Sustainable Classroom


The Sustainable Classroom is a combination of culinary workshops, food and beverage tastings and demonstrations, discussions and educational sessions all wrapped into one! These experiences will not disappoint – with thoughtful combinations of amazing chefs, food artisans, brewers, bakers, distillers, authors, sommeliers and industry phenoms offering discussions, combined with delicious tastes, that will stimulate all the senses. This year, we are expanding the classrooms and offering a choice to attend Friday and/or Saturday classes. Each will be offered as day passes and we may offer single classes this year too! We are in the planning stages and have a great line-up in the pipeline so far!

“Our goal for the Sustainable Classroom is to create an unforgettable experience for all who participate and attend by offering inspiration for growth and new ideas,” says Colleen Minton, TerraVita founder and director.

Scheduled to take place on Friday, October 9 and Saturday October 10, day passes cover the specific day you purchase and include multiple classes (three with the Friday pass and two classes with the Saturday pass). Each session lasts one-hour and fifteen minutes and includes multiple experts and aficionados in the food and beverage world. There are ten sessions total, with the opportunity to choose one session from each time slot. Class selections will be offered first-come, first-served, and as classes fill, we will indicate below.

Classes will take place in two locations – the Southern Season Cooking School (210 S. Estes Dr., University Place, Chapel Hill 27514) and the Top of the Hill Great Room (100 East Franklin St., 2nd Floor, Chapel Hill 27514) – with a short travel time allotted between classes. Although we will do our best to keep the class schedules running on time, all attendees must be responsible for scheduling travel time between the various locations and plan accordingly. For the most relaxed approach, you may choose all your classes at one location! Once you purchase a classroom ticket, you will receive a separate email offering the opportunity to choose your classes within 24 hours. *Please note with a day pass, you may not sign up for classes on two separate days, unless you have purchased a double-day pass. Some descriptions and participants may be tweaked and amended, but these are the classes as they currently stand:

FRIDAY CLASSES – October 9 from 9:30 am – 2:45 pm
  • WASTE NOT: Scraps, Bits & Bites – 9:30 AM at Southern Season
    Broccoli stalks not popular at your house? Just buy the florets! We live in a disposable culture, and our food systems give testament to this from fast food chains to the frozen aisle at the grocery store. Join Jason Stanhope, 2015 James Beard Best Chef Southeast, and Scott Crawford, with four James Beard nominations and numerous Forbes five-star designations, as they highlight the less glorious tips and bits of vegetables, animal skins and scrapings. We will look at practical ways home cooks can use more of the whole animal/vegetable in the kitchen and beyond. This will be an engaging class with several delicious tastings in the mix!
    Participants: Betsy Andrews, Organic Living (moderator); Jason Stanhope, FIG in Charleston; Scott Crawford, Standard Foods


  • THIS CLASS IS NOW FULL North Carolina in Five Plates9:30 AM at The Great Room
    Folks around the world have fallen in love with our state, and it is no surprise. A stunning coastline yields to rich farmland that gently slopes up into steep Smoky Mountains. Each distinct geographical region boasts distinct interpretations of classic southern cuisine. Here, we share the culinary story of North Carolina through five plates, ranging from sweet to savory, prepared by several of the most esteemed cooks and cookbook authors in the Southeast. These dishes define who we are today, and they help us understand how our food has defined us to the outside world for generations.
    Participants: Elizabeth Hudson, Our State magazine (moderator); Stephanie Tyson + Vivian Joiner, Sweet Potatoes restaurant; Sheri Castle, cookbook author; Bill Smith Jr., Crook’s Corner; Bob Garner, cookbook author; Nancie McDermott, cookbook author


  • Me, Myself & Ribeye: Exploring Underutilized Meat Cuts – 11:30 AM at Southern Season
    What do you do when your favorite purveyor at the farmers’ market is out of loin chops and recommends a pork jowl instead? Selections from the entire beast have gained some fame, thanks to the whole animal movement, but even the skilled home cook often chooses the familiar cuts when planning a menu. Lesser known parts might sound great at a restaurant, but many folks are still intimidated by the idea of buying a pig’s head or a side of meat. In this show and share class, experts and chefs identify their favorite lesser-used, but widely-available cuts. One of the Shenandoah Valley’s leading producers of pork heritage breeds will guide the class through tools needed to manage basic home processing. Chefs will demonstrate simple techniques that can be easily applied to a variety of cuts. We’ll walk through the tools, language and skills needed to feel comfortable with the realities of whole animal eating.
    Participants: Jennifer Curtis, Firsthand Foods (moderator); Cheetie Kumar, Garland; Kyle McKnight, Highland Avenue; Clay Trainum, Autumn Olive Farms


  • North Carolina in Five Drinks – 11:30 AM at The Great Room
    The sister class to the South in Five Plates. Folks around the world have fallen in love with our region, and it is no surprise. Each geographical region boasts distinct interpretations of classic southern beverages. In this class we will drink through the culinary story of North Carolina in five liquid refreshments: beer, wine, spirits, tea, and sodas. Through the lens of quintessentially southern beverages, we will look at how we define who we are today as well as the drinks that have defined us to the outside world for generations.
    Participants: Robert Moss, author (moderator); Sean Lilly Wilson, Fullsteam; Elizabeth Cooper, Southern Season; Joy Ritchie, Cheerwine; and Sheri Castle, cookbook author


