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It was an unseasonably warm October afternoon when The Floating Island arrived in Chapel Hill. We all hit the ground running and kicked off the 2010 Chapel Hill Workshop with a fabulous lunch at Crook’s Corner with Chef Bill Smith. He regaled attendees–including recipe editor Sheri Castle, cookbook author Sandra Gutierrez, and Publisher’s Weekly senior editor Lynn Andriani–with stories about the dishes and his time at the restaurant.
He started off the meal with rice porridge with fried oysters instead of crackers, using Carolina Gold rice from Anson Mills. This porridge is typical fair in China but this was one of the first times Chef Smith has served it at Crook’s Corner. With this bowl of warming, delicious goodness, we were served a slightly-sweet, slightly-spicy Pineapple-Tequila Sparkler. Along with the eponymous ingredients, the light, refreshing drink featured jalapeno and a dash of Peychaud’s bitters.
For our main course, Chef Smith produced tender, bone-in chicken tamales steamed with plantains and wrapped with big banana leaves, which he paired with fresh papaya. The recipe was inspired by (and ultimately assembled by) Rosy, a local Tamale legend, who served them curbside (before meddling health inspectors intervened).
And for dessert, Chef Smith presented a perennial favorite from Kim Sunee’s Trail of Crumbs: Almond-Saffron Cake (recipe). He paired the tender, subtle cake with homemade orange sorbet and a generous dollop of whipped cream.
In about seven short weeks, fifteen talented writers will have the opportunity to hone their nonfiction skills with bestselling author Kim Sunee and meet/work with a host of celebrity authors and chefs at the Floating Island Workshops in Chapel Hill, NC. From Monday, October 11 to the 14th, attendees will receive professional critiques from Kim, dine and share stories with nationally renowned chefs, and more.
Workshop attendee benefits:
- 4 days of workshopping
- Catered lunch daily
- Special lunch at Chef Bill Smith’s nationally renowned Crook’s Corner Restaurant
- Roundtable Q & A with Frances Mayes, bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun, Bella Tuscany and most recently Every Day in Tuscany
- Wine tasting at Bonne Soiree with Chip Smith, Tina Vaughn and Damon Haynes
The $1,200 workshop fee includes the above features and events. To secure your spot, please fill out the online application and submit a 50 percent deposit.
Also, we have secured a group of rooms at The Franklin Hotel, in the heart of Chapel Hill, at a special room rate. The Franklin Hotel’s special room rate expires September 17, so register and book your rooms today.
In addition to the week’s workshop activities, Floating Island is also hosting a number of additional events, available on an a la carte basis around the city. Some of those events include:
If you have any questions about the workshop or any of the events, please contact us and we will be glad to speak with you.
During a three-course lunch at Crook’s Corner (the Chapel Hill restaurant long known as “sacred ground for Southern foodies”), chef and author Bill Smith with share the ins and outs of how he came to write Seasoned in the South, a book of recipes and stories, named not only a New York Times Notable, but also a Food & Wine best book. Part cookbook and part memoir, Bill Smith’s Seasoned in the South was published by Algonquin Books, a literary publishing house which is a division of Workman Publishing, known for more standard cookbooks.
As intuitive a chef as he is a writer, Bill Smith is constantly writing from the kitchen—daily on Twitter and at more length on his blog, A Year in the Kitchen). His next book-length project involves Mexico and working with immigrants in the kitchen. A taste of this new project can be found in the Southern Foodway’s Alliance’s journal, Gravy.
We are looking forward to lunch with Bill Smith and hope you’ll join us. In the meantime, you can visit with Bill Smith on this YouTube post that follows him on the Libba Cotten Bike Path in Carrboro, NC—part of the process for making his famous Honeysuckle Sorbet.
The three-course lunch, with wine pairings, is included in the 2010 Chapel Hill Writers’ Workshop. And it is open to the public at the cost of $29 (tax and tip not included).Please reserve online, as seating is limited.
Lunch with Bill Smith at Crook’s Corner
Monday, October 11, 2010
Noon to 2 p.m.
610 West Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC
Reservations: online registration
We are excited to announce an exclusive family-style meal at Chef Andrea Reusing’s nationally renowned Lantern Restaurant on Wednesday, October 13. Chef Reusing has an uncanny ability to take essential Asian flavors and bring them to life with the best local products North Carolina has to offer. Gourmet Magazine recognized Lantern as one of “America’s Top 50 Restaurants,” and Chef Reusing has been nominated for Best Chef in the Southeast by the James Beard Foundation.
Andrea’s first cookbook, Cooking in the Moment, is slated for release next year and promises to be brimming with beautifully seasonal recipes, and tales of simple local meals with family and friends. Click here for an interview with Chef Reusing.
The multi-course family-style meal with wine pairings will be offered at a set price of $95 including tax and tip, as well as a cocktail hour with snacks beginning at 6 p.m. Call Lantern today to reserve your seat, as space is limited.
Last year, Bill Smith, a nationally recognized Chapel Hill chef, cookbook author and frequent forager, took Floating Island Workshops Director Kim Sunee on a trip to procure ingredients for one of his signature desserts at Crook’s Corner: honeysuckle sorbet. Chef Smith will host an exclusive lunch during our 2010 Chapel Hill workshop. (Full details in a future post.)
Making the sorbet:
(Sadly, Chef Smith’s honeysuckle sorbet is a spring dessert and will not be available for our lunch.)
Register for the Floating Island Workshops Chapel Hill 2010 workshop before August 15, and take 20% off the workshop fee. It gets you all the same great writers and fabulous food, just for less money.
Register here today!
Floating Island Workshops proudly announces that registration for the October 2010 Chapel Hill, North Carolina workshop is now open. Fifteen talented writers will have the opportunity to hone their nonfiction skills with bestselling author Kim Sunee and meet/work with a host of celebrity authors and chefs.
The workshop includes:
- 4 days of workshopping
- Breakfast and lunch daily
- A special lunch at Chef Bill Smith’s nationally renowned Crook’s Corner Restaurant
- An exclusive chef demonstration (TBA)
In the coming weeks a few exciting excursions will be added to the workshop roster, including a wine tasting, a cookbook author panel, dinners featuring local chefs, and cookbook signings. Tickets for these excursions will be available on an a la carte basis to workshop attendees and the general public. (Workshop attendees will have preference.)
We have secured a special group rate at the beautiful and well-situated Franklin Hotel in downtown Chapel Hill. Information on how to take advantage of that rate will be furnished to attendees who have completed their online application and submitted their deposit.
The $1,200 workshop fee, includes 4 days of workshopping, daily breakfast and lunch, the special lunch with Chef Bill Smith, and a chef demonstration (TBA). To secure your spot, please fill out the online application and submit a 50 percent deposit.
Hot on the (tar)heels of our Seaside 2010 workshop, Kim Sunee announces a Columbus Day Weekend food writing and memoir workshop in Chapel Hill/Durham, North Carolina, October 10 to 14. In addition to four full days of writing, eating, and workshopping, the workshop will feature a slate of celebrity chefs, food authorities and cookbook authors. More details will follow, so save those dates.
Please comment below or use the Contact Us form to show your excitement.