The Sustainable Classroom

The Sustainable Classroom - a hallmark of TerraVita – introduces visionary producers, chefs, journalists and cookbook authors for culinary workshops, food and beverage tastings, demonstrations and panel discussions which range in topic, but share a focus on sustainability. Treat yourself to this all-day pass and attend up to four 1-hour and 15 minute classes, which take place Friday, October 20, from 9 am until 3:30 pm. Classes will take place in two locations in close proximity to one another.

Pastry with Perks: Hand Pies & Coffee

9 am - Southern Season Cooking School

Golden, flaky, portable and portion-controlled, hand pies allow for a lot of flexibility and creativity when it comes to choosing shapes, fillings and flavor profiles. Plus, serving them is a breeze – no utensils are required for cutting or eating.

But as with all types of pastry preparation, some faith and patience are required in hand-pie handiwork. Our experts will roll up their sleeves in this class and pass along the secrets to savory and sweet hand pie making, while teaching how to avoid the pitfalls of overfilling and overworking the dough. In the end, we’ll embrace a major hand pie upside: the finished product!

Because it’s always good to start the day with a cup of java, we’ll have Carrboro Coffee Roasters’ founder (and leading judge for the World Barista Championship) give us a few tips and skills to take home and “up your cup” – from grinding to brewing to equipment needs. No doubt this will be a great way to begin the day!

Confirmed Participants:
- Keia Mastrianni (Moderator) of Milk Glass Pie in Charlotte
- Scott Conary of Carrboro Coffee Roasters in Carrboro
- Cookbook author Sandra Gutierrez living in Cary
- Phoebe Lawless of Scratch and The Lakewood in Durham
- Ali Rudel of the East Durham Pie Company in Durham

Beyond the Kitchen: Food Leaders Paving the Path of Social Justice

9 am - The Great Room at Top of the Hill

Chefs are commanding more attention, and it’s not just the flavors coming out of their kitchens turning heads. Some also have assumed the role of community leader, and others are simply protecting their “kitchen families” - thrust into the media light as social justice warriors.

They’re speaking up (and out) – asking hard questions, and raising awareness about the importance of immigrants in our food system - from beginning to end – from harvesting the crops to delivering the final product. What would our food chains be like without immigrants? How can we address the need to earn a living wage? How can consumers move beyond the buzzwords, get educated, and ensure they are making responsible choices?

Food industry luminaries will discuss how they use their culinary capital to better their communities through channels that matter to them – and how we can amplify those commitments by supporting the industry leaders, organizations and institutions making a difference.

Confirmed Participants:
- Stephanie Burt (Moderator) from The Southern Fork
- Andre Gallant from Crop Stories in Athens, GA
- Vimala Rajendran from Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe in Chapel Hill
- Bill Smith Jr. from Crooks Corner in Chapel Hill

(Veg-) Forward Motion: The Power of Plant-Based Eating

10:45 am - Southern Season Cooking School

Vegetables are no longer relegated to the “sides” portion of the menu in many of the very best restaurants in the country. As more people focus on a clean approach to eating, seasonality, sourcing and environmental stewardship, vegetables are getting the star treatment. And “vegetable-forward” offerings are now presented as progressive, standout dishes, instead of a forced accommodation. With all the studies and articles educating consumers on the environmental impact of eating meat, vegetable-centered menus are on the rise – and chefs that do it well have emerged as leaders of a movement that is becoming part of our modern food culture. In this class, we have expert cooks and chefs who will talk about their approach to preparing dishes and give delicious examples and samples to boot!

Confirmed Participants:
- Breana Lai (Moderator) from EatingWell magazine
- Cookbook Author & Instructor Fran Costigan 
- Instructor & Chef Amanda Cushman living in Durham
- Annie Pettry from Decca in Louisville, KY

The Appalachian Table: A Humble Region Gets Its Due

10:45 am - The Great Room at Top of the Hill

The words “Appalachia” and “trendy” rarely go hand in hand. The region has been dismissed more than celebrated. But a passionate and talented group of culinary champions is changing all of that and hoping to engineer a new economy in the process.

The influences of Appalachian fare include the Cherokee, freed slaves, the English, the Germans, the Scots-Irish, Hungarians and Italians. The cuisine of Appalachia is as distinct as its people. They know how to make do with what they have – and embrace their frugality in the process. A short growing season has always forced them to take preserving, canning and fermenting seriously. They forage the hardscrabble land for ramps, wild mushrooms and wild ginger. And using every part of the animal has been a way of life in the region long before it became popular nationwide.

In this class, we’ll taste the traditions, hear from chefs about their childhood memories and influences – then explore what’s next for this region’s food scene and economy.

Confirmed Participants:
- Dr. Elizabeth Engelhardt, professor of Southern Studies from UNC
- Ian Boden from The Shack in Staunton, VA
- Susi Gott Seguret, Author and Director of the Seasonal School of Culinary Arts in Asheville, NC
- Cookbook Author Ronni Lundy living in Burnsville, NC
- Mike Moore from The Blind Pig in Asheville

Oyster Throwback: The Rise of Aquaculture & Resurgence of the Oyster Industry in the SE

12:30 pm - Southern Season Cooking School

Just as with wine, an oyster’s taste depends on the environment from which it grows. While all East Coast oysters belong to a single species, Crassostrea Virginica, distinct flavors are determined by salinity, algae content and other qualities of the water. That means that two oyster beds located 300 yards apart yield decidedly different results.

