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Editor's Note: This story is unlocked for everyone to read courtesy of the CRVA, our partner in nourishing culinary exploration for residents and visitors of the Queen City.

March 12, 2024

Piedmont Culinary Guild to host food-focused symposium

See the lineup of local chefs, farmers, and culinary experts

PCG’s Food & Beverage Symposium is set for Sunday, March 24 at CPCC. TM Petaccia/UP

by Lynn S. Caldwell

On Sunday, March 24, the Piedmont Culinary Guild will host a symposium at Central Piedmont Community College to share information on a variety of topics and provide a scholarship for a student in the CPCC culinary program. (Disclosure: UP editor Kristen Wile is on the nonprofit’s board.) The theme of the event is “Preserving the Flavors of the Piedmont,” and will feature chefs, growers, and local business owners who will lead a variety of sessions that have been designed to appeal to culinary professionals, urban growers, and food enthusiasts.

Whether you want to learn about making pasta, fermentation, composting, or farming in the city, there are sessions planned to help you learn while enjoying the company of others in our community. The classes offered will be of interest to a variety of skill levels, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional.

All proceeds will be donated to the PCG Scholarship Program and will be awarded to the winner of a student culinary competition that will be taking place throughout the symposium.

The ticket price includes a biscuit bar during the breakfast hour; lunch, which will be a local foods feast featuring the flavors of the season; and a networking and happy hour after the last session featuring a variety of local beverages.

The symposium will kick off at 8 a.m. with a keynote by Chef Njathi Kabui, a well-known local chef, speaker, and author. He will be speaking of food sovereignty and igniting the next generation.

Piedmont Culinary Guild is a 501c3 established to connect the local food chain; share resources for culinary and agriculture professionals; and educate and create regional recognition. You can join as a professional member or with a public membership which is open to anyone, but you do not have to be a member to attend the symposium.

“We are truly grateful for another year of the PCG Food & Beverage Symposium, a wonderful platform that unites our community and celebrates our shared passion for local food,” says Kris Reid, co-founder and Executive Director of Piedmont Culinary Guild. “North Carolina, our beloved state, holds the unfortunate ranking of being the second most endangered state for agriculture land loss, according to the American Farmland Trust. This makes our collective action more critical than ever. Let us cherish and safeguard our food sovereignty, culture, and regional food traditions. If we don’t preserve these things, who will?”

You will be able to choose four of the following workshops to attend:

  • Wild Herbal Plant Walk + Oxymel Remedies by Abby Artemisia, The Wander School Sorghum Syrup & Heirloom Corn Production by Willis Farms
  • Hands on Hog Butchery by Chef Brittany Cochran, Stagioni: Four Seasons of Food
  • Food Fizz and Tang: A Fermentation Fiesta! by Chef Jess Cochran
  • Tomato Growing Masterclass: The Patio Farmer by Erin Hostetler, The Patio Farmer
  • Fermentation: Sourdough & Sauce by Tara Ebersold, Bleu Barn Bistro
  • Demystifying Seafood Cookery with Jimmy Pearls’ Oscar Johnson
  • Mushroom Cultivation by Hiram Ramirez, Urban Gourmet Farms
  • Simple Syrup is for Sweet Tea, not NC Wines by Assorted Table Wine & Shop’s Josh Villapando
  • Pasta 101: Doughs & shapes for all kitchens by Mark Becker, Ava Pizza
  • Compost Like a Pro! Bill Sloan, Master Composter
  • The Buzz About All Things BEES by Bryan Fisher Business
  • Farming in the City with Deep Roots CPS Farm’s Cherie Jzar
  • Farmer Preservation & Permanent Land Access: 1st Generation Farmers by Aaron Newton, Carolina Farms Fund
  • Succession Planning for Small Farms by NC State Extension
  • 101: Optimizing Credit Card Rewards by Adam Duke, Dukes Bread & Title Belt Frozen Dessert
  • Managing COGs : Fixing Food Cost by Daniel Wheeler, Unox
  • The E-Myth Revisited with Whiskey Tasting by David Neeley, JD Financial Group & Associates
  • Leadership and Employee Retention Today by Paul Manley with guests Chef Greg Collier, Katy Kindred, Chef Sam Diminich

Tickets are on sale now at piedmontculinaryguild.com. Your payment for a ticket is considered to be a donation and is fully tax-deductible.

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