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 three 1-hour and 15 minute classes, which take place Friday, October 18, from 9 am until 2:30 pm. Classes will take place in Southern Season's Cooking School or another location in downtown Chapel Hill (only a 10 minute drive).

Lunch will not be served, but there will be a one hour break between the second and third sessions. You may bring something light to enjoy or pick up something in between sessions!

Beyond Coffee: Pick-Me-Up Alternatives Without All The Buzz

9 am - Southern Season Cooking School

What do matcha, cascara, rasa, and kava offer that might make you consider trading in your morning coffee or green tea? Do they provide a better-for-you caffeine buzz, complete with a dose of antioxidants and boosted metabolism? There’s plenty of talk about these beneficial boosters, but what really differentiates them from coffee? How can we make educated decisions when it comes to sourcing? Is there clear evidence of a health advantage, or does this simply come down to flavor preference? We’ll explore some alternative options that go beyond your typical morning cup!

Confirmed Participants:
- Private Chef Whitney Dane
- Hannah Popish with poppySol

The Carnivore’s Conundrum – Eating Meat with a Clear Conscience in a Warming World

9 am - The Great Room

The headlines paint a bleak picture: Inhumane conditions – prioritizing profits over values – have sadly become the norm within the dairy and meat industries, and our reliance on animal products continues to wreak havoc on the environment.
 
Each year, livestock accounts for about 15 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. It’s expensive to eat only grass-fed, organic dairy and Step 4, pasture-raised pork, but if we don’t, what are the consequences for our planet – and ultimately our own health? How can we set high but achievable standards for the products we consume? How can we ensure that each player – farmer, processor, chef, consumer – has a seat at the table? And will it be possible to scale up operations that are more ethical (and more costly) to transform our food supply and sustain a growing population?

Confirmed Participants:
- Suzanne Nelson with Reverence Farms in Saxapahaw, NC
- Jennifer Curtis with Firsthand Foods
- Emily Lancaster Moose with Animal Welfare Approved

From Jemima to Jubilee: The Impact & Influence of African-American Cooks on American Cuisine

10:45 am - Southern Season Cooking School

Combing through hundreds of cookbooks and thousands of recipes over her career, food writer Toni Tipton-Martin yearned to connect with the cooks featured among the pages. She found lots of images and stories that connected to “the roots of Southern cuisine,” but none that reflected her heritage - none that reminded her of her own grandmother.

In her quest to go beyond the legend that has represented Southern cooking for generations, Toni began searching for documentation and representation of black cooks, chefs and entrepreneurs who made their living through food. Along the way, she has amassed one of the most expansive collections of historic African-American cookbooks - some rare and and many rescued from anonymity. In her James Beard-winning book, The Jemima Code, Toni shares insights beyond the ingredients and instructions “to reveal culinary competencies and artistry not often associated with black cooks.” In Jubilee - coming out in November - Toni honors those black food professionals by revealing what their lessons taught her, while presenting a modern take on some of their most delicious recipes.

This classroom will offer a first glimpse of Jubilee through a demonstration with Toni and her dear friend and professional cook, Nancie McDermott. A couple of tastes will be part of the deal, as well as a great discussion around a rich culinary history that goes well beyond soul food. 
 
Confirmed Participants:
- Author Nancie McDermott
 
 

Making Grains Toward a Brighter Future: Bringing Back Heirloom Varieties That Stand the Test of Time

10:45 am - The Great Room

Over the past decade, consumer awareness has shifted around the local and sustainable sourcing of meats, dairy, vegetables and fruits. But what about grains? How much do we know about where our varieties of rice or wheat come from, how they are grown, or the different characteristics that affect flavor and nutrition? What kind of agricultural inputs increase our exposure to dangerous chemicals?

There has been a lot of talk recently about higher-than-acceptable levels of glyphosate (Roundup) found in cereals, whole-grain breads and granola bars. Whole grains are an important part of good nutrition – and ancient grains have made quite a comeback. As much as the Keto and Whole 30 diets might want us to ditch them, the reality is that we need healthy grains to survive. So how can we source more sustainably? Does this require making our own breads? Can we really find a nearby supplier for our rice?

In this class, we’ll talk about these issues and some of the bigger promises pertaining to sustainable production and farming for the future. We’re bringing in the big guns – some of the best and brightest farmers, scientists, researchers and chefs – to explain why grains are one of the most important pieces to consider when it comes to nutrition and agricultural sustainability.
 
Confirmed Participants:
- Justin Burdett with Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill
- Glenn Roberts with Anson Mills 
- Dr. David Shields with the University of South Carolina

Five Southern Classics – with a Twist: A Modern Take on Favorite Dishes of the South

1 pm - Southern Season Cooking School

You know some of these iconic dishes so well you can close your eyes and taste them right now – and probably hear the voice of your beloved grandmother as she tells you to “come eat.” These flavors and combinations define the South in many ways and tell its culinary history. But what happens when we put a modern twist on them - switching up some key ingredients or pulling back the layers and deconstructing them down to their purest form? A few chefs will offer delicious tastes of their versions of these classics and tell us the secrets behind their unique twists!

Confirmed Participants:
- Clark Barlowe with Heirloom in Charlotte
- Miranda Brown with The Asbury in Charlotte
- Sean Fowler with Mandolin in Raleigh

The Five Tastes: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter and Umami

1 pm - The Great Room

Chances are, you can conjure up the five flavors in your food memory instantly. They’re hardwired from birth, after all. The sour of a lemon. The sweet of a whipped cream. The salty satisfaction of a potato chip. The bitterness of unsweetened chocolate. The umami flavor bomb of a chicken broth. These form the foundation of cooking. But which one has the biggest effect on texture? Which relies most heavily on aroma in order for us to perceive it?

Our classroom participants will share some of their favorite tastes - think amazing local cheeses, fair-trade chocolates, and wines presented by the only Master Sommelier in the state of NC - and talk about how the end products are then influenced by the way they are grown and harvested, processed and aged to create nuance in the distinctive flavors of each taste. This will be a fun and delicious class with some of our favorite class leaders (attendee favorites, that is, over the last 10 years)!

Confirmed Participants:
- Alexander Kast with Chapel Hill Creamery
- Max Kast with Broadbent Selections
- Jael Rattigan with French Broad Chocolate Lounge

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

Please remember to bring a photo ID for all events.