Immerse Yourself in Local Food, Flavors at PCG Food & Beverage Symposium


The 2019 Piedmont Culinary Guild Food & Beverage Symposium will take place on Sunday, March 17 at Johnson & Wales University. The day is packed full of educational classes and demos lead by chefs, writers, mixologists, farmers, and other culinary industry professionals from the Carolinas.

The theme for this year’s symposium is All Ships Rise. This phrase, heard often in the Charlotte culinary community, refers to “how all of us affect our local food systems, and how we can all work together to make it more vibrant, more profitable, and less stressful.” (Source)

New this year is the Wellness Track, which puts emphasis on dealing with the negative aspects of the food and beverage industry: the long hours and difficult schedule, small profit margins, and tense competition. Guests can attend lectures such as “Avoiding Burn-Out in the Culinary Industry” with Matt Martin, “Breathe Easy and Stress Less” with Heidi Billotto, and “Staying Sane in the Face of Stress” with Heather Durham.

Katie Button, executive chef and co-owner of Cúrate Tapas Bar, Nightbell and Button & Co. Bagels in Asheville, NC, will be the event’s keynote speaker starting at 11:45 AM. Following her address, lunch will be provided by Soul Food Sessions, the movement to provide acknowledgement and support to people of color in the culinary industry, paired with a roundtable discussion lead by Jenelle Kellam.

How does it work? Breakfast and check-in start at 7:15 AM followed by a welcome message from PCG Executive Director Kris Reid at 7:45 AM. Three hour-long sessions follow, and within each session, guests choose which class they’d like to attend. After the keynote address and lunch, two sessions remain, and the day ends with a closing reception starting at 4:15 PM.

Registration is still open! Tickets are $85 and include a spot in one session per time slot, a seat at Chef Katie Button’s discussion, and access to breakfast, lunch, and the closing reception.

Full schedule and session descriptions can be found online.

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Heather Sinyard