Food

Angela Twiford in the kitchen at Community Matters Cafe. She has worked most of the jobs at the cafe.
David Boraks / WFAE

There's a new restaurant and cafe near uptown serving up breakfast, lunch, and a dose of hope for the people who work there. Community Matters Cafe opened in April, is run by Charlotte Rescue Mission to help people ease back into the workforce after they finish its residential substance abuse recovery programs.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

So you've finally binged all of "The Great British Baking Show" on Netflix and now you're left wondering how to get some of those scrumptious-looking baked goods. But what bakery in Charlotte carries hazelnut dacquoise or kouign-amann?

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Updated Oct. 15, 2018

Charlotte's second annual Black Restaurant Week kicks off Sunday, ushering in a week of deals and specials at some of Charlotte's local, black-owned restaurants.

The event is hosted by the Black Business Owners of Charlotte (BBOC), an organization dedicated to supporting Charlotte's black entrepreneurs.

Rhett Maxwell / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

As a social worker, Alisha Pruett was working to find housing for homeless veterans when she learned of another problem: lack of access to food. “I saw the barriers they faced in getting to resources and fresh food, due to lack of transportation and income,” she said. “I realized I had to figure out a way to get fresh produce to those in need.”

Festival Of India Celebrates 20 Years In Charlotte

Sep 15, 2014
Tasnim Shamma

Twenty years ago, the inaugural Festival of India was held inside Spirit Square in uptown. It drew about 500 people. And every year since, the festival has gotten bigger as the Indian community in Charlotte grows.

This weekend, more than 20,000 people attended the festival.

  

Amy Rogers

The bar where we’d made our Sunday brunch reservation wouldn’t let us in. This was New Orleans, where people go to laissez les bons temps rouler. But two in our group weren’t quite 21, so we had to find another place to let our good times roll. 

Chef Vivian Howard

Jul 11, 2014
Tanner Latham

Vivian Howard is the chef at Chef and the Farmer in the small Eastern North Carolina town of Kinston. She also "co-stars" with her husband Ben Knight on their Peabody Award-winning PBS show “A Chef’s Life.”

Tanner Latham

Summertime Food & Drink

Jun 23, 2014
Heather Katsoulis / Flickr

The temperature is creeping up, swimsuits are being donned and grills are being fired up! Its summertime in the Queen City and that means there are lots of seasonal foods to be eaten and refreshing beverages to be drunk. But that’s not all: There are also a ton of farmer’s markets to check out for juicy berries, food events nearly every weekend and restaurants changes that may be worth checking out. Next time on Charlotte Talks, we’ll be joined by three area professionals to devour the yummy details.

Amateur radio operators have been around for a long time. In fact, this week HAMS - as the operators are known - are celebrating amateur radio's 100 year anniversary. In cases of emergency events or weather, HAMS are called upon to help larger media outlets and the National Weather Service. There are over 20,000 of these folks in North Carolina and another 9,500+ in South Carolina. We talk with two HAMS and learn about their craft. Then we get an update from Vani Hari, known as the 'Food Babe' about her latest endeavors, including encouraging the restaurant Subway to remove a chemical additive from their bread.

Valentine's Day is coming up and that means that men will be scrambling for the traditional gifts of roses and chocolate. A lot of chocolate. Tons and tons. Valentine’s Day is one of several holidays that has become synonymous with millions of dollars in candy sales. But candy is a huge part of our culture all year round. Confectioners sell $25 Billion worth of candy, use billions of pounds of ingredients and employ tens of thousands of workers each year. The Confectioner industry is also dominated by small and, often, family owned business. Beyond the numbers there is an intense relationship between American consumers and their candy. A relationship that impacts healthcare, the economy, and more. It’s a sweet edition of Charlotte Talks.

After decades of combating unexplained health ailments, Vani Hari started FoodBabe.com in April 2011 to spread information about what is really in the American food supply. She says she discovered a link between what she was eating and how awful she was feeling. Vani shares her message and investigative blogging with readers across the globe. A Charlotte native, she left her successful management consulting career to pursue this dream. Her work has been profiled by a slew of media outlets and big-name food companies are changing their ingredients because of her work. We talk with Vani about being the Food Babe and what she’s working on.

The foodie industry is starting to boom, especially in and around Charlotte. TIME magazine's recent story “The Gods of Food” was noted by many for what was missing - goddesses. Among the list, there were no female chefs. A graphic of major culinary influences also lacked any women. Some chefs and food lovers were angered, others simply said, “so, what's new?” But, what is the market like in Charlotte for female chefs? What about women restaurant owners? We talk with local female restaurant professionals to find out what's going on here.

Michael Pollan has been called "an ethical-eating guru," "high priest of food," even a "food god." The food writer and journalist has authored several best sellers including Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food and now he's coming to Charlotte to talk about his latest passion - cooking. His latest book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation encourages us to put down the take-out menu and pick up a spatula and reclaim the precious art of cooking for our health and for the sake of our food system. We'll talk with him about eating, farming, cooking, what he calls "edible foodlike substances," agribusiness and some of his famous food rules, like - "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Dining with Monet

Sep 19, 2013
Ariane Cauderlier / giverny.org

Gail Peck is currently writing a manuscript of poetry on the lives of artists Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh. These recent poems were inspired by the cookbook Monet’s Table.

Monet’s World                                                                                       

Second Helping

The fried green tomato casserole alone would be reason enough to go.

Second Helping opened the doors to its carry-out shop on Central Avenue on Monday. I was going to explain how the program employs formerly incarcerated women who have difficulty finding jobs when they leave prison.

But then I sampled the coconut cake.

I was going to tell you how its parent organization, Changed Choices, helps those who are “Building new lives beyond prison walls.”

ndanger / flickr

Autumn began on the Fourth of July – if you believe the retailers who are already selling fall and winter goods.

Even if you disagree, you might be ready for summer to hurry up and end already, especially if you’ve got a stockpile of produce quickly passing its prime.

Here are some recipes from fellow foodies who can help.

jenlrile / flickr

The dog days of summer are upon us so maybe it's time to switch up your routine with a new food find around town. We gather our regular panel of Charlotte food writers and critics to fill us in on the latest and greatest in chowing down and dining out around the Queen City. What's new, what's closing, who has the best outdoor patios, the best summer cocktails, best barbecue and are things looking up for Charlotte eateries as we crawl out of the recession? We'll tackle those topics, the latest food trends and changes at some of the city's favorite eateries and more, all when Charlotte Talks. List of restaurants mentioned on today's show. 

Too Much Zucchini

Jul 18, 2013

It’s that time of year again. Summer is peaking and so is the annual zucchini crop. Stuff it or sauté it, fritter it or fry it, grill it or bake it – keeping ahead of it is nearly impossible. Those long, green summer squash just keep multiplying, it seems.

jbloom / flickr

It’s no surprise that Americans have a bad reputation when it comes to waste. Every year, Americans waste about 600 pounds of food per person. The average U.S. family throws out approximately $1350 worth of food annually. Author Jonathan Bloom says food resource management is of the utmost importance. UNC system campuses are making conscious efforts to reduce their food waste and educate students about sustainable food practices. Join us for a conversation about food waste reduction with Jonathan Bloom and others. 

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