Lynn Caldwell

WFAEats Contributor

Lynn Caldwell is a Charlotte-area native who spent seven years in Seattle during her stint at a well-known software company.  While reinventing herself for the umpteenth time, Lynn apprenticed on an urban farm and hatched a plan to establish a farmers market in Plaza-Midwood.  The Tailgate grew rapidly during its four years in existence, until the infamous tent collapse.  In 2010 she partnered with a South End developer to introduce the indoor, year-round Atherton Market.

She is often sought after for her expertise around sourcing local food, how to eat seasonally, and what it takes to build a market from the ground up.  She serves on the CharMeck Food Policy Network, and is one of the stakeholders working to develop a food system in Charlotte.

Lynn loves to cook, read, write and work out… not necessarily in that order.

Worst food disaster: Trying to make pecan pies at Thanksgiving without egg yolks in the filling.  Not once, but twice.

Most memorable meal: Savoy in New York almost two years ago.  It was the weekend of our tenth anniversary – we were in flight to NYC on Jet Blue watching the news when the USAir plane went down in the Hudson.  Maybe I enjoyed that meal so much because I felt lucky to be alive, but I’m pretty sure that the Iberico ham was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.

Restaurant I’m dying to try: Halcyon.  I hear that Executive Chef Marc Jacksina is doing amazing things in the kitchen there, and sourcing a serious amount of local food.   Check back with me on that.

Kitchen tool I can’t live without: My food processor.  I use it to make bread, veggie burgers, pizza dough, slaw, shredded cheese… you name it.

What you’ll always find in my fridge: Spicy condiments.  Sriracha, pepper sauces.   I love the flavor and the burn.

Gardening: I do, and I’d like to grow more of the food that my family eats, but my schedule right now doesn’t allow for much digging in the dirt.  I’m fortunate to have many farmer friends and vendors at the market who feed me and my family.  I’m busy composting so I can plant again in the spring.

Lynn Caldwell

Imagine: You are relocated to another country after months, if not years, of desperate and courageous efforts to protect your family. You essentially arrive with nothing but the clothes on your back. Everything about your new country is unfamiliar.

This is the reality for thousands of refugees all over the world. Forced to leave their country of origin, most arrive in the U.S. with an insufficient support system, no job, very little knowledge of English – and no hope of ever returning home.

Courtesy Carolina Farm Trust

Are you savoring the farm to table movement? Love farmer’s markets? Think about this: While you are shopping and dining, North Carolina is losing more than 100,000 acres of farmland a year to development.

Do you know what it is like to be hungry? Or to make food choices on a very limited budget? More than 47 million Americans are on some form of nutrition assistance, most likely via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called food stamps. SNAP has recently experienced deep cuts in funding, pulling the rug out from under some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

Do you suspect that Charlotte has some great chefs who haven’t had a chance to show off their talent?  I do, and as a blogger for the Fire in the City Competition Dining series, I am eager to see what some of these guys can do.  (But where are the women in the kitchen?)  I like a good competition as much as the next foodie fan of shows like Iron Chef, and after talking with several groups of diners during the September 4th event, I am clearly not alone.

Down To The Bones

Jan 23, 2013

  There’s a reason why chicken soup has a legendary reputation. Not soup you start from a can or a carton… the kind that begins with an actual chicken - and specifically the bones. Bone broth from animals and fish with vertebrae is healing, energizing, and just possibly magical. Those cuts of meat and bits and ends of animal that, incidentally, are easy on the wallet, harbor culinary and therapeutic secrets which you deserve to know.