11.18.2012

How to Tackle TerraVITA: The Ultimate Food and Wine Event in N.C.

A few weeks ago, Will and I took an afternoon away from the kids and went to TerraVITA’s Tasting on the Green, which is an annual food-and-wine event that showcases North Carolina’s commitment to the farm-to-table movement.

Harvest Moon Grille Lamb BLT (Charlotte, NC)

You know any food-and-wine event sans children is right up my alley.

TerraVITA began three years ago out of a desire to produce a top-quality event for the Southeast, showcasing the very best in food and wine.  The founder, Colleen Minton, wanted sustainability to be a keynote, but not surpassed by the importance of superior quality.  

TerraVITAhas earned its reputation as one of the best food and beverage events in the Southeast because those standards have been central to its selection of participants.  This is a top-notch food-and-wine event based in Chapel Hill that culminates over three days. The Tasting on the Green is the event’s finale.

Mandolin Restaurant, Pulled Pork Collard Wraps with Szechuan Cranberry Sauce
When you arrive, you are given a wine glass and spork, and are told to have fun. 

Oh, my gosh! Where do you begin?

More than 30 statewide, locally owned restaurants have booths equipped with a special dish they brought to TerraVITA for the tasting.  More than a dozen wines, brews, and coffee are set up in the center of the tent.  It’s like a tapas feast.

Chefs 105 cuisine


Let me tell you … this is a culinary sport.  You’ve got to get a game plan in place.  By the time you go to every booth, you are three-fourths down the list, and you feel as if you cannot eat another bite.

FullSteam Brewery
We were newbies to this event, and we did the typical start at booth A, grab a drink now and then, eat a few bites, and work ourselves in a clockwise movement until the end of the line.

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! If you do that, then you are going to slight the chefs toward the end of the line because you will honestly feel as if you cannot possibly put another edible delight into your mouth.

Here’s what I’m going to do next year.  I’m going to walk around and see what is on the menu.  I’m then going to go to what appeals to me first, take a long beverage and social break, then finish the list and repeat some of my favorites.  Yes, that’s my game plan!

Market Restaurant, Raleigh, NC


Everything I tasted was great this year, and I didn't get to everything because I was so full by the end. However  I do have some booths that continue to stick in my mind as I write this piece several weeks later.  That says a lot for something, right? 

Here’s my TerraVITA Tops!

Food
Cassie Parsons, Harvest Moon Grill in Charlotte, N.C.
Brendan Cox, Oakleaf, Pittsboro, N.C.
Chad McIntyre, Market Restaurant, Raleigh, N.C.
Andy Hopper, Chefs 105, Morehead City, N.C.
Vivian Howard, Chef and the Farmer, Kinston, N.C.
Sean Fowler, Mandolin, Raleigh, N.C.
Leigh Hesling, Green Valley Grill, Greensboro, N.C.

Desserts
Andi Wolfgang, Nama Kiss Chocolates (based in Raleigh, N.C.) – Vegan chocolates, and they were delicious. The fudge was outstanding. 

French Broad Chocolates of Asheville, NC


Jael and Dan Rattigan, French Broad Chocolates, Asheville, N.C. (They brought a special chocolate just for the event, and I would kill for another piece.  It was that outstanding.)

Danielle Centeno, Escazu Artisian Chocolates, Raleigh, N.C. (They have an excellent dark chocolate with sea salt).

Escazu Chocolate, Raleigh, NC


Beverages
Fullsteam Brewery, Durham, N.C. (Beasley’s Honey White is so good, as is Working Man’s Lunch.)
Highland Brewing, Asheville, N.C. (Love Highland Brewing. I’m a big fan of their Black Mocha Stout.)
Slingshot Coffee, Raleigh, N.C. (Bottled coffee was a new concept for me, and it’s awesome.)

Slingshot Coffee Company

And my husband was captivated by TOPO Spirits from Top of the Hill Brewery in Chapel Hill.  It’s about time this N.C. State grad become captivated with something in Carolina territory.  TOPO spirits is North Carolina’s local and organic small-batch-from-scratch distillery.  He was impressed.  At one time, they were serving Bloody Mary’s, and I’m bummed that I missed them. 

Well, there is always next year!

We had so much fun!

TerraVITA is an event not to miss. Keep that in mind next year. 



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