This year’s TerraVita festival includes far-flung favorites, local icons and restaurants that don’t even exist yet.
With less than a month to go until the ninth annual TerraVita, organizers have unveiled the lineups for all events, including the festival’s centerpiece, the “Fall Fete,” which previously was known as the Grand Tasting.
The Fall Fete is essentially an outdoor tasting party with many of North Carolina’s top chefs, brewers, bartenders and wine distributors. This year’s version includes the debut of chef Scott Crawford’s French concept Jolie; a Triangle appearance by Vivian Howard’s Wilmington pizzeria Benny’s Big Time; Asheville barbecue destination Buxton Hall; and nearly other food and beverage pros.
It’s the ninth year for Chapel Hill food festival TerraVita, started by Colleen Minton as an annual showcase of the Triangle’s culinary talent, plus other chefs, brewers and cocktail makers from throughout the Southeast. The festival runs Oct. 17-20, largely in venues throughout Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
Celebrity chef Carla Hall is this year’s headliner. Known for her Southern-inspired cooking and buoyant personality, Hall rose to fame on the cooking competition “Top Chef” and became a co-host of “The Chew” daytime talk show, which ended its run this spring.
Hall will launch her new cookbook, “Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration,” days before it is published elsewhere on Oct. 23.
On Thursday, Oct. 18, she’ll sit down for a Q&A with Cary cookbook author and writer Sandra Gutierrez at McIntyre’s Books in Fearrington Village. Tickets are $45 and include a copy of the new book.
This year’s festival features a tribute dinner Friday, Oct. 19, for Southern food icon, Edna Lewis, whose commitment to local, seasonal ingredients predated the current craze for farm-to-table cuisine by decades.
Hall will cook at the dinner at Fearrington Village in Pittsboro, where Lewis was once the chef. Hall will be joined by chefs Colin Bedford of the Fearrington House, Walter Royal of the Angus Barn and Sean Fowler of Mandolin in Raleigh. Tickets for the dinner are $135.
As part of the evening, James Beard award-winning author Toni Tipton-Martin will lead a panel discussion with the chefs, and photos of Lewis taken by photographer John T. Hill will be on display.
“Striking the balance between honoring traditions and exploring industry trends, we’re thankful to pay homage to the memory and impact of a legendary icon, Miss Edna Lewis,” Minton said in a release. “It’s an exciting time to come together, learn from each other and give back.”
Tickets for the festival are on sale.
▪ East Meets West Dinner: The dinner, which joins chefs from both sides of North Carolina, features Brandon Sharp of Crossroads Chapel Hill at the Carolina Inn; Amanda Orser of Littler in Durham; Matthew Krenz of the Asbury in Charlotte; Justise Robbins of Chef & the Farmer in Kinston; Sam McGann of The Blue Point in Duck; Ashley Boyd of 300 East in Charlotte; Jesse Roque of Never Blue in Hendersonville and Craig Love of Surf House Oyster Bar & Surf Camp in Carolina Beach.
The Oct. 17 meal will be served at The Carolina Inn. Tickets are $100.
▪ The Sustainable Classroom: TerraVita’s day of food talks and demos is getting a refresh. There will be two tracks this year, a traditional one with tastings and classes and discussions. That one will include a class on “Beverages that Heal,” looking at the drinks promoting healthy living and a happy gut as well as one called “The Chef & The Farmer,” which looks at couples who cook and farm together. Local cookbook author Sheri Castle will also lead one for all the Instant Pot disciples out there, including a recipe demo.
The new track offers a food-centric walking tour of Carrboro and downtown Chapel Hill, starting at Carrboro Coffee’s Open Eye Cafe and including a barbecue lunch.
Tickets for the traditional classroom are $85, and the walking tour is $100. Both are at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 19, so festival-goers can only pick one.
▪ Hill Fire Dinner: The lineup for TerraVita’s evening of outdoor flame cookery includes North Carolina appearances by Richmond chefs Jason Alley of Pasture and Brittany Anderson of Brenner Pass, Clark Barlowe of Heirloom in Charlotte, Ian Boden of The Shack in Staunton, Kevin Callaghan of Acme Food & Beverage Co. in Carrboro, Lydia Clopton of Pinpoint in Wilmington, Josh DeCarlos of Mothers & Sons in Durham, Greg McPhee of The Anchorage in Greenville, SC, Florence Melin of Sucre & Sel in Cary, Carolina Morrison of The Fiction Kitchen in Raleigh and Matthew Register of Southern Smoke BBQ in Garner, Hill Fire will be held Thursday, Oct. 18 at the Town Commons in Carrboro; tickets are $80.
▪ The Fall Fete: There will be 45 chefs and food makers with beverage pros slinging 60 different drinks. This year’s event is Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Green at Southern Village.
Other restaurants making a first appearance include The Cortez (Raleigh), Jack Tar & the Colonel’s Daughter (Durham), bu.ku (Raleigh and Wake Forest), Hummingbird (Raleigh), Union Special (opening in Raleigh) and East Durham Bake Shop (Durham).
Early-entry VIP tickets are $100, general admission is $80 and tickets for non-imbibers are $65.
For more details and to purchase tickets visit terravitafest.com