Savor the South Foodie Weekend in September

Savor the South CookbooksHere’s some news from our sister O.Henry Hotel on a big foodie weekend!

You are invited to join Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen Executive Chef Jay Pierce and other food fanatics at the O.Henry Hotel in Greensboro for Savor the South® Weekend on September 26-28, celebrating the cookbook collection by UNC Press. The book authors, all well-known cooks and writers, will join hosts from Our State Magazine and the hotel culinary team to present extraordinary food and drink, mingling with guests, cooking demonstrations and samplings of more than 30 recipes from the books. Each day will conclude with an elegant five-course dinner.

Savor the South® cookbooks are a big celebration of a beloved food or tradition of the American South. Each book brims with personality and includes the culinary history of Southern foodways and 50 recipes. This event is the first occasion for all of these authors to gather for a single event:

  • Belinda Ellis, author of BISCUITS
  • Debbie Moose, author of BUTTERMILK and SOUTHERN HOLIDAYS
  • Kathleen Purvis, author of PECANS and BOURBON
  • Miriam Rubin, author of TOMATOES
  • Andrea Weigl, author of PICKLES & PRESERVES
  • Virginia Willis, author of OKRA
  • April McGreger: author of SWEET POTATOES
  • Kelly Alexander, author of PEACHES

In addition to ten cookbook authors, the weekend is hosted by Green Valley Grill Executive Chef Leigh Hesling, author Ronni Lundy, and Chef Nancy King Quaintance. Our State Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Hudson and Our State Storyteller Amy Wood Pasquini will host a welcome wine reception with live music and a conversation about favorite food memories. There’ll be plenty of optional activities during the weekend including a farmers’ market trip.

Weekend Details
Friday, September 26: Our State Welcome Wine Reception in the O.Henry Hotel Social Lobby with small bites made from featured Savor the South recipes and music by NC Hot Club. The Farm-to-Fork Grand Dinner includes cooking demos by Executive Chef Leigh Hesling with his special guests, Miriam Rubin, Debbie Moose and April McGreger. The bespoke menu will pair seasonal farm finds with recipes from Savor the South books.

Saturday, September 27: Early risers take a trip to the Farmers Market. Return to the hotel for a Biscuits & Preserves Bar, hosted by Belinda Ellis and Andrea Weigl. For lunch, there’s a Tasting Extravaganza & Book Signing with samplings of recipes from all the cookbooks, as authors chat with guests and sign their books. After lunch, talk with Our State about favorite Southern food memories. The grand finale dinner, Bourbon, Bluegrass & Bacchanal, starts with a Southern cocktail party with bites, bourbon and bluegrass fusion music in the lobby. The bacchanal-style dinner is hosted by Ronni Lundy, Nancy King Quaintance, Kathleen Purvis, Virginia Willis and Kelly Alexander.

Packages
The Savor the South Weekend One-Night Package includes overnight accommodations on Friday, September 26,  tickets to the four-course Farm to Fork Grand Dinner on Friday, matched with wine, Southern-style breakfast buffet for two on Saturday morning, transportation to the Farmers Market on Saturday morning, tickets to the Tasting Extravaganza & Book Signing for Saturday lunch and a cookbook of your choice. $295/person, based on double occupancy

The Savor the South Weekend Two-Night Package includes Everything in the One Night Package above plus the four-course Bourbon & Bluegrass Grand Dinner on Saturday and a second night of accommodations at O.Henry. $449/person, based on double occupancy

The O.Henry Hotel has received the AAA Four Diamond Award every year since opening in 1998. It’s also the top rated hotel in Greensboro on TripAdvisor. O.Henry and the adjacent Green Valley Grill is located in central Greensboro, adjacent to Friendly Shopping Center.

For information or reservations, call 336-854-2000 or go to www.OHenryHotel.com.

About the Hosts
Ronni Lundy is the author of Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken and Butter Beans to Blackberries, as well as seven other books. She is the recipient of the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award and the editor of Cornbread Nation 3: Foods of the Mountain South.

Nancy King Quaintance is Vice-President of Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels, the owner/operator of O.Henry Hotel. She started her career at 15 as a dishwasher with Disney in Florida. She went on to Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island, then to Cornell’s Hotel School, where she studied hospitality and culinary arts. While at Cornell, she served as a culinary teaching assistant. From there, she went to work in sales and front office operations for several hotel companies. In 1994 she joined the Quaintance-Weaver team, assisting with the culinary team with everything from recipe development, to expediting, to doing weekly cooking segments for a local TV station. Now, she works with the company’s marketing, operations and culinary teams.

Leigh Hesling is the Executive Chef of Green Valley Grill and O.Henry Hotel. With his mantra of “nearer the farm to the fork, the better the flavor,” you will often see him at the farmer’s market. Before moving his family to North Carolina in 2005, Chef Hesling traveled the world for five years as a chef with the Queen Elizabeth 2 and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Prior to the ships, his culinary training started in Australia and took him to several countries before cooking at several restaurants in England. His appetite for fresh, local and seasonal ingredients stems from his upbringing on a farm in the mountains near Cairns, Australia. His family grew much of what they ate, from livestock to fruits and vegetables, and that instilled in him a healthy respect for those who work the earth.

Elizabeth Hudson is a native of North Carolina who grew up in the small community of Farmer, near Asheboro. She holds a B.A. degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and began her publishing career in 1997 at Our State magazine, where she started in the circulation department answering telephones before moving to the editorial department. She held various editorial titles for 10 years before becoming Editor in Chief of the 80-year-old publication in 2009.

Amy Wood Pasquini is currently the marketing development director for Our State and is the Executive Producer of Content for “Our State,” a ten-time, Emmy Award winning, television show produced by UNC-TV. She is also the producer of many Our State travel weekends including the Best of Our State and Learn & Live Weekends. Born in Atlanta, Wood grew up in North Carolina. She obtained her BA in journalism from Georgia State University. She is the author of two books “Life Between Azalea Festivals,” and “White Bred, A Prodigal Jaunt Through the Suburban South” in addition to many articles for Our State.

More about the Cookbook Collection & UNC Press
Each little cookbook in Savor the South® cookbook collection is a big celebration of a beloved food or tradition of the American South. From buttermilk to bourbon, pecans to peaches, bacon to catfish, one by one each Savor the South® cookbook stocks a kitchen shelf with the flavors and culinary wisdom of this popular American regional cuisine. Written by well-known cooks and food lovers, each book brims with personality, the informative and often surprising culinary and natural history of southern foodways, and a treasure of some fifty recipes–from delicious southern classics to sparkling international renditions that open up worlds of taste for cooks everywhere.

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