Posts Categorized: Shows & Events
Art in Bloom 2017
Every year the North Carolina Museum of Art holds it Art in Bloom event to support the NCMA Foundation. Art in Bloom allows both local floral artists to showcase their talent and creativity and also for the public to have the opportunity to view all of these amazing artists in one place.
Every year the event features over 50 floral interpretations of art in the Museum’s permanent collection. The NCMA became a fragrant garden for all to enjoy over the Art in Bloom weekend. In addition, this year the event featured the Horti-Couture Fresh Flowers Fashion on Stage, a live fashion show that displayed the floral art in action.
The English Garden created this bride inspired wearable art. The quilt signifies the joining of families and has orchids woven within the fabric. The English Garden paired the quilt with a Tahitian inspired headpiece with leaves and orchids and completed the look with a matching bridal bouquet.
The floral artists tool the audience on a journey of fashion inspired by Tahitian elements such as volcanoes, water and birds. The fashion show also reflected various events – they hosted not only wedding scene, but had other sections including everything from beach-ware to formal attire. The creativity by these florists was astounding, and these designs can be admired and used for inspiration for anything from tropical themed weddings, to vibrant household decor.
NCMA transformed its gallery into an array of living art when over 50 pieces from their collection were inspirations for creations by local floral artists.
Bloom Works created this spectacular arrangement that was inspired by Double Jar with Central Handle. They used curly willow to recreated the jars and filled it with an array of spray button mums amongst other florals and leaves.
Each florist was assigned a painting or sculpture from NCMA’s permanent collection, and their design was inspired by that artwork. Some florists took the art literally (like English Garden’s dress design below) and others are more subtle interpretations that reflect the colors, textures, and movement of the inspirational piece. Below, at left, a design by SB&G preferred florist, Eclectic Sage. At right, designed by La Residence – an SB&G preferred venue – a fine French Restaurant in Chapel Hill, that has an onsite floral garden (which they use for onsite weddings).
The Torso of Aphrodite inspired this work of art by Bowerbird Flowers and Apothecary. With flowers like roses, spirea, tulips, calla lillies and many more, their floral arrangement flourished with colors and textures – creating an absolute masterpiece.
On the left Bloom Works also created this cascading floral art installation that was inspired by the untitled work by Joel Elias Shapiro at NCMA. They used escheveria, aloe, equisetum, typha, umbrella papyrus and allium to tie this piece of art together.
The spectacular floral dress was created by non other than The English Garden in Raleigh, NC. Magnolia, peonies, hydrangea and roses were amongst the blooms used to create this one-of-a-kind exquisite piece of art. Frames with ancestors were hung around the dress to take the viewer on a historical journey through time.
Thank you to our wonderful photographer f8 Photo Studios. Cara Galati is an SB&G Preferred wedding photographer based in Raleigh, and we had a blast exploring this exhibit with her!
Springtime isn’t just a popular season for weddings in North Carolina, it’s also a time for many exciting local events, including one of our favorites, TASTE! This annual food and drink festival based in Durham, NC is now in its fourth year, and is hosted by our friends at Durham Magazine and Chapel Hill Magazine. Wedding planner Grace Beason, of Grace Leisure Events, helps organize this unforgettable experience and several of our catering vendors and venues take part.
TASTE 2017 includes several events taking place from April 20-23. The event invites and assembles more than 50 of the best chefs, culinary artisans, artists, brewmasters, sommeliers, and mixologists in the local area. For the first time, in 2017 TASTE will also include acclaimed regional and Southern talent.
From the two “Grand Taste” signature experiences — Grand Local Taste and Grand Regional Taste — where you can sample the area’s best chefs, spirits and craft beers, to the “Salt ‘n Smoke” BBQ experience overlooking the Durham Athletic Park at The Rickhouse to the area’s “Women of Achievement” Wine Reception and Lunch at the historic Carolina Inn, you won’t find a more delicious and fun culinary experience. As a bonus, they’ve assembled culinary rock stars to help you hone your own chef skills through cooking classes and to share their thoughts and experiences at “TASTE Talks”.
Several of the chefs featured at The Grand Taste experience are SB&G preferred vendors: restaurants and hotels that host weddings and receptions, such as Carolina Crossroads at The Carolina Inn; Durham Catering Co.; Counting House at 21c Museum Hotel; The Fairview Dining Room at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, The Durham Hotel, and Heron’s at The Umstead Hotel and Spa. So, going to the event can be two-fold if you’re on the market for a caterer – you will get to sample a ton of delicious food during a fun night out while also doing some taste-testing research for your own wedding. Not to mention, it makes a great date night!
