As many of you are aware, much loved and respected NC Dairy Farmer Randy Lewis of Ran Lew Dairy in Snow Camp, NC was attacked by a bull in the pasture early one Sunday morning in May 2023. I wrote about it all the day after it happened.
At that point no one knew much.
Just after I posted, I walked into the Coastal 2023 NCRLA Chef Showdown prelim round and all of the judges, organizers and participating chefs, many of them cooking that day with Ran Lew Dairy milk and buttermilk, were stunned to hear the news.
Randy is one of the last NC dairy farmers in Alamance County and is famous for his Ran-Lew Dairy cream top milk and soft serve ice cream. His milk and Buttermilk and his chocolate milk are all well-known in culinary circles across the state.
Then and Now
It wasn’t long before we were all told that Randy had suffered broken ribs, punctures in both lungs, and broken bones in his face, back, and collarbone. He was life-flighted from his farm to UNC Hospital where he was in the surgical ICU as he underwent extensive medical care and reconstructive surgery.
Thankfully, Randy is on the mend now, at home, slowly recuperating; and his milk glass is more half full than half empty. But as you can imagine, Randy still has a long road ahead and his medical and other day-to-day expenses have stacked up.
To help lighten the load for Randy and his family, a group of local chefs, farmers, brewers, distributors, media and this food and travel writer have partnered with the NC Department of Agriculture and are gathering to create a fun, family-friendly event to support our friend, Randy Lewis.
We’d love for you and your family and friends to join us.
Come for the food and the desserts – provided by some of our state’s top culinary talent; enjoy shopping at a makers market of local artisans providing their wares; bid at an incredible silent auction (details to come next week); listen to live music; drink local; have fun with outdoor games for the kiddos and help Randy along the way.
What’s Cookin and Who’s in the Kitchen
A half dozen plus chefs are participating at the event, serving up samples of a specially prepared menu for the Smoking Bull event. It all takes place at a venue near Raleigh, that you’re going to want to know about – Craften Food in Knightdale, NC.
Take a look at the menu below, then be sure to get your tickets to join in all the fun.
Friends of Randy and Ran Lew Dairy are all playing a part
Other chefs and restaurants across the state who wanted to help are donating dinners and experiences as silent auction items. Those items and the opportunity to bid will all go live next week – stay tuned.
At the July 23 event, ticketed guests are granted access to the entire space for food and sweets, games and live music. Chefs will use the multiple kitchens of Craften to showcase their dishes. Guests may sample any and all of the food provided.
Alcoholic beverage are not included in the admission cost; but will be available at the Craften Bar and Beer tents.
Chef Kyle Teears is executive chef at Craften and he will be onsite helping to facilitate. He will be joined by an array of well-known NC culinary talent to serve the crowds and share all they do with lots of local GotToBeNC products, protein and produce.
Here’s what’s on the menu for the July 23 event
Chef Jay Vetter from Aramark will be presenting an all locally sourced Carolina Surf & Turf with Crispy Pork Belly, NC Crab & Corn Fritter, Heirloom Tomato Middlin Risotto , Creamed Corn, Chow Chow – wow, wow!
Chef David Mitchell from Plates Neighborhood Kitchen in Raleigh is making a meaty Bolognese topped with his own House Made Ricotta (made with Ran Lew milk, of course) and Fresh Herbs especially for the occasion – you’re going to love it!
Next up, 2023 James Beard Nominated Chef Preeti Waas of Cheeni Indian Food Emporium in Raleigh. Preeti is bringing a classic Indian favorite to the table – perfect for a NC hot summer day. Thayir Sadam, is a Vegetarian South Indian Yogurt Rice. To keep it local, Preeti is featuring Tidewater Grain Company Carolina Gold Rice and Ran Lew Dairy milk to make the yogurt.
Then, rub shoulders with the James Beard Foundation 2022 Outstanding Chef of the year, Chef Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood Joint in Durham, as he serves his Crispy Shrimp Paste Chicken Thigh Bites, XO Sauce-Buttermilk Ranch & Lime-Pickled Parsley, yes please!
Don’t miss meeting Asheville’s own Chef Steven Goff of Tastee Diner. Steven is the 2018 NCRLA Chef of the Year, and will be preparing Smoked Cheshire Pork ribs with NC sweetpotato molasses, Marcona Almonds, Sweet Tater, Peach and Mater Salad and a Ran Lew Buttermilk Sauce, oh my!
On the sweeter side of things
Say hello to NCRLA Chef Showdown 2021 Pastry Chef of the Year, Tie Whittaker of Buttermilk Boutique in Clayton NC. Tie will be creating a mouthwatering NC peach cobbler ( tis the season!) with Ran Lew Dairy buttermilk ice cream.
But that’s not all. Also in the mix, to help satisfy the crowd’s collective sweet tooth, Pastry Chef Gerald Hawkins, Jr. from Strangebird Pastry Co. in Wilmington NC. Here’s what Gerald is bringing to the party: Ran Lew Dairy buttermilk cake with créme fraîche mousse, local plums & micro basil – yum!
It’s an event you obviously don’t want to miss it – get your tickets today and we’ll see you there at Craften Neighborhood Food & Drink in Knightdale NC on Sunday, July 23 from noon to 5 pm!
Want to help contribute, but can’t attend?
We’d so appreciate your support. Consider making a donation to Randy through the link for tickets.
And, be sure to dive in and let the bidding begin for the online silent auction.
Here is the link to start bidding on all of these great silent auction items – DO It NOW!! #TellThemHeidiSentYou
Auction items are live and bidding will continue till 5 pm on July 23, 2023. Among the fabulous items up for auction are:
- A two night weekend getaway to the Beaufort Hotel in Beaufort NC. Includes breakfast and a personalized Bourbon flight for two
- Sets of Carolina Cooker cast iron cookware
- A $400 value DIY Oyster Roast and Shellfish package ( including 100 NC oysters, 100 NC clams and 8 Maine lobsters, from Inland Seafood
- A $400 Value 150 Anniversary beef box, plus 2 tickets to the 2024 Good Fields celebration and farm tour and 2 t-shirts from Shipley Farms
- A $250 value social media package from Susan Dosier of DK Communications
- A one night Winston-Salem getaway for two courtesy of Chef Travis Myers of Six Hundred Degrees. Includes an overnight stay at the Brookstown Inn, dinner with Travis and brunch at Young Cardinal
- A $250 gift certificate to Timberlake’s restaurant at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, NC
- Greenpan GP5 Stainless Steel 10PC Cookware Set
- A chefs’ tasting table with Chef Chris Coleman of the Goodyear House
- A $200 gift certificate and factory tour from Haands Pottery in Burlington, NC
- Dinner from Chef Ashley Boyd at 300 East in Charlotte
- An two night overnight stay in Asheville at AB Tech’s Mountain Tech Lodge
- Dinner with Chef Sera Cuni of Roots Cellar Cafe in Pittsboro, NC
- High Tea for Two at the Ballantyne Hotel in Charlotte
- Ran Lew Dairy Milk and a dozen Homemade cookies, every month for a year compliments of me!