Heidi Billotto sitting on a red tractor with produce all around

Roadtrip: Learn to Cook at the NC Mountain State Fair

Time for a road trip to Asheville NC. Come on up and join me. I’ll be hosting the GotToBeNC Cooking Stage inside the Davis Event Center at the WNC Agricultural Center. It’s always fun to work for my good friends at the NC Department of Agriculture. The Ag center here is home to the NC Mountain State Fair, September 9-18, 2022.

Hop in your car – or big wrapped truck ( as the case may be) – and head up to the Western North Carolina Mountain State Fair, to join me for all the fun.

Inside the Davis Center at the cooking stage, fairgoers will enjoy two cooking demos each day from Sept 9-15 and on Sept 17 & 18. You’ll watch chefs prepare a selection of seasonal recipes at each demo. There is seating right in front of the stage; and we’ll have giveaways and trivia contests. While we won’t be sampling to the crowd, four lucky members of the audience will chance to eat with our featured chefs onstage.

Chefs from across Western NC will share recipes and show you how to cook, eat and drink with locally sourced North Carolina ingredients.

Our Chefs’ Table participants will enjoy a ringside view of all the action. After the demo they get photos taken with each presenting chefs and will enjoy plated portions of each of the dishes created during each individual demo. There will be Chefs’ Table gift bags as well.

At the Mountain State Fair, it’s all about the GotTobeNC Local

And in each and every demo we will of course be featuring local GotToBeNC ingredients. NC Sweetpotatoes, NC eggs, NC beef, and tons of produce and products from the WNC farmers market will be featured. Many of my favorite GotToBeNC products will be in our onstage pantry for chefs to incorporate in their recipes.

Because, there was a tractor in the middle of this gorgeous Mountain State fair display from the WNC farmers Market and when you are a food and travel writer, everything is a photo op!

The pantry selections include Tidewater Grain Company Carolina Gold Rice and Middlins from Oriental NC. The line of Japanese-inspired TonTon Sauces made and bottled in Raleigh, and my favorite EVOO and balsamic vinegars from Olive Crate. Olive Crate’s olive and grape groves are actually in Greece, but the family that owns the farm lives in Charlotte. I like to say they have a NC footprint. You can buy the entire line of Olive Crate products at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market on Saturdays in Charlotte on Yorkmont Road in Building B.

More Ways to Eat and Drink Locally

From in and around the Asheville area we will also have Miso Master Miso, Lusty Monk Mustard, and Devil’s Foot Ginger Beer in the pantry. Did you know Devil’s Foot now has a new Hotter than Fuego variety made with local ghost peppers? Wowzer!

Also from Asheville: a terrific trio of hot sauces from Nine Mile Restaurant and a brand new duo of delicious Nine Mile salad dressings. Can’t wait to give these a try!

Our Chefs can add a bit of a crunch to a few of their finished plates with a bit of Poppy’s Popcorn. To pair with some of the chefs plates, we’ll have a selection of some of the most popular flavors of Shanti Elixirs, a wonderful Jun made with local honey and all sorts of good for you pre and probiotic ingredients.

Watch my social media feeds for more on all of these delicious ways to eat and drink locally.

Here’s What’s Cooking at the Mountain State Fair, Sept 9 – Sept 11

Cooking demos will run 45 mins to an hour. Recipes will be available on these pages every couple of days and eventually on the GotToBeNC website as well. At the stage we will also have recipe cards to giveaway as well as info and teacher resources for NC Eggs, NC SweetPotatoes and NC Beef.

  • Friday, Sept 9, 1 pm and 3 pm Fun Recipes To Cook With Kids. Executive Pastry Chef Savanna Brodar of the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Charlotte NC. Savanna is also a 2022 GotToBeNC Culinary Ambassador.
  • Saturday, Sept 10, 1 pm and 3 pm  Seasonal Treats. Pastry Chef Whitney King of Stable Café at Biltmore in Asheville, NC cooks with NC SweetPotatoes
  • Sunday Sept 11, 1 pm and 3 pm Cooking with NC Beef. Private Chef Reyaña Radcliff of Your Braisen Chef in Charlotte NC cooks with NC Beef and  Shipley Beef in Vilas NC

KIck Off The Week with Great Recipes from This Trio of NC Chefs, Sept. 12- 14

  • Monday Sept 12, 5 pm and 7 pm,  Farm to Fork Dinner. Chef Matt Rivers of Blowing Rock Country Club in Blowing Rock, NC cooks with Tidewater Grain Co.
  • Tuesday Sept 13, 5pm and 7 pm, Keep Your Sunny Side Up. Chef Abby Tetterton of Valle Crucis Conference Center in Banner Elk, NC cooks with NC Eggs
  • Wednesday Sept 14, 4 pm and 6 pm, What’s New at Tastee Diner with Chef/Owner Steven Goff. Tastee Diner in Asheville NC with Shipley Beef in Vilas NC

Here’s Who’s On Stage Sept. 15 – 18

  • Thursday Sept 15, 4pm and 6 pm,  For The Love of Local Veggies – No waste cooking. Chef Chris Aquilino of Chef Aquilino Consulting & Further Culinary Group
  • Saturday Sept 17, 1 pm,  From the Farmers’ Market – Dinner for Fall. Certified Executive Chef Stephen Hertz of AB Tech and the Western North Carolina culinary Association, both in Asheville NC
  • Saturday Sept 17, 3 pm, Weekend Brunch Vibes with Innkeeper Diane Rogers of Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast in Asheville NC
  • Sunday Sept 18, 1 pm, Simple and Delicious Late Summer One Dish Meals. Chef Daniel Wheeler, Instructor at Caldwell Community College Culinary School in Hunter NC
  • Sunday Sept 18, 3 pm,  From the Farmers’ Market – Dinner for Fall. Certified Executive Chef Stephen Hertz of AB Tech and the Western North Carolina culinary Association, both in Asheville NC


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