The holiday season is a popular time for engagements – with family all in one place and festivities already planned, it’s a great time to throw in an extra celebration! And not soon after, the fun of planning beings! It can be overwhelming at first, but luckily, there are a ton of qualified professionals here to help, and you can meet and interact with many of them at the wedding shows taking place this winter throughout the Triangle. (For an ongoing list of wedding-related events, be sure to check our Wedding Shows & Events page, which is updated regularly).
Date: Saturday and Sunday January 7 and 8, 2017 – 11am-4pm
Location: The NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh
Forever Bridal hosts several wedding shows per year, but their two-day January event is their biggest – filled with the best wedding vendors, on stage entertainment, and the latest bridal fashions – a must attend event for brides! Exhibits include wedding cakes and a caterers (many with samples), venues, fashion, and other wedding services all under one roof. Don’t miss your chance to win exciting door prizes and give-a-ways. All the products, services, ideas and information you’ll need to make your dream wedding come to life are waiting for you, so bring a friend, your fiancé or family member and make this an exciting weekend event!
Date: Saturday, January 14, 2017 – 1-4pm
Location: The Cloth Mill, Hillsborough
Save the date for a perfectly planned afternoon at Freshly Pressed: The Cloth Mill’s Winter Bridal Showcase. We’ve covered every detail, and designed an interactive planning experience for newly engaged couples. You’ll nosh, toast, and mingle with some of our preferred wedding professionals, and get exclusive tours of this industrial chic venue.
Date: Sunday, January 29, 2017 – 1-4pm
Location: The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill
Join The Carolina Inn starting for an elegant and information-packed afternoon with the most talented and experienced wedding vendors in Chapel Hill, the Triangle and beyond. Enjoy this creative gathering where you will be able to delight in a feast of sample wedding cakes, view the most exquisite wedding gowns from top couture designers, and experience an interactive approach to choosing your most valued wedding vendors.
Date: Sunday, February 12, 2017 – 1pm – 4pm
Location: The Proximity Hotel, Greensboro
A Way To Go Travel will have representatives from various resorts, hotels, and cruise lines perfect for honeymooners! Brides, grooms and all couples are able to meet and speak with representatives with each of these hotels, resorts and cruise lines to help them explore options for their honeymoon and to help them decide the best fit for them! It’s a free event and some lucky attendees will even win trips!
Couture Wedding Fashion at Alexia’s Bridal in Raleigh NC
“Project Runway” devotees will remember Austin Scarlett and his theatrical styles from the show’s original season. But Austin’s fashion career started far before his reality TV fame, and has taken off in the years since. After serving as Creative Director at Kenneth Pool for several years, he debuted his own bridal collection in 2012. Each year his craftsmanship has evolved, and today he is regarded among the true couture in U.S. wedding brands.
Why do Austin’s bridal gowns so perfectly fit the Southern bride? He is a cutting-edge designer with experience in theatrical work, yet his root inspiration is in vintage fashion, including classic styles of the South. I first met Austin at a trip to New York Bridal Fashion Week a few years ago. His presentation was like a homecoming – his collection that year was themed to “Gone with the Wind.” He has also authored a book on the same topic: In “Forever Scarlett, the Immortal Style of Gone with the Wind,” Austin describes how he strives to bring the grace and elegance of that iconic Southern belle’s fashion and persona to his own designs.
Austin is a master of minimalist shape that honors the female form, combined with beautiful draping techniques. In true haute couture tradition, every design is developed and created under Austin’s personal supervision, and each gown is made-to-order, by hand, in New York City.A Visit to Raleigh
This fall, Austin Scarlett visited Raleigh for a trunk show at Alexia’s Bridal, a wedding dress boutique off of Glenwood South, which is the only place you can find these gowns in our state. At this special event, brides had the unique opportunity to meet the designer during their appointment and get direct feedback. After a day of appointments, the charming and humble designer mingled with brides at a cocktail event at the salon.
Riley MacLean captured some playful images of Austin near the bridal boutique in downtown Raleigh.
Alexia’s Bridal team welcomed Scarlett and brides to their salon, offering the unique opportunity to get personalized fitting advice from the designer himself.
