Chew On This

Weigl: Readers chime in with 2013's must-do food events

aweigl@newsobserver.comJanuary 8, 2013 

Last week, I offered a list of a dozen must-attend-at-least-once food events in the Triangle. I asked readers to chime in with their own suggestions.

And readers responded, offering eight more events to add to your 2013 calendar. Here are the mouth-watering details:

• Wake Technical Community College’s culinary program puts on a show each April during its annual culinary arts showcase. It’s part culinary competition for students and professionals, part live cake decorating contest, part tasting event. Guests admire students’ competition showpieces, cakes, pastries and cold food platters. They can sample food from local restaurants, buy baked goods from pastry students and watch a live ice carving demonstration. There are hands-on children’s activities. A ticket price for the April 30 event at the Raleigh Convention Center has not been set. More information: .

• The annual Got to be N.C. Festival is like a mini-state fair. Held at the state fairgrounds in Raleigh May 17-19, it features live music, carnival rides, games and antique farm equipment plus the N.C. food and wine expo inside the Exposition Building. Details: .

Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen hosts a series of fundraisers each year for the Southern Foodways Alliance. The two-day affairs called Stir the Pot start with a multi-course dinner at her restaurant, Poole’s Diner, cooked by Christensen and an out-of-town guest chef. That meal costs $150. The next night, Christensen hosts a potluck at her Raleigh home for $35. Everyone brings a dish to share, and Christensen gets to spread the gospel of the Southern Foodways Alliance, a nonprofit devoted to documenting and celebrating Southern food traditions. The next Stir the Pot features Atlanta chef Steven Satterfield on May 19-20. Tickets are not available yet, but check back at

• Last year, Apex became the Triangle’s first venue for a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned barbecue contest. The Peak City Pig Fest was such a success that it will return on June 22. This family-friendly event features live music, pig races and the chance to taste some competition ’cue and vote for a people’s choice winner. For more information: .

• Jimmy Crippen’s statewide competition dining series took North Carolina by storm last year. The owner of Crippen’s Country Inn & Restaurant in Blowing Rock took his annual “Fire on the Rock” series of cooking contests to three other cities: Fire on the Dock in Wilmington, Fire in the Triangle in Raleigh and Fire in the Triad in Greensboro. Crippen recruits local chefs to compete against one another in a series of dinners open to the public. The winning chefs advance to quarter- and semi-final rounds. Last year, the finalists in each region competed in a statewide championship in Raleigh.

This year, Crippen is adding a Charlotte event called Fire in the City. Reservations for all the events will go fast. This year’s Fire in the Triangle is tentatively scheduled for July 8-13. Details: , go to

• Ray Price Harley-Davidson hosts a series of cooking competitions each year. A reader highly recommended the annual wings contest, where the public pays $5 to eat what the teams cook up and vote for the people’s choice winner. (To read about last year’s wings contest, go to This year’s competition is July 13. The Raleigh dealership also hosts a Brunswick stew contest on March 16 and a barbecue contest on Nov. 9.

• A Toast of the Triangle, the annual fundraiser for the Tammy Lynn Center, was one reader’s recommendation. The bad news is that event is not happening this year. It will return in 2014. The good news is tickets go on sale Thursday for a Toast-like event at 6 p.m. March 10 at Raleigh’s Zinda restaurant. For $75, guests sample food from all of Eschelon Hospitality’s restaurants: Zinda, Sona, Mura, The Oxford and Cameron Bar & Grill. For tickets: .

To see my list of events, go to

Weigl: 919-829-4848 or

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