveling our state and blogging about cool food events and out-of-the-way eateries. If you'd like to do your own food-based tour, you could start with our many barbecue joints from Murphy to Ayden. They're all listed, complete with directions, on the North Carolina Barbecue Society's Web site, (click on Barbecue Trail). Although headquartered in Winston-Salem, the society sponsors events and welcomes members from all over. Our local point on the map is, of course, Allen & Son (6203 Millhouse Road, Chapel Hill, 942-7576).

Know about a special food happening in the Triangle? Send it to Now Serving at


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