For information about upcoming trunk shows at Alexia’s Bridal, and other area bridal salons, visit SB&G’s Shows & Event’s Page
By Jenna Parks, co-publisher of Southern Bride & Groom
Photos by Riley MacLean Photography
Score Great Deals on Jewelry and more from Raleigh Area Shops this Summer
If you’re recently engaged, it’s an exciting time full of fun decisions, like creating a registry and picking out jewelry for you and your wedding party!
Joint Venture Jewelry invites Triangle residents to its 18th anniversary “Winesday” celebration on Wednesday, August 17 from 5-8pm! There will be a free wine tasting with Raleigh Wine Shop in addition to storewide sales and exclusive offers. Grab your friends to mix and mingle with fellow jewelry lovers while shopping with an exclusive anniversary discount. Joint Venture Jewelry is located at 250 Grande Heights Drive in Cary. In addition, its vintage fine jewelry collection includes engagement rings, wedding bands, sapphires, rings, diamonds, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and more.
Recently engaged? Get started on all the wedding planning fun at Belk Crabtree’s Summer Celebration on Sunday, August 28 from 1-4pm! Come by the Belk at Crabtree Mall in Raleigh (3rd floor Home Store) to create a wedding registry or add to an existing one and receive a $25 savings pass. Register to win one of their fantastic giveaways during the event and meet special guest Susan Gravely with Vietri Dinnerware! To RSVP, call 919-782-7010 x295/395.
Whether you’re looking to bejewel the bridesmaids, outfit the groomsmen with custom cuff links, or show your appreciation for the entire bridal party with personalized gifts, Moon & Lola has you covered! They offer a fantastic bridal discount (apply here) that consists of 20% off purchases of $250+; 25% off purchases of $500+; or 30% off purchases of $1,000+.
For any brides buying gifts for their big day or bridal party, Kendra Scott offers a 15% off discount for their entire purchase! Plus, on September 21st, they will launch their new bridal collection, featuring luxury pieces designed for the bride to wear on her special day.
Anyone who is engaged is able to take part in Peachy Keen’s Proposal Program for the entire timeframe leading up to her wedding. To apply and become part of the program, a bride-to-be just needs to show her engagement ring and tell the staff the date of her wedding. Peachy Keen is located at 250 Grande Heights Drive in Cary.
Some of the key perks include:
– If the bride-to-be and her future husband purchase wedding bands at Joint Venture Jewelry they can get $100 off each ring ($200 off total).
– Bottle of sparkling to the groom when he purchases a band to help celebrate.
Spun Gold and See-Through Lace Take the Runway
Individuality, figure-revealing clothing and departure from tradition are growing norms in today’s culture, and this is starting to show up in the luxurious world of bridal fashion too.
Where once upon a time, formal white ball gowns ruled wedding day fashion, today’s bridal gowns are moving in other directions. This, if anything, was the theme of the 2016 Charleston Spring Bridal Show.
You never know what kind of surprises you’ll come across both with the fashion and the attendees, like a surprise engagement on the runway! SB&G photographer Cara Galati of f8 Photo Studios was front and center to capture all the best looks and moments during the show (even a live proposal – shown below).
There were lots of eye-opening trends featured on the runway this season. To be clear, white – or at least ivory – are still present on bridal runways, but golds as well as other metallics and blushes are being used more often. All these tones were on display during Fashion Week, where strapless gowns, back and side cutouts, bare midriffs, and sheer lace also appeared in most of the collections.
Featured Designer Kelly Faetanini, whose gowns range in price from $2,500 to $5,000 retail, literally set the tone for the show. The first designer to take the runway, several of her gowns were made from metallic gold fabric. Others featured gold embellishments.
Many were figure-skimming and the trends captured in Faetanini’s collection – like many others on display that day – exposed bare midriffs, or were fully backless or backless covered by a layer of sheer fabrics. Others featured side cutouts, back cutouts or had bodices made from lace without much else underneath. In other words, modesty was not an issue.
Her collection, and others, also included several dresses that harkened back a century to Jean Harlow’s Hollywood as well as modified mermaids.
The collection from White on Daniel Island, which featured Designer Jessica Williams of Alvina Valenta also included gowns with gold embellishments, as well as lace cut-outs, see-through sides, and lace see-through bodices as well as plunging necklines. In this assortment of gowns, however, cutouts and sheer lace were found on formal ball gowns with wide sweeping skirts.
