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October 17, 2023

Photo recap: Meet the Chef with Sam Diminich

An evening of elevated dining and insightful stories at Restaurant Constance

by TM Petaccia

Sam Diminich is a man of many stories – both high and low. Last night, UP members got to learn more about his journey, his philosophy, and his vision at our UP Meet the Chef dinner at Restaurant Constance. Over five courses, attendees learned about his growing up in his family’s Italian restaurant, his days at one of the country’s top-rated restaurants, his work with Ben’s Friends and local nonprofits, and what he sees for his future — all in his engaging and affable style. Below is a small excerpt of the food and fun guests enjoyed.

Thank you to our sponsor, Vulcan Equipment, for its continuing support of local chefs and farmers. Our next event is our 2023 UPPY Awards night where we will honor those who made a difference in the Charlotte food scene in the past year. UP paid subscribers currently have early-bird access to discounted tickets. Not yet a UP subscriber? Sign up today for exclusive early access to our events as well as our ongoing independent food journalism.

Meet the Chef with Sam Diminich menu. TM Petaccia/UP


Chef Sam Diminich lines up the plates for the evening ahead. TM Petaccia/UP

Meet the Chef — Smoked Chicken Lettuce Wraps with miso, cucumber, and pea tendrils. TM Petaccia/UP

Childhood — Sausage and Tomato “Cannelloni” with ricotta, basil, and parmesan foam. TM Petaccia/UP

An Inspiration — Jumbo Lump Crabcake with mustard vinaigrette, haricots verts, tomato diamonds (Restaurant Constance’s chef de cuisine Laura Liggins spent four hours cutting the diamonds). TM Petaccia/UP

The Present — Braised Pork Cheek Tagine with apricots, almonds, and Ras el Hanout. TM Petaccia/UP

The Future — Dry Aged Beef with kuri squash, kombu, and collards. TM Petaccia/UP

Full house for Meet the Chef. This is this first time UP members purchased all the tickets during the exclusive members-only access period. No at-large public tickets were available for this event. TM Petaccia/UP

Chef Diminich and staff put out an excellent dinner. TM Petaccia/UP

Diminich (center) flanked by Unpretentious Palate’s Kristen and Jon Wile. TM Petaccia/UP

Turning out the lights on a delicious and informative evening. TM Petaccia/UP

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