Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Coming up: Pears, chinchilla and Red Wattles. Oh my.

Ever had meat from the Red Wattle hog or American Chinchilla rabbit? Sampled an American heirloom pear? Probably not, since these are critically endangered foods. Your chance comes May 16, when 10 N.C. chefs present 10 courses using foodstuffs such as these in The Ark of Taste: A Slow Food Feast, at Beaver Dam Park in Davidson.

The Slow Food USA Ark of Taste, an initiative of the international Slow Food group, is a catalog of more than 200 foods threatened by industrialization, standardization, regulation and/or environmental damage. It aims to protect and promote foods that are culturally or historically linked and may be at risk of extinction.

The chef-etc./food lineup includes:
* Chef Mike Virgilli of Carmel Country Club: Chinchilla rabbit braised with vegetables
* Chef Paul Verica of Longview Country Club: Red Wattle pork belly (from Grateful Growers Farm)
* Chocolatier Erika Diamond: chocolates infused with heirloom pear liqueur
* Baker Laura Lucille Benoit: artisan breads made with organic grains from Anson Mills
Tickets are $100 and include the meal, wine and live music: Go to slowfoodcpr.com or call 828-446-8005. Proceeds benefit the Slow Food Carolina Piedmont Region convivia, the Davidson Farmer’s Market and the Lincoln County Farmer’s Market at Denver.

Want to get a look at the whole Ark, so to speak? Go here.