A few of these trends – particularly, gold-toned wedding dresses, sheer bodices, bare midriffs and cutouts – began to appear last year at the 2015 Charleston Fashion Week fashion show. This year, however, these bolder styles began to take on a stronger presence.
In fact, you could say that at this year’s Charleston Fashion Week, less truly was more. Is this a growing trend or will the pendulum swing back or even move in an altogether different direction next year?
Given this year’s show, it will be interesting to see where Charleston Fashion Week 2017 takes us, style-wise. So, stay tuned because we’ll be returning to find out.
Glenna Musante is an award-winning writer who specializes in bridal, fashion, travel and the textile industry. She is a former writer for the Raleigh News & Observer.
Photos by Cara Galati, owner and lead photographer at f8 Photo Studios
Local Creatives Gather at The Stockroom in downtown Raleigh for “Chalk Lettering for Charity”
Southern Bride and Groom recently hosted a creative night out at The Stockroom at 230 in downtown Raleigh. The event, “Chalk Lettering for Charity,” brought women from all around the Triangle together to learn a new skill and benefit a great local charity, Carroll’s Kitchen.
The class was led by Maghon Taylor of All She Wrote Notes and all proceeds from the sold out event went to Carroll’s Kitchen, a nonprofit restaurant that is dedicated to ending homelessness by providing opportunities and job training for women coming out of difficult living situations (learn more about it below).
Maghon Taylor is a talented calligrapher and hand letterer who shares her skills with brides-to-be at various locations and events in the Triangle. The Stockroom (and their upstairs venue, The Glass Box) was the perfect intimate and fun venue to hold this chalk lettering event.
Attendees sat at tables provided by American Party Rentals and Party Reflections adorned with a variety of chalk and personal chalkboards. Throughout the night, guests giggled and nibbled on sweet potato biscuits provided by Lip Service Catering as they followed Maghon’s instructions, drawing out “yay,” “hooray,” and other words in different styles.
Carroll’s Kitchen, the charity for which this event was benefiting, will be located in the former Square Rabbit restaurant space which operated out of that location for 25 years. The food served at Carroll’s Kitchen will be delicious classics like sandwiches, salads, house made soups, baked goods and some surprises that are new to the area. They’re excited to share NC pecan sticky buns and fresh made breakfast sandwiches along with many other treats. The women in the program will share their favorite foods over time and learn to build and create culinary dishes to put on the menu.
The non-profit will be supporting many collaborative partners as well as employing women coming out of homelessness and incarceration. The job-training program will be a year-long program and will include a place to live.
When the class drew to a close, everyone was invited upstairs to take in a sunset view of downtown Raleigh from The Stockroom’s open and airy suite The Glass Box. This room can be rented out for bridal parties, such as showers and small events, as well as used as a bridal suite for those getting married at The Stockroom.
The Cupcake Shoppe in Raleigh bakes from scratch every morning and makes custom cakes and desserts for weddings and special events.
A sunset toast was complete with a glass of sparkling blue wine from Blanc de Bleu, a California based wine that gives brides a unique way to incorporate “something blue” into their wedding day.
This creative evening, which raised over $1,600, was a big success thanks to the many vendors, including All She Wrote Notes, The Stockroom at 230, The Cupcake Shoppe, Blanc de Bleu, Lip Service Catering, American Party Rentals and Party Reflections who helped put it on. Carroll’s Kitchen is still seeking donations for equipment and construction, will begin later this month. You can also support their cause by dining at the eatery when it opens!
Working in the wedding industry is a joy – after all, weddings celebrate one of the most exhilarating and monumental occasions we know. But there is another side to the satisfaction that comes from working in weddings: the privilege to work with the talented creatives who bring these special unions to life again and again, and manage to create something new each time, unique to each couple.
I think that the folks who serve in this field are often overlooked or taken for granted, but we at Southern Bride & Groom believe that the wedding pros who are at the top of their game truly are artists, and we strive to give them credit where credit is due! We draw inspiration from our talented NC wedding specialists on a daily basis. All of the beautiful photography, real weddings and styled shoots you see in our magazine and on this blog are pulled from and designed hand-in-hand with our SB&G Preferred Vendors, a collection of local pros we know not only to deliver high quality service but who are also constantly pushing the envelope, bringing the latest trends to the Raleigh area, and creating personalized events for their brides and grooms.
