1:12 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Old Friends And New Flavors

Credit Amy Rogers

By the time you’ve known a person two, three, or more decades, you can no more remember all the meals you’ve shared than you can count up all your conversations.

Pancakes, birthday cakes, and peanut butter; from childhood to adulthood; over buckets of chicken and platters of fish, you believe you’ve learned everything there is to know about your friend’s appetites – in food and in life.

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12:11 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Pimp That Pumpkin! 'Carved' Event To Showcase The Sharpest Chefs

Credit Phil Romans / flickr

Get in the spooky spirit of Halloween at a family-friendly event full of frightful fun!

Atherton Market in Charlotte’s historic SouthEnd will host the first-ever “Carved” event on Sunday, October 20, beginning at 4 pm when chefs will bring their knife skills to the task of creatively carving plain old pumpkins into works of art.

Kids under 12 are encouraged to bring their own cleverly carved pumpkins from home and compete for prizes.

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4:00 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Michael Pollan Wants You To Start Cooking

He has been called a "food guru," "high priest of food," and even a "food god." Food writer, journalist and activist Michael Pollan was in Charlotte this week and sat down with Mike Collins, host of WFAE's Charlotte Talks. 

He's best known for his books Omnivore's Dilemma, Food Rules, In Defense of Food and his latest is Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. Pollan says put down the take-out menus and pick up a spatula - that cooking our own food not only improves our health but also the health of the food system.

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10:25 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Comfort Food: Helen’s Famous Goulash

Credit Tamra Wilson

One of the best stories I’ve ever written contained a recipe. “The House of Nits” was a fictionalized version of one week in July when our father was away on business and our mother left to attend a cousin’s funeral in Ohio. Helen, our next-door neighbor, was asked to keep an eye on my brother and me.

I was ten years old and had just taken knitting lessons. Helen, an accomplished seamstress, had never learned knitting, so we made a deal: if I taught her how to knit, she would teach me how to sew. She was a good teacher. I have been a sewer, and a knitter, ever since.

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11:49 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Into The Home Of... Egypt

Diana and Hany Assad at the dinner table.
Diana Stewart

The caption on the photo in my Instagram feed said: “My Egyptian co-worker brought an authentic Egyptian breakfast to share at the office!” Pictured was a plate of fool, a mixture of fava beans and red lentils, along with pita, hummus and pickles. I thought, I could go for some Egyptian food and proceeded to bend social media to my willful appetite.

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12:58 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Dining with Monet

The kitchen in Monet's home.
Credit Ariane Cauderlier /

Gail Peck is currently writing a manuscript of poetry on the lives of artists Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh. These recent poems were inspired by the cookbook Monet’s Table.

Monet’s World                                                                                       

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1:34 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Highlights From Fire In The City's Battle Sweet Potato

'Country Cobbler' of Sweet Potato Sponge Cake, Pecan Cinnamon Streusel, Muscadine-Summer Berry Compote and Tripple C Smoked Amber Ice Cream prepared by Chef Nicolas Daniels of The Wooden Vine.

 Last Thursday, I attended the third out of fifteen battles for Fire in the City, the head to head chef’s competition that has made a raucous descent into our fair city. Fire in the City is an all out elimination style battle between Charlotte chef’s featuring a secret local ingredient and six courses for hungry spectators (Joe’s) to taste and judge in order to select a winner to move on to the next round.

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2:20 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

A Taste Of Competition Dining

Do you suspect that Charlotte has some great chefs who haven’t had a chance to show off their talent?  I do, and as a blogger for the Fire in the City Competition Dining series, I am eager to see what some of these guys can do.  (But where are the women in the kitchen?)  I like a good competition as much as the next foodie fan of shows like Iron Chef, and after talking with several groups of diners during the September 4th event, I am clearly not alone.

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12:02 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Competition Dining Debuts In Charlotte

Credit Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series

The Competition Dining Series makes its Queen City debut this week with Fire in the City, the sixth installment of  the head to head culinary competition sweeping across North Carolina. Fire in the City features some of Charlotte’s best chefs as they face off in an all-out battle to demonstrate their culinary chops.

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11:01 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Second Helping: "Fresh Food. Fresh Start"

'Meat and three' at Second Helping
Second Helping

The fried green tomato casserole alone would be reason enough to go.

Second Helping opened the doors to its carry-out shop on Central Avenue on Monday. I was going to explain how the program employs formerly incarcerated women who have difficulty finding jobs when they leave prison.

But then I sampled the coconut cake.

I was going to tell you how its parent organization, Changed Choices, helps those who are “Building new lives beyond prison walls.”

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