April 27, 2015
This Sunday, May 3rd, Center City Partners (CCP) and the Piedmont Culinary Guild (PCG) are teaming up to bring you brunch on steroids. Instead of enjoying the cuisine of one inventive chef, how about nine local stars serving up small bites for your delectation? And instead of one well-stocked bar, how about two local distilleries and Charlotte’s premiere cocktail king making spirits bright? Throw in live bluegrass music and the chance to go home with a free Wüsthof chef’s knife, and you’ve got yourself an irresistible Back Porch Brunch. Sound amazing or what?
The event is part of the CCP’s Front Porch Sundays series, and is being held in conjunction with the South End Art & Soul weekend. According to PCG Executive Director Kris Reid, it all revolves around the new Rail Trail running from Uptown through South End. “There’s this whole culture that people are starting on the back side of their properties,” she says. What used to be just a space for the Lynx’s Blue Line to glide through has turned into an animated, thriving social center, with bikers, pedestrians and dog walkers bringing life to the linear public park.
The PCG is a relatively new nonprofit connecting area farmers, chefs and other gourmands to create a locally focused core of culinary professionals. So the chefs serving up Sunday’s brunch—such as Rooster’s Zack Renner and littleSpoon’s Miles Payne—will be sourcing as much as possible from local farmers and artisans, while creating their own personal favorite brunch dishes. Blake Hartwick of Bonterra restaurant is planning some good ol’ fashioned livermush with Geechie Boy grits, pickled quail egg and sorghum popcorn. Earl’s Grocery will be sending Marc Jacksina with a duck confit ramen. If these aren’t enough to tempt you, the full list of participating chefs can be found on the PCG’s event page.
Of course Sunday brunch isn’t complete without the appropriate adult beverages. Two local distilleries, TOPO and Muddy River will be pouring spirits for tasting, including some “Muddy Marys” with tasty North Carolina brewed rum. Joining them will be locally lauded mixologist Bob Peters of the Punch Room. He’ll be serving up cocktails and sharing ideas for fun ways to use these local liquors for Mother’s Day specialties or any old summer Sunday. And all these delicious beverages go down with the strummings of “old time string band” Too Wet to Plow.
The event kicks off at noon at 2151 Hawkins St., right next to Sycamore Brewing. Your $35 advance-sale ticket not only gets you tastes of everything on offer, but saves you $5 off the price at the door. But wait, that’s not all: you’ll also be entered into a drawing for a 7″ Wüsthof santoku knife worth $120. The whole culinary production is for a good cause, raising money to help the PCG create infrastructure, establish scholarships for farmers and chefs, and continue its education efforts behind the benefits of growing our local food community. So there’s no real reason not to come out and join the fun this weekend. Sunday brunch may be a tradition, but the PCG Brunch will prove it doesn’t have to be boring.