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First-annual Carolina food summit to give answers and ask questions

Chapel Hill, NC, September 20, 2016—The first-annual Carolina Food Summit will kick off the 2016 TerraVita Food Festival on September 28 and 29. Over forty chefs, writers, nonprofit leaders, restauranteurs, and scholars will gather to share perspectives on and tackle challenges within North Carolina’s growing food scene—from field, to school cafeteria, to the area’s most lauded restaurants.

This gathering of change makers for North Carolina’s foodways is designed to break the traditional conference model. Jeff Polish (The Monti) is emcee for “The Story of Place,” the Wednesday afternoon storytelling session that sets a compelling, conversational tone for the Carolina Food Summit and features area chefs Bill Smith (Crook’s Corner), Angela Salamanca (Centro), Vansana Nolintha (Bida Manda), and others. Southern Cultures, the award-winning journal published by UNC Press and the Center for the Study of the American South is the Summit’s campus host for this event.

Marcie Cohen Ferris (Co-Chair, UNC Food for All and Professor, American Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill) has crowdsourced input from across the South for her “State of North Carolina Food” address.

In two interactive “Gathering for Good” sessions, experts will prepare the audience to work together to brainstorm answers to two of the toughest questions facing the state’s food scene. The first such session, “Rethinking School Lunch” asks, “How can we reimagine school lunch?” while the second “NC Food 2025” addresses, “How can we each contribute to a healthy and sustainable food system in NC in 2025?”

During “Rethinking School Lunch,” Chefs Clark Barlowe (Heirloom) and Colin Bedford (Fearrington) join policy experts Jim Keaton (executive director for school nutrition, Durham Public Schools) and Linden Thayer (Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight) to tackle how to improve access to healthy cafeteria options. “I’m very passionate about opportunities to work with school food,” explains Barlowe. “More so than anything else I do, it allows for large and true change in our food system as long-term health, nutrition, and behaviors begin young.”

North Carolina’s school lunch program is not the only challenging issue to be addressed at the Carolina Food Summit. Countless hands help in moving a meal from seed to table, but the contemporary food scene can often leave out kitchen and farm workers. Following her keynote address on her recent book The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks, James Beard Award-winning author Toni Tipton Martin will join Chuck Reece (founder and editor of The Bitter Southerner) and Chef Andrea Reusing (Lantern, The Durham) to discuss the politics of labor in food.

In addition to challenges, the Carolina Food Summit celebrates recent successes in North Carolina spurred by visionaries in the food world. In the “Reanimating the Rural South” panel, chefs Aaron Vandemark (Panciuto), John May (Piedmont, formerly Chef & the Farmer), and Inez Ribustello (On the Square) join Nancy Gottovi who is making change in former mill town Star, NC, with STARworks and Shorlette Amons (Community Food Systems Outreach Coordinator, NC State). “I welcome all opportunities to reframe the narrative around food to one that is more inclusive and representative of communities of color,” says Amons. “All people are a rich part of the southern food experience of this country and their voices and stories need to be heard.”

A complete list of speakers confirmed to date follows.

For more information about The Carolina Food Summit, visit Tickets are available at If you would like to sponsor the Carolina Food Summit, please email Erica Porter at or Nation Hahn at


Wednesday, September 28, 3:30-5:30 PM

(UNC-Chapel Hill, Gerrard Hall, 116 E. Cameron Ave., Chapel Hill, NC 27514)

The Story of Place “Storytelling”
  • April McGreger, Chef & Owner Farmers Daughter
  • Jefferson Currie II, Independent Folklorist
  • Donovan McKnight, Ethnosh
  • Vansana Nolintha, Co-Owner, Bida Manda
  • Bill Smith, Chef, Crook’s Corner
  • Sheri Castle, Cookbook Author and Cooking Teacher
  • Angela Salamanca, Owner and Chef, Centro

Thursday, September 29, 8:30 AM-6:00 PM

(Rock Quarry Farm, 1700 NC Hwy 54 West, Chapel Hill, NC  27516)