Beyond surrounding ourselves with the best of the best, SB&G regularly invests in continuing education on the latest and greatest happenings in our field, so we can bring these things to our local readers. And so this summer, I was honored to attend the premiere luxury wedding summit, Engage! In addition to helping attendees broaden their personal goals as individuals and leaders, this 3-day seminar is a non-stop flow of wedding inspiration. Engage! 16 was held at The Breakers in Palm Beach, FL (what a venue, as you will see below). The photos of this event, captured by some of the top wedding photographers in the US, speak for themselves, so we’re thrilled to share them today (individual photo credits are in each photo, scroll over to view).
The wedding “inspo” started before we even arrived at Engage! Each attendee was mailed pop-out fashion guides and even a countdown box full of travel and beach-themed gifts to build anticipation for our getaway to the sunshine state.As guests checked into the event, we were led into a pop-up shop full of swag, from perfume and scented candles for the gals to matches and cuff links for the fellas. Below, candy bar by Sugarfina. Luckily I had attended an Engage! (at the Biltmore Estate a few years back), so I knew to leave some room in my suitcase for all the take-home items.
Day 1 kicked off with a welcome session in the exquisite Mediterranean Ballroom of The Breakers and an introduction by the team who makes Engage! happen, Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce (pictured below). As you can see, this Italian Renaissance inspired 5-star resort made for a memorable experience.
A great deal of our time at the conference was spent hearing presentations by some of the industry greats, like planner extraordinaire Marcy Blum, and up-and-coming leaders such as social media guru Samantha Roberts of the XO Group (each pictured below). Every detail was considered, from the coral-themed florals to the themed coffee and champagne fueled breaks.Our first evening was spent at a lavish pool party. The Breakers showed off its culinary delights with food stations ranging from seafood stations to an avocado bar. Dramatically uplit palm trees framed the pool, which was the centerpiece of the party with its fire pits and a giant “Make Waves” message in the water. A surprise salsa performance make it a festive occasion, and the night wrapped up with a DJ-band combo.Day Two started off with a bang as our 7am wake up call turned into a New Orleans themed breakfast party, complete with a brass band.
Fueled up for a day of learning, we spent most of the day watching presentations in the Venetian Ballroom (below, Preston Bailey and Lynn Easton).Of course we were not expected to remain in our seats all day… Breaks were planned and each one had meaning, such as this “Happy” themed one to follow up Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. A gospel choir and smiley face food were charming touches. (below, Carly Roney and Colin Cowie)The coral theme continued at a seated luncheon, and our afternoon breaktime called for something sweet. (did I forget to mention that I packed on a couple of pounds over the course of my three days at this event?)After eating dinner in small groups around the resort, everyone was invited to a “Cake by the Ocean” themed dessert party. We downed tequila and espresso drinks and an array of desserts from extravagant candy coated milkshakes to quaint freshly baked (still warm) chocolate chip cookies. The fantastic entertainment by Elan Artists made me feel like I’d stepped into a Katy Perry music video. How amazing is the chocolate and sprinkles lipsticks worn by the candy gals?
Above, our NC crew: Kathryn & Chelsey of Gather Together, Amanda of A Swanky Affair, Jill of Donovan’s Dish, me, and Jodi of Merrimon Wynne.
The final day we enjoyed a courtyard breakfast, breakout sessions, and a white-themed picnic lunch on the front lawn of The Breakers. The rest of the afternoon was spent lounging poolside, or getting dolled up for the gala.
below, the NC gals ready for the big night!
The spectacle of the event is showcased beautifully in the photos. The Venetian Ballroom was transformed into a glitzy sparkly wonderland of chandeliers and candlelit glam. A five course meal was broken up with entertainment ranging from an opera singer to a band and orchestra performing in tandem (Vali Entertainment). The night was capped off with an after party with a fantastic DJ and Band rocking out under a disco ball- highlight being a Prince tribute series.The video by Ray Roman Films gives another perspective of this amazing experience! Enjoy the eye candy!
Venue, Food and A/V: The Breakers | Graphic Design & On-Site Director: Trisha Hay Design | Event Branding & Gifting: Gifts for the Good Life | Custom Event Linen: Nuage Designs | Nametags and Programs: Two Paper Dolls | Custom Printing: Checkerboard LTD | Photographers: Carla Ten Eyck – C10 Studios – Love Life Images – Cameron Clark – John Cain Sargent – Jeremie Barlow Photography | Highlight Film: Ray Roman FilmsSB&G founder Donna (aka Mama Parks) attended Engage! as well, but was on nanny duty for my little light, Cecelia. I did have chance to spend some time enjoying The Breakers with my best gals between events. Big thanks to my Moms for making this trip possible!
