What's on Tap

What's on Tap

At TerraVita launch, food serves as a platform for social change

Posted September 30, 2015
Updated October 1, 2015

Ashley Christensen (TerraVita)

— The sixth annual TerraVita Food and Drink Festival has earned due acclaim for its status as one of the South's best events for deliciously celebrating sustainably grown and produced fare, with special focus on the farmers, chefs and artisans who make it all possible.

This year's Oct. 8-10 festival will launch with a new element that will further distinguish TerraVita. Culinary Capital and Building Community features an all-star panel discussion on how culinary leaders foster positive change through mindful practice of their trade.

Led by Jeff Polish, founder of Chapel Hill-based nonprofit The Monti, panelists will use the storytelling techniques of TedX and Pecha Kucha to share the experiences and passion that drives them to use their celebrity as a platform to serve the greater good. The goal is to guide attendees to consider their own strengths and interests, and how these skills and energies can be leveraged to benefit their local communities.

Panelists include:

Ashley Christensen of Raleigh is chef and owner of AC Restaurants, including Poole's Diner, Death & Taxes, Beasley's Chicken + Honey and Joule. Named Best Chef Southeast in 2014 by the James Beard Foundation, Christensen is an active philanthropist dedicated to increasing awareness and reducing the incidence of child and family hunger.

Margaret Gifford, formerly of Chapel Hill, food advocate and founder of Farmer Foodshare, the influential Chapel Hill-based nonprofit that seeks to connect people who grow food to consumers who most need it. She is now working in New York City with Watervine Impact, which provides resources to benefit public health, food and agriculture enterprises.

Henry Hargreaves of Brooklyn is a professional photographer whose international work compels viewers to consider food and food products in ways that challenge social norms.

Kat Kinsman of New York City is editor at Tasting Table and renown devotee of the French 75 cocktail and the author of "Hi, Anxiety!," a book about her struggles with debilitating panic and determined quest for joy, to be published next spring by Harper Collins.

Virginia Willis of Atlanta is a Southern chef and author of the new Lighten Up, Y'All and Okra, a Savor the South cookbook from UNC Press. She is an eloquent advocate for healthful eating, sustainable farming, and protecting our nation's threatened fisheries.

Mike Moore of Asheville is the former chef/owner of the acclaimed but now-closed Seven Sows Bourbon & Larder and founder of the traveling Blind Pig Supper Club, which has raised funds to support sustainable agriculture and land preservation, as well as charities that serve children and young adults. His next venture will be an American restaurant to open next year in Beaufort.

Tickets for this panel are $45. Student tickets are available for $25 each. Students must produce student IDs.

Tickets can be purchased for this and all other TerraVita events online at TerraVitaEvent.com.

WRAL's Out and About is a sponsor of TerraVita.


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