Amy Rogers

Coordinator of WFAEats

Amy Rogers is the author of Hungry for Home: Stories of Food from Across the Carolinas and Red Pepper Fudge and Blue Ribbon Biscuits. Her writing has also been featured in Cornbread Nation 1: The Best of Southern Food Writing, the Oxford American, and the Charlotte Observer. She is founding publisher of the award-winning Novello Festival Press. She received a Creative Artist Fellowship from the Arts and Science Council, and was the first person to receive the award for non-fiction writing. Her reporting has also won multiple awards from the N.C. Working Press Association. She has been Writer in Residence at the Wildacres Center, and a program presenter at dozens of events, festivals, arts centers, schools, and other venues. Amy Rogers considers herself “Southern by choice,” and is a food and culture commentator for NPR station WFAE.

What’s your favorite childhood food memory? Watching my mother in a gorgeous cocktail dress sneak into the kitchen before a party so she could eat some real food.

What’s your typical breakfast? Coffee, with a side order of extra coffee

What can you always find in your fridge? Half-and-half. Because you can put it in coffee, tea, cereal, frittatas, and lots of leftover things like tomatoes, potatoes and shellfish to make cream-of-whatever soup.

Kitchen tool(s) you can’t live without? I lived and cooked wonderful meals for literally decades with only one chef’s knife. I now have others but rarely use them.

If you aren’t in the kitchen, where are you? Visiting farm stands, markets, cafes, friends’ homes – anywhere there’s food to be sampled and enjoyed.

Amy Rogers’ website

A sketch of a chocolate pot and whisk drawn from Ann's Experiences in Spain in the mid-1660s.
The Wellcome Library archives

Sometimes, a food aficionado just doesn’t want to bother cracking an actual book to learn something or be entertained. When the weight of that wooden spoon is too much to manage, digital cookbooks can be a satisfying source of recipes and fascinating glimpses into other eras and cultures.

Cathay Dawkins

This did not begin as a food story but it turned into one.

Back in 2014, Cathay Dawkins was troubled by shootings and other violence taking place in Charlotte. As a working artist and owner of a landscaping business, he remembers feeling he “had to address it from a black male’s perspective.”

He asked himself, “As a black entrepreneur, what can I do?” So he founded the Black Business Owners of Charlotte and began recruiting members to share resources, support each other, and lift up their communities. Thousands of people joined and soon an executive team was in place.

White House Cookbook
Amy Rogers / WFAEats

With the President’s Day holiday upon us, a food writer’s thoughts naturally turn to… well, cookbooks. We don’t typically prepare any special dishes to honor presidents, but let’s celebrate a few of the books that give us glimpses into the kitchens that have fed our leaders, their families, and guests.

heart shaped fruit

Butter, chocolate, and wine are good for you, right? No, wait; they’re bad. We should all switch to coconut oil, carob, and kombucha, yes? The answer is…Maybe.

Stacy Spensley /


People laughed out loud when I told them my New Year’s resolution: “I resolve to eat more pickles.” That was one year ago, at the start of 2017.

Well, no one is laughing now – because pickles are hot. (They’re also cold, quick, sweet, sour, half-sour, kosher, deep fried, and more.)

recipe in cookbook
jspatchwork / Flickr

Need a perfect gift that’s guaranteed to fit? One that doesn’t pack on the calories, get stale, or break if you drop it?

Of course you do. But you don’t want to grab just anything from the best seller list. Here at WFAEats we’ve been digging in our seasonal stacks for new and unusual books that will delight anyone with an appetite for food and the stories that make it special. So take a look at this delicious sampler we’ve selected.

Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Brunswick stew, sweet potato cakes, blackberry cobbler, and maple popcorn are just a few of the dishes that members of the Catawba Indian Nation are busy preparing for visitors who will attend the 4th Annual Craft and Food Fair on Saturday, Nov. 18.                  

“People of the community bake and prepare dishes,” explains Tonya Rice, the Children’s Services Director for the community. She’s also a chef in her own right, and estimates it takes about 50 people to produce the event.

Amy Rogers

First things first: Fill your plate with seafood stew, spicy slaw, catfish, corn, and bread. Then make your way to your assigned seat to begin the Black Lunch Table discussion. This interactive experience is designed to explore attitudes and create dialogue that addresses the ways in which race relations function in our communities.

The Lemonade Stand Cookbook
From The Lemonade Stand Cookbook: Step-by-Step Recipes and Crafts for Kids to Make--and Sell!, by Kathy Strahs (Burnt Cheese Press, 2017). Reprinted with permission.

Kathy Strahs was watching her 7- and 9-year-old children operate a lemonade stand when she realized something pretty complex was going on. “It was more than just kids selling lemonade. They were collaborating, strategizing, preparing drinks and food, shouting to attract customers,” the California author said.

And from that idea, a book was born: The Lemonade Stand Cookbook: Step-by-Step Recipes and Crafts for Kids to Make and Sell. It’s a fun, full-color guide to everything from setting up and decorating a stand to pricing and promoting items to be sold.

Harvest Baker Tomato Slab Pie
Excerpted from The Harvest Baker © by Ken Haedrich, photo © Johnny Autry, used with permission from Storey Publishing.

Has an avalanche of tomatoes, squash, berries, or beets landed in your kitchen?

Never fear, Ken Haedrich is here to help. He has a new book, The Harvest Baker: 150 Sweet and Savory Recipes Celebrating the Fresh-Picked Flavors of Fruits, Herbs and Vegetables. Even better, he’ll be visiting Charlotte on August 22 and will help you solve your persistent pie problems.