Planning a locally-focused wedding is easy when you have so many talented local wedding vendors from which to choose! Several bridal events focus on connecting local brides to local vendors. Below are a few of our recent favorites, including two intimate bridal showcases and a fun interactive competition for brides.
Shop Local Raleigh Weddings
Southern Bride and Groom Magazine was proud to partner with and help sponsor Shop Local Raleigh’s “Shop Local Weddings” event, which helped brides incorporate local Raleigh/Durham area vendors into their wedding day.
This intimate bridal show was filled with delicious food provided by Empire Eats Catering. Riley MacLean Photography showcased his Tin Type portraits and Bronwyn Duffield Photography took photos of all the beautiful set up inside All Saints Chapel. Local wedding planner Erin McLean Events was there to share invaluable advice and Savvi Formalwear gave ideas about how to look your best. Linens were provided by Party Reflections and romantic floral displays were designed by The English Garden. Of course, everyone loves a sweet party favor from Videri Chocolate Factory!Photos above by Bronwyn Duffield Photography
Durham Boutique Bridal Show
Some of the Triangle’s most outstanding vendors were showcased at The Cookery’s first Boutique Bridal Show at their event space in Durham.
There were delectable bites from Donovan’s Dish, gowns from Tre Bella, stationery from Union Press & Paper, cosmetic tips from Makeup for Your Day, planning tips from Gather Together and it all came together with linens and party rentals from American Party Rentals and incredible lighting and floral chandeliers from Get Lit Special Event Lighting. Best of all, the event supported local charity as ticket sales were donated to Dress for Success!
Photos above by Krystal Kast Photography
March of the Brides
Diamonds Direct Crabtree, one of the top suppliers of engagement and wedding bands in the Triangle, hosted its 3rd Annual “March of the Brides” event! Brides-to-be came out to compete in all kinds of “wedding themed” contests including a bouquet toss, wine bottle ring toss, blindfolded lipstick application, the highly anticipated cupcake eating contest, and more! Brides earned points at each station and left with incredible prizes for their wedding day. Several SB&G vendors sponsored this always fun event, including The English Garden, Edible Art, Rocky Top Catering and A Southern Soiree.
Photos above by Keisha Kidd
Organized by our friends at Durham Magazine and Chapel Hill Magazine, Taste the Event is a charitable local food festival highlighting top culinary talent, including chefs, restaurateurs, beverage purveyors and other locals from the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area. Each year, several Southern Bride and Groom caterers take part in The Grand Taste Experience – a delicious food festival taking place on April 21st, 2016 at The Durham Armory.
We’d like to take a moment to introduce you to some of that talent today on our blog. If you’re going to TASTE, be sure to stop by and say hello to the chefs mentioned below – your tastebuds are in for a treat!
Meet Executive Chef Josh Munchel of Counting House at 21c Museum Hotel in downtown DurhamChef Munchel comes to Counting House from another 21c Museum Hotels restaurant, Metropole in Cincinnati, Ohio. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Munchel attended culinary school in nearby Louisville before returning to his hometown to practice his thoughtful approach to ingredients and love of fragrant spices and bold flavors in kitchens throughout Cincinnati. He moved to Durham to head the kitchen at Counting House when it opened in 2015.
At 21c Durham, they love to showcase the bounty of the Carolina coast. They have a unique menu option called “Sea Snacks” that includes pickled shrimp, oysters in the half shell, and rotating seafood items. When they can get Spanish Mackerel, they love to feature it. Lucky for us, they’ll have it at TASTE!
“Preparing the Mackerel is a five day process that I absolutely love,” explains Munchel. “The first step is to brine the fish filets for six hours then remove the filets from the brine. The filets are then soaked in sherry vinegar and lemon juice for at least 48 hours. The acid in the vinegar and lemon juice helps to cook and acidify the fish. We then make an aromatic oil, cover the fish with the oil and let set in the refrigerator for up to a month (will be ready to consume in 48 hours). You end up with a really nice, light snack that is delicious on crackers or grilled bread!”
We can’t wait to try it!
