TerraVita Food & Drink Festival, named one of the “10 Southern Food Festivals You Need to Taste” by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and “4 Can’t Miss Southern Food Festivals” by PeterGreenberg.com, is taking place in October in North Carolina’s Triangle region.

This year, TerraVita expans its eductation series—The Sustainable Classroom—by kicking off the festival with a featured discussion honoring those who use their culinary influence and capital to make a difference in their community. 

Half of the proceeds from the event will be divided among the charities and causes highlighted by the speakers.

“TerraVita is about sharing this passion for sustainable food and drink, but it’s also about developing and supporting community. This event offers the perfect opportunity to connect with each of our speakers in a very personal way and highlight the causes that are near and dear to each of them,” explains founder Colleen Minton.

The event will kick off the festival weekendat 3 p.m. on October 6 with cocktails and light snacks. Tickets are $45.

Following this panel, TerraVita celebrates North Carolina’s rich culinary scene with a family-style dinner: The Carolina Table: East Meets West. Chef Steven Greene of Herons in the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, North Carolina, Chef Sean Fowler of Mandolin in Raleigh, North Carolina, Chef Jim Noble of Noble’s Restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina, and pastry chefs Krystle Swenson of Standard Foods and Andrew Ullom of AC Restaurants—both in Raleigh—are just a few of the collobarators. The dinner will be held at Chapel Hill’s Top of the Hill’s Great room for a cost of $100.

Following dinner, guests can join Border Springs’ Craig Rogers for his popular "Lambs & Clams."

Rappahannock Oysters and celebrated chefs, brewers, and spirit producers, will join Rogers and his cowboy cauldron for light, lamb-centric fare featuring his pastured Virginia lamb and Rappahannock’s shellfish. “Lambs & Clams” will be held at Southern Season’s courtyard at The Weathervane in Chapel Hill. Tickets are $55 per person.

On October 9, The Sustainable Classroom—a hallmark of the event—introduces visionary producers, chefs, journalists, and cookbook authors for culinary workshops, food and beverage tastings, demonstrations, and panel discussions that range in topic, but share a focus on sustainability. Participants may choose to attend up to five one hour and 15 minute classes, which take place October 9 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and October 10, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Classes will take place in two locations—at Southern Season’s Cooking School and at Top of the Hill’s Great Room.

Passes can be purchased for Friday or Saturday separately, for $65 and $55, respectively. The Friday pass includes three classes and the Saturday pass includes two classes. There is also a two-day class pass that offers the maximum number of classes (five total) for $110. Classes and notable participants and talent are below:

Waste Not: Scraps, Bites & Bits
Betsy Andrews of Organic Life, Chef Scott Crawford of Standard Foods and more

Me, Myself & Ribeye: And Exploration of Home Butchery
Jennifer Curtis of Firsthand Foods, Cheetie Kumar of Garland, Clay Trainum of Autumn Olive Farm and more

Beyond the Bar: Cocoa from Salty to Sweet
Andrea Weigl of The News & Observer, Jael Rattigan of French Broad Chocolates and Daniel Benjamin of Lucettegrace


Lands of Milk and Honey: An Exploration of Terroir in Wine & Cheese
Elizabeth Cooper of Southern Season, Inez Ribustello of On The Square, Max Kast of The Fearrington House, Alexander Kast of Goat Lady Dairy, Hilary Schmidt of Boxcarr Handmade Cheese, and Matt Hart of Capriole Goat Cheese

Apple of our Eye: Cider & the Apple
Maggie White of The Local Palate, Diane Flynt of Foggy Ridge Cider, Mattias Hagglund, and Chef Joe Sparatta of Heritage

NC in Five Drinks
Robert Moss, Sean Lilly Wilson of Fullsteam, Elizabeth Cooper of Southern Season, Tom Barbitta of Cheerwine and more

NC in Five Plates
Elizabeth Hudson of Our State, Bill Smith of Crooks Corner, Bob Garner,
Sheri Castle, Nancie McDermott, Stephanie Tyson and Vivian Joiner of Sweet Potatoes

Spirited: The Souls & Stories behind the Cocktails
Robert Moss, Scott Maitland of TOPO Distillery, James Clark of The Carolina Inn and more

Praise the Lard: Show & Tell with a Misunderstood Fat
Jennifer Cole, Phoebe Lawless of Scratch, April McGreger of Farmer’s Daughter, and Angela Salamanca of Centro

Sour Power House: Demystifying Sour Beer with Haw River Farmhouse Ales & Edmund’s Oast
Margo Knight Metzger of NC Craft Brewer’s Guild, Ben Woodward of Haw River Farmhouse Ales, Chef Isaiah Allen of The Eddy Pub and more

This year, TerraVita celebrates sustainability with a new dinner: Hill Fire: Pits, Spits & Grills. On October 9, a collaborative feast will feature some the region’s best chefs, pitmasters, and farmers. Chef Ashley Christensen of AC Restaurants and Fig’s Jason Stanhope—the James Beard Foundation’s two most recent Best Chefs: Southeast—will be featured. Joe Sparatta at Heritage in Richmond, and Clay Trainum from Olive Autumn Farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, will join us, as well as Sam Jones of Skylight Inn from Ayden, North Carolina.

From this region, Chef Ben Adams, The Pig Whistle’s Wyatt Dickson and Green Button Farm, of the soon-to-open Picnic in Durham, North Carolina, will serve whole hog barbecue using the farm’s peanut-finished heritage breed hogs. Some of North Carolina’s top craft brews will be tapped, alongside Wine Authorities’ boxed wines from small family farms, and spirits from local producers, including Broadslab Distillery. Hill Fire will be held at Town Commons in Carrboro, North Carolina, and the cost of each ticket will be $75.

TerraVita culminates on October 10, with the Grand Tasting on the Green at Southern Village, featuring tastings from more than 40 chefs and artisans from across the state. Additionally, more than 100 sustainably produced beverages from around the globe will be served, including: organic coffee; biodynamic, organically grown and natural wines, and sustainably produced microbrews and spirits.

Guests also will enjoy cookbook signings and intimate interaction with chefs, artisans, and beverage producers from across the state. The all-inclusive ticket is $75; designated driver tickets are available for $60.

“TerraVita would not be possible, if not for the continued support from the community and beyond,” Minton says. “The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, Southern Season, TOPO Distillery, Top of the Hill, Performance Subaru, Pate Dawson—Southern Foods, the Chapel Hlll Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, The Local Palate and Our State magazine have supported the event in multiple ways and continue to encourage more growth and visibility each year to showcase the best our region has to offer.”

TerraVita is offering a limited number of three-day passes—The Whole Shebang—for $475. The pass includes admittance to all TerraVita events, including the kick-off event, two dinners, two after parties, class passes on Friday and Saturday, and the Grand Tasting.

Each year, TerraVita sets a goal of producing a zero waste event. Thanks to a strategic partnership with Orange County Solid Waste Management and Brooks Contractors, a commercial composting company located in Chatham County, TerraVita employs the use of compostable and recyclable goods and recycles or composts nearly all of the waste produced at the event.

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