We are huge fans of Kris Reid and The Piedmont Culinary Guild, which you may have heard about on this awesome episode of the Scallionpancake podcast. In recent years, PCG has partnered with Central Piedmont Community College to present a food and wine celebration at their Sensoria Art and Literature Festival. Local chefs join with local wineries to create food and wine pairings, and patrons eat, drink, and celebrate Charlotte’s culinary scene. Beyond all of the delicious food and drink, there are even culinary breakout sessions you can attend to get educated on food and wine after you fill your belly with delicious food. The event is held on a spring Sunday, and we have attended the past two years and enjoyed ourselves immensely. It’s really a great opportunity to see the up and coming chefs in the area.
The most fun part is that attendees get to vote on their favorite pairing at the end of the event. Last year, Chef Greg Collier won for his smoked trout and apple salad on cornbread toast. Who won this year? Read on to find out!
Chef Adam Reed
Roasted pork over pickled slaw and tropical salsa
Chef Mike Rozycki
Spring onion rigatoni with braised pork and Parmigiano Reggiano
Chef Vince Giancarlo
Piccione Nero braised Springer Mountain Farms chicken thighs, finished on the Big Green Egg with Cheerwine Korean chili BBQ sauce and kimchi pickled vegetables
Chef David Feimster
Spicy Yellowtail wonton tacos with chili oil, pickled shallots, green onions, and cilantro
Members Food Service
Chef Brandon Lopez
Gorgonzola panna cotta with pancetta, vanilla and honey popcorn, corn shoots, and lemon-basil microgreens
Chef Chris Coleman
Smoked pork belly sweet fry bread with peanut, benne, and chili jam
Chef David Quintana
Pork katsu with pickled cabbage, black garlic tonkatsu sauce, and potato bread
Chef Majid Amoorpour
Wild mushroom and truffle-infused goat cheese crostini
Chef Steven Goff
Braised rabbit with mustard whip and creamy Farm & Sparrow grits
The Fig Tree
Chef Greg Zanitsch
Smoked duck mousse profiterole with bacon fig chutney, bleu cheese butter, and pickled red onions
Chef Paul Verica
Beef tartare on brioche with pickled potato, truffle, yolk, and herbs
Chef Whitney Thomas
Harmony Ridge Farm duck liver mousse with pickled ramps, and huckleberry marmalade on brioche
Sweet Spot Studio
Chef Jossie Lukacik
Dessert of honey and lemon
Chef Jamie Turner
Apricot tangelo chiffon mousse cake with laurel-lime gastrique with white chocolate crumble
Who won, you ask? Okay, okay, it was none other than Scallionpancake Podcast favorite, Chris Coleman! His fry bread donut deserved all of the accolades and extra pug fairy dust to boot. That dish was definitely our personal favorite, and we also loved the pork katsu sandwich from Duke’s bread, the profiterole from The Fig Tree, and both desserts.
Sensoria is all about the wine, but I am all about not having a hangover Monday morning. I stuck with water. Woo!
As Sensoria is presented in conjunction with CPCC, it’s held at the Philip L. Van Every Culinary Arts Building off of King’s Drive. It’s a lovely spot for an event like this with a large professional cooking space, but it does get super crowded with so many chef’s stations and people milling about. We recommend coming early to avoid peak crowds!
Also, the last two years the wonderful people of Blue Goat Dairy have been posted near the entrance sampling their wonderful selection of sweet and savory goat cheeses. They also sell delicious candied pecans!
Piedmont Region Hospitality:
Most of the chefs seem super happy to be at this event and talk to the people, which makes it a great way to get to know the faces behind your favorite restaurants and new discoveries. For restaurants who don’t have chefs who are as…uh, personable, we recommend that they send a smiley surrogate in their place. Trust us, we get it – we wouldn’t want to interface with the sweaty masses of plebeians either, but if you know making small talk isn’t your thing, send your food with an ambassador.
The things that Chef Coleman can do with donuts defy logic and break the donut glass ceiling; When in doubt, put a duck on it; Everyone loves the girl drinking water at a wine event; Not all chefs are people-chefs, and that’s a-okay with Frankie; You know what doesn’t pair well with a spicy cabernet? A sweaty plebeian.