The Southeast was once a region that satisfied many bivalve cravings among European royalty as well as affluent Americans of the late 19th century. Then, wild oyster populations declined for decades afterward, the result of overharvesting, disease and pollution. By the middle of the 20th century, the oyster industry had all but dried up.

Whether diners prefer salty, sweet, buttery or briny delicacies, business is booming again and the area is now dubbed “the Napa Valley of oysters,” with Virginia’s eight regions yielding top production. It’s all thanks to a growing number of aquaculture oyster farms that can supply all year round – say farewell to the rule about only indulging in months that contain an “r.” Triploids, grown in hatcheries before being released into the ocean, achieve maturity in less than two years, while a wild oyster takes three.

In this class, we’ll examine oysters as “ecosystem engineers” that filter up to 50 gallons of water per day, provide structured habitat for other species, and protect shorelines from erosion, while we compare and contrast cooking techniques and the characteristics of oysters from various regions.

Confirmed Participants:
- Dr. Matthew Booker, professor of Environmental History from NC State
- Kevin Callaghan from Acme in Carrboro
- Dr. Bernie Herman, professor of American Studies and Folklore from UNC
- Kevin Johnson from The Grocery in Charleston, SC
- Tom Gallivan from Shooting Point Oyster Company in Franktown, VA

Heart & Soul: The Roots of Soul Food & the Cultural Influence on Southern Cuisine

12:30 pm - The Great Room at Top of the Hill

Hear the words “soul food,” and you probably think of fried chicken, chitlins, macaroni and cheese, and cornbread – not typically your most heart-healthy, calorie-conscious choices.

But soul food’s artery-clogging reputation isn’t exactly fair. If you examine the very roots of soul food - what enslaved African-Americans were eating in the antebellum South - the menus mirror a vegetarian or pescatarian fare, reminiscent of a typical West African diet: plenty of dark and leafy greens, seasonal vegetables and fruits, sweet potatoes, and fish. Meat was a luxury during that time – often to season vegetables and rarely as the main dish. Very little dairy appeared in the soul food repertoire back then, and frying – which has emerged as a popular soul food cooking technique – has only been prevalent over the last few decades.

In the present, vegan menus are a hot trend in soul food. While cast as a departure, some of our experts will argue the trend is really just a homecoming – reuniting with its origin. In this class, we’ll examine soul food’s beginnings and new champions, explore its complicated identity and dispel the myths around it.

Confirmed Participants:
- Author Adrian Miller living in Denver, CO
- and more to come...

The Vines, They Are A-Changin: Climate Change & The New Emerging Wine Regions

2:15 pm - Southern Season Cooking School

The overwhelming majority of wine industry professionals agree: Climate change is real, and so is its impact (environmental & economic). Winemakers are already seeing the results, year after year, creating a unique set of possibilities and problems.

Declining wine production rates were part of the discussion at the signing of the groundbreaking Paris climate change agreement. Less a political issue than an economic and environmental one, climate change offers winemakers an ultimatum: adapt or find new work. Luckily, winemakers are historically adept at navigating change.

Adaptation efforts are ushering in new wine regions, such as England, Canada, Michigan and New York; changing grape varieties and growing practices; pushing back harvesting times; and introducing new styles and flavors in wine.

While industry insiders try to figure out the future of their business, they’re also incorporating environmentally friendly practices to help combat global warming. Will the future of wine be in tetra paks, tanks and kegs to reduce the carbon footprint?

What we know for sure is that the wine we’ll drink in 2050 will be markedly different from what we drink today.

Confirmed Participants:
- Sheri Sauter Morano (Moderator) wine educator in Durham, NC
- Max Kast from Broadbent Selections
- Mike Cook from Lieb Cellars in Cutchogue, NY
- Craig Heffley from Wine Authorities in Durham and Raleigh, NC
- and more to come...

Elevating Your Beverages: Taking Your At-Home Cocktails & Mocktails Up a Notch

2:15 pm - The Great Room at Top of the Hill

Like anything else in life, you get out of your beverages what you put in them. Once you know the formula for combining alcohol with modifiers like softer spirits or juices and flavoring components like syrups or bitters, you can really get creative. (And a spirited drink is certainly possible in the absence of spirits, if you choose to go that route.)

Whether you want to invest time making your own infusions or simply want to marry what’s coming out of your garden – basil, lavender, fennel, or rosemary, for example – with what’s going in your glass, our experts will guide you through tips, tricks and techniques. They’ll also discuss the latest cocktail trends, including a focus on wellness (think: the integration of more fresh juices). And because presentation is everything, we won’t forget about the finishing touches – rimming the glass and adding a garnish before we toast.

Featuring an exploration of what comprises each attendee’s perfect drink, cocktail tastings and a few complementary bites, this class will be a fun and informative session for anyone ready to step up their beverage game.

Confirmed Participants:
- Stacey Sprenz (Moderator) brand ambassador, instructor and photographer in Raleigh
- Whitney Dane from Honeysuckle Tea House and Farm in Chapel Hill, NC
- Kevin Barrett from Dram & Draught in Raleigh, NC
- Kevin Doyle from TOPO Organic Spirits in Chapel Hill, NC
- Rob Mariani from Alley Twenty Six in Durham, NC
- Craig Rudewicz from Crude Bitters & Sodas in Raleigh, NC

All sales are final and all events take place rain or shine.

Please remember to bring a photo ID for all events.