  • THIS CLASS IS NOW FULL  Buzzed & Cultured: The Insider’s Scoop on Expertly Pairing Wine and Cheese1:30 PM at Southern Season
    This signature class combines some of our favorite guilty pleasures, wine and cheese, as well as our favorite wine and cheese cognoscenti. Expect the experts to keep you on your toes this year as they highlight the significance of terroir in lesser known varietals and new trends in southern cheesemaking.
    Participants: Elizabeth Cooper, Southern Season; Inez Ribustello, On The Square; Max Kast, Fearrington House; Alexander Kast, Goat Lady Dairy; Hilary Schmidt, Boxcarr Handmade Cheese


  • Spirited: The Souls and Stories Behind Cocktails in the South – 1:30 PM at The Great Room
    Southern liquor and spirits have fueled economic and creative engines in our region for generations. Yet North Carolina imposed Prohibition in 1909, a full ten years before the attempt of launching the “Noble Experiment” nationwide. Liquor was intensely connected to agriculture in its beginnings, and surprisingly, bourbon was not always the king of southern spirits. Join top mixologists and beverage historians as we drink through cocktails that have played key roles in the narrative of North Carolina over the last 100 years. This class also taps the expertise of contemporary distillers using local ingredients to infuse a time honored tradition with a fresh twist. Executive Chef [and moonshine maker] James Clark of The Carolina Inn prepares modern and historically compelling food pairings to enjoy alongside the cocktails.
    Participants: Robert Moss, author (moderator); Scott Maitland, TOPO Distillery; James Clark, The Carolina Inn; Chris Jude, Fair Game Beverages; Kevin Barrett, Foundation


SATURDAY CLASSES – October 10 from 9:30 am – 12:45 pm
  • Beyond The Bar: Cocoa from Salty to Sweet – 9:30 AM at Southern Season
    Decadent and versatile, cocoa presents a broad spectrum of flavors, colors, and textures in its wheel of possibilities. It is both an essential component in some savory Mexican moles and the backbone of chocolate, mother ingredient of the multi-billion dollar candy industry. Join us and taste what happens when we invite celebrated dessert experts to provide us with their interpretation of cocoa in four dishes.
    Participants: Andrea Weigl, News & Observer (moderator); Jael Rattigan, French Broad Chocolate Lounge; Daniel Benjamin, Lucettegrace


  • Praise The Lard: Show and Tell with the Misunderstood Fat – 9:30 AM at The Great Room
    Leaf lard, fat back, Crisco, and butter, fat is fat, right? Join luminaries of lardcore in this show and tell that reveals all fat is not created equal. Touch, smell, and see the science and stories behind using certain styles of lard to enhance specific dishes. We’ll also take a look at lard and the contemporary kitchen. With many Latino populations working behind the scenes in restaurants, there is great opportunity to influence Southern foodways. We’ll hear from local kitchen staff about how the use of lard in their homes is being translated to the plates around fine Triangle dining establishments.
    Participants: Jennifer Cole (moderator); Phoebe Lawless, Scratch; April McGreger, Farmer’s Daughter Pickles & Preserves; Angela Salamanca, Centro


  • Apple of Our Eye: Cider the Hard Way – 11:30 AM at Southern Season
    The fastest growing alcoholic beverage in the United States isn’t a wine, beer or spirit. It’s hard cider. In fact, historians state that during colonial times cider was more popular than whiskey, beer, or wine. Twenty-first century aficionados praise cider for its complexity and range, not to mention its ability to meet the needs of those seeking gluten free beer alternatives. This panel features industry leaders in cider production and distribution. We will pair domestic and European cider selections with tastes from Chef Joe Sparatta from Heritage restaurant in Richmond, VA.
    Participants: Maggie White, The Local Palate (moderator); Mattias Hagglund, Heritage restaurant; Diane Flynt, Foggy Ridge Cider; Joe Sparatta, Heritage restaurant


  • Sour Power Hour: Demystifying Sour Beer – 11:30 AM at The Great Room
    Most seasoned drinkers appreciate, and even seek acid in alcohol. Citric acid plays a crucial role in cocktails, wine aficionados recognize acidity as a key wine characteristic, and finally the American beer world has fixed its current cult obsession on sour beer. The world of sour beer is irresistibly seductive for some, a mystery of the senses to others. Join us as we reframe the conversation with leading brewers from North and South Carolina in this discussion of the surging popularity of sour beer that will touch on health benefits and tips for food pairing along the way.
    Participants: Margo Knight Metzger, NC Craft Brewer’s Guild (moderator); Cameron Read, Edmund’s Oast; Ben Woodward, Haw River Farmhouse Ales; Isaiah Allen, The Eddy Pub; Todd Boera, Fonta Flora
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