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Slow Food Charlotte, Piedmont Culinary Guild and Bonterra celebrate all things Apples

By Jennifer Brantley

September 14, 2015

In addition to being an historic property, Horne Creek Farm in Pinnacle, North Carolina, is home to more than 400 varieties of heirloom apples, many of which the farm’s team have saved from extinction. For the second year in a row, Slow Food Charlotte is leading a team to Horne Creek to pick apples for the Carolina Apple Fest Dinner planned at Bonterra on Monday, September 21.

The six-course dinner is a collaborative effort between Charlotte-area culinary talents including host Chef Blake Hartwick, Joe Kindred, chef/owner of Kindred, Terra Ciotta, instructor at The Art Institute of Charlotte, Megan Lambert, instructor at Johnson and Wales, Adam Reed, chef/owner of Sante and Ashley Boyd, pastry chef/owner of 300 East and pastry consultant at Heritage Food and Drink; all are given a different apple variety to work with making the dinner a true apple feast.

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Photo by Joel Andrew Tracey

Proceeds from the Carolina Apple Fest will go towards Slow Food Charlotte, Piedmont Culinary Guild and The Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm in Concord.

Steve and Geny Case, the husband and wife team leading the Slow Food Charlotte cause, have been with the organization since 2006. The couple hopes to grow an awareness of the variety of apples at Horne Creek through these types of events, while at the same time benefitting some great organizations like Elma Lomax Incubator Farm.

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Photo by Joel Andrew Tracey

According to Steve, the Apple Fest is unique because the event supports “a wonderful NC historic farm that is key in the preservation of heritage apple varieties.  A large part of the Slow Food Mission is the preservation of biodiversity in food and food culture throughout the world. This is one of our local foods under preservation!”  

When asked what some of Slow Food’s other goals are for the future Steve replied, “We want to empower families to get back into their kitchens and gardens with family and friends. Cook healthy foods using fresh locally sourced ingredients from the farmers markets or their own gardens. We are starting a gardening & cooking series, calling them from a Party of 8 to Dirt to Delicious.”

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Photo by Tasnim Shamma

The Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm is a concept developed by Cabarrus County and the NC Cooperative Extension in an effort to support local farmers while encouraging the next generation of farmers to maintain quality local food sources. The farm got its start thanks to Mrs. Elma C. Lomax, who donated over 30 acres to the organization. Today, the farm is now a certified organic farm operated by Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, offering instructional programs to beginning farmers. Classes at the farm teach participants the farming business and include hands on experience led by seasoned farmers and staff. Transitional strategies within the program give each student three to five years at the farm before assisting them in finding land of their own. To learn more about the farm visit www.lomaxfarm.org.

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Photo by Joel Andrew Tracey

Piedmont Culinary Guild is a grassroots effort, bringing together farmers, chefs, and other culinary professionals to develop and secure our local food system while strengthening the culinary community across the Carolinas. Visit www.piedmontculinaryguild.com to learn more about the organization and to purchase tickets for the Carolina Apple Fest dinner September 21.

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