I obviously love to eat but throughout my dining adventures, I’ve become enthralled by the most important aspect of food: the people behind it.
That’s why I love the Piedmont Culinary Guild. PCG is a nonprofit that connects chefs, farmers, and all types of purveyors through education, recognition, and the sharing of resources. The link stretches throughout North and South Carolina, where hundreds of culinary professionals work together to create sustainable dishes with locally-sourced food.
My first experience with PCG took place last fall during the inaugural Farm to Fork in the Garden at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. Guests roamed the beautiful gardens and enjoyed dishes made with local ingredients by a chef and purveyor pair. (Save the date for this year’s event: October 6, 2019!)
Last month, I attended a popular PCG event (for the first time), the 2019 PCG Food & Beverage Symposium. I was honored to introduce the keynote speaker, Chef Katie Button of Cúrate in Asheville, in between enjoying educational classes led by local chefs/mixologists (Chef Laney Jahkel-Parrish of 300 East and Amanda Britton of Bardo).
And this Sunday, I’ll head to CPCC for my first Sensoria Arts and Literature Celebration. You’ll find me at the open tasting, where fifteen chefs will be paired with NC wine makers to create a unique locally-sourced dish.
Soooo… how can YOU get involved? If you’re a “restaurant, farm, farmer’s market, artisan food business, craft beverage company, or a culinary or agricultural school,” you’re in luck, as PCG recently launched a Business Membership.
“The PCG Business Membership was created to help consumers more easily find and patronize the businesses that align with personal value systems around food,” said Kris Reid, executive director and owner of PCG. “This membership is exclusive as few businesses in the industry can demonstrate their commitment to our local food and beverage community, investments in our workforce by providing retention programs and investments in our environment by providing eco-friendly and recyclable to-go containers and other environmental programs like composting and recycling and food upcycling to divert waste from the landfill.”
Proceeds from memberships are going toward the creation of a local food and directory map.
“Sourcing with integrity is part of the successful recipe when building and sustaining the local food and beverage community,” said Reid. “For that reason, PCG Business Members are celebrated for their local food and beverage support. We believe we are weaving a tight-knit fabric together to secure and build our local food shed by supporting growers and businesses that support growers.”
If your business falls in line with these beliefs and processes, check out PCG’s website for more info on how to apply for a Business Membership.
Follow PCG on Instagram to stay in the loop (trust me, you don’t wanna miss these events!)