Pine Knot Farms
Stanley Hughes of Pine Knot Farms | Photo courtesy of Raleigh Convention Center / Our State Magazine

Raleigh Convention Center Debuts Menu Honoring BIPOC Farmers

In September 2021, Web Exclusive by Anna BresciaLeave a Comment

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WEB EXCLUSIVE The Raleigh Convention Center’s new menu highlights NC’s women and BIPOC farmers and food producers.

Food is just as much a source of nourishment as it is a story—a story of history, culture and values. Here to tell their story through food are a select group of North Carolina women and BIPOC farmers and food producers through The Raleigh Convention Center and its in-house caterer Centerplate’s new menu, “A Seat at the Table.” 

Throughout his time in the restaurant industry, Centerplate executive chef Phil Evans realized “how smaller farmers—especially women and BIPIOC farmers—are repeatedly overlooked.” In an effort to showcase these food producers, he spent a portion of the last year sourcing ingredients from farms across the state that not only enhance Centerplate’s and The Raleigh Convention center’s menu, but also help tell the story of farmers who are historically underrepresented (e.g. BIPOC communities).

“I’ve met some incredible people across North Carolina who are producing amazing foods,” Evans says. “They deserve to be showcased, and our guests deserve to taste the best of the best.”

The “A Seat at the Table” menu features such NC farms and producers as America’s Best Nut Co., Hines Family Farms, Paradox Farm Creamery, Sweet Pea Urban Gardens and Grass Grazed Farm in dishes such as Southern deviled shrimp shooters, chef-carved pork belly porchetta, and sungold tomato and eggplant chowchow.

“As visitors continue to return to downtown Raleigh, we’re excited to offer a first-class menu that sets us apart from other venues, of course,” says Kerry Painter, executive director of Raleigh Convention + Performing Arts Complex. “But we’re especially proud to be able to introduce those visitors to the people behind the flavors. Chef Phil chose products from small family farms where quality is more important than quantity. The love and care they put into their products comes through with every bite.”

No other convention center menu in the country prioritizes female and BIPOC farmers and food producers in this way—we love to see it! 

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