Meet Chef Toshio Sakamaki of Basan sushi in American Tobacco CampusChef Toshio Sakamaki was born in Tokyo, Japan. His father was a sushi chef, and ever since he was a child, Toshio dreamed of being a chef and moving to the United States. He has worked in New York, San Francisco, and is now leading the Basan kitchen in Durham.
In Japan, red snapper is a popular item for weddings and celebration parties, so grilled red snapper or sashimi is a favorite for Chef Toshio to prepare at these occations.
Every year, Chef Toshio enjoys meeting many different people at TASTE and introducing them to Basan’s unique cuisine. Since Basan’s speciality is fresh seafood, so you may find a sashimi dish this year at the Grand Taste Experience.
We can’t wait to see what they have in store!
Meet Executive Chef Jason Cunningham at The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
Chef Jason Cunningham has led the Fairview Dining Room and Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club culinary teams since 2001. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Jason’s culinary journey has taken him from New England to the Hawaiian island of Lanai, perfecting his craft along the way. Jason believes fresh is best and seeks the finest, locally grown ingredients to create innovative seasonally-inspired dishes with a southern twist.
“TASTE is the event that brings our food community together – those who are passionate about creating dishes and those that love to enjoy them. We look forward to connecting with our peers to share, sample and promote the food revolution that’s happening in our region,” Cunningham shares.
When it comes to weddings at The Washington Duke, each menu is unique. They customize many aspects of the culinary experience for the bride, groom and their guests – from the hors d’oeuvres and specialty entrées to the handcrafted pastries and champagne sent to the newlyweds’ room following the reception.
Meet Chef James Clark head of Crossroads Chapel Hill at The Carolina Inn
Chef James Clark is a master of authentic North Carolina cuisine, specializing in traditional southern dishes with a modern flare. A native of the Carolinas, Clark is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont and previously worked at Five-Star, Five-Diamond, Four-Star and Four-Diamond restaurants in culinary hotbeds Washington D.C., New Orleans, Charleston and Atlanta, among others.
Passed hors d’oeuvres at The Carolina Inn weddings do not disappoint! Guests enjoy upscale apps like cured tuna with picked green tomato or maple brined pork tenderloin with artichoke relish, but Chef’s favorite display feature is their whole roasted grouper with Texas Pete burre blanc and Carolina gold rice.
At TASTE, we’ll get a taste of braised pork cheeks, spring pea grits, pickled ramp gremolata – yum!
Grand tastings are always a hub of energy when friends and foodies unite to celebrate their common passion and Chef Diggs views TASTE as an exciting challenge to find a way to share the hallmarks of Il Palio – bold ingredients, smoky aromas and balanced flavors – in a festival setting to create the same emotional connection that diners can expect from the restaurant itself.
When Diggs plans weddings, he always customizes the menu to the bride and groom with the understanding that each wedding is unique and special to the couple. “For example, if a couple loves fresh produce, I craft dishes to showcase ripe summer tomatoes or sweet corn. One couple requested a nontraditional wedding cake, inspiring my riff on a rich carrot cake bedecked in a bourbon cream cheese frosting,” Diggs shares.
The dishes he serves at TASTE will provide a glimpse into the warm atmosphere and vibrant flavors that they offer at Il Palio. And, of course, they will also have their hallmark crowd favorite: rosemary and sea salt foccacia bread!
Seriously, we could not get enough of that bread last year!
Meet Chef Laureano Cortez Hernandez of Durham Catering Company
Chef Hernandez has over 15 years of experience in high-end restaurants of downtown Durham, including Pop’s Trattoria, Nana’s, Magnolia Grill, and Another Thyme. Working with chefs like Scott Howell and Tom Ferguson, Chef Hernandez has developed a palate for creative, and classic combinations. When he’s not in the kitchen, he likes to spend time with his son, little Laureano, and his wife, Claudia Juarez, enjoying the outdoors.
“It’s always good to see old friends and new, and to support a great cause, but my favorite thing about TASTE is seeing people tasting and enjoying our food again and again,” Hernandez says.
His favorite thing to serve at weddings is a sesame tuna wonton, which is seared tuna on a crispy wonton with avocado and a dollop of wasabi. For TASTE, foodies will be treated to Durham Catering Co’s bold flavors of corn elotes, with a Mexican cream, cotija cheese, and spices.
* We’ll be sharing some bites from the night on our Instagram page, so be sure to follow along!