“State of NC Food”
  • Marcie Cohen Ferris, Co-Chair, Food for All and Professor of American Studies (UNC-Chapel Hill)
“Conversation Sparks: Hunger, Change, Flavor, Policy, Sustainability”
  • Andrea Weigl, News & Observer
  • Reverend Richard Joyner, Conetoe Family Life Center
  • Wyatt Dickson, Picnic
  • Chef Ricky Moore, Saltbox Seafood Joint
  • Scott Marlow, RAFI
  • Chef Scott Crawford, Crawford & Son
“Reanimating the Rural South”
  • Bernard Herman, Department Chair and Professor, American Studies (UNC-Chapel Hill)
  • Shorlette Amons, Community Food Systems Outreach Coordinator
  • Nancy Gottovi, STARworks
  • Inez Ribustello, On the Square
  • John May, Piedmont
  • Aaron Vandemark, Panciuto
“Gathering for Good: Rethinking School Lunch”
  • Nation Hahn, EdNC and the Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation
  • Chef Clark Barlowe, Heirloom Restaurant
  • Beth Hopping, Center for Advanced Hindsight
  • Linden Thayer, Center for Advanced Hindsight
  • Chef Colin Bedford, Fearrington
  • Jim Keaton, Executive Director for School Nutrition, DPS
Keynote Presentation & Discussion
  • Toni Tipton Martin (The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks, University of Texas Press, 2016)
  • Chuck Reece, The Bitter Southerner
  • Chef Andrea Reusing (The Durham, Lantern)
Foodways for Social Good
  • Grayson Currin, Raleigh Agenda
  • Cecilia Polanco, So Good Pupusas)
  • Kelly Alexander, Writer (Speaking on Replacements Ltd)
  • Melanie Allen, Conservation and Diversity Director, Conservation Trust for North Carolina
  • Gini Bell, Farmer Foodshare
  • Noran Sanford, Founder of GrowingChange + Terrence Smith, Youth Leader
  • Sean Wilson, Fullsteam
  • Leonardo Galván (outreach expert and community educator, North Carolina Farmworkers Project)
“Gathering for Good: NC Food 2025”
  • Victoria Bouloubasis, INDY food editor
  • Sandi Kronick, CEO, Eastern Carolina Organics
  • Carol Peppe Hewitt, Slow Money
  • Chef Mike Lee, M Sushi
  • Ben Grymes, Dawnbreaker Farm

About the Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation:

The Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation is focused on engaging and connecting emerging leaders and community-based organizations that work on the issues that will impact the future of North Carolina — poverty, food justice, hunger, and public education. Jamie Kirk Hahn believed food and drink united people from different walks of life in turn encouraging influential, actionable ideas that serve to change and empower the communities in which we live.


EducationNC (EdNC) seeks to expand the educational opportunities for all children in North Carolina, increase their academic attainment, and improve the performance of the state’s public schools. EdNC provides the state with data, research, news, information, and analysis about the major trends, issues, and challenges facing K-12 education. EdNC is your trusted source of information and the architecture for your participation in a statewide conversation about our schools.

About TerraVita Food & Drink Festival

TerraVita Food & Drink Festival started in October 2010 and has been 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 The Chapel Hill, NC-based festival, now in its seventh year, offers exceptional dinners, tasting events, after parties, chef demos as well as the “Sustainable Classroom” – educational experiences featuring renowned chefs, authors & national media. For updates, follow @TerraVitaFoodie on Twitter and Instagram, TerraVita Food & Drink Festival on Pinterest and Facebook (#TerraVita2016). For more information go

About Food For All

UNC-CH’s university-wide academic theme, “Food for All: Local and Global Perspectives,” advances the campus and community’s engagement in topics as diverse as the cultural and historical study of food in society to nutrition, hunger, sustainable agriculture, environmental degradation, climate change, food justice, entrepreneurial creativity, and economic development. As an international and regional leader in food studies, UNC’s research, resources, publications, service, and teaching in food-related fields have flourished since the 1920s, when the university first confronted the region’s chronic illiteracy, poverty, and malnutrition.  The goal of “Food for All” is to motivate conversation and research about food-focused scholarship and public engagement on a campus, state, national, and global level. UNC’s “Food for All” theme is proud to be a supporter of the Carolina Food Summit and its commitment to creating the healthy and vibrant food systems that all North Carolinians deserve.


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