Wednesday, August 21, 2013

UPDATED: Parsons departs uptown's Harvest Moon

UPDATE: See the story on what chef Cassie Parsons and partners have planned here.

Cassie Parsons is no longer chef at the Dunhill Hotel's Harvest Moon Grille; the pioneer in Charlotte's farm to table restaurant scene is now focusing on the upcoming Farmer•Baker•Sausage Maker in Lincolnton, expected to open in November.

Dunhill general manager Craig Spitzer said the hotel restaurant will continue the farm-to-fork concept with chef Patty Greene, and will continue to buy products from area farmers, including Grateful Growers. Parsons said she's still helping with the transition, as well.

Parsons and partner Natalie Veres have Denver's Grateful Growers Farm, known particularly for its pork products. Harvest Moon began as a food truck -- a way, Parsons has said, to prove diners would support businesses using locally sourced foods, and that chefs could afford to buy them and be successful.

It gained a brick-and-mortar home at the Dunhill in 2010, gaining notice both regionally and nationally. Parsons spoke at TEDxCharlotte about the farm-to-fork concept and sustainable eating as a lifestyle, in February.

Plans for Farmer•Baker•Sausage Maker call for a restaurant, plus a meat processing center and bakery in Lincolnton, allowing both diners and shoppers to buy goods (internet sales are planned, too). As its website puts it: "Farmer•Baker•Sausage Maker intends to rely on the 'forgotten culinary arts' of cooking, baking and butchery. Through our focus on spending money with local producers who use sustainable methods, we also intend to support the local economy. Spending money with local growers, rather than far-away megafarms and food processing factories, boosts the ability of the community to be economically more self-sufficient, keeps green space productive, and can help preserve the art of growing food."