food

Annual Collective Spirits Wine Festival

The third annual event will be held at The Bascom art center in Highlands, NC. This will be the first major event held at The Bascom's newsix acre, three building facility, which features 23,000 square feet of space. This facility will be like no other art space in Western North Carolina. The new campus is located on Oak Street and Franklin Road (Highway 64).

The event will held on May 29-30, 2009. Some of the festivities for the event include a wine tasting, silent auction, symposium led by wine specialists, and a seated dinner on the new terrace. All of the proceeds from the event will benefit The Bascom.

Tickets are $100 for the wine tasting on Friday evening and $225 for Saturday evening's gala. A two day ticket may be purchased for $295. To purchase tickets, please log on www.collectivespirits.com or contact The Bascom at 828-526-4949.

What a great event to kick off the summer! Come and enjoy one of the many greatactivitieshere in Western North Carolina.

Plateau Pursuits May Edition

Calendar of Events for the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau

Ever since early settlers and developers first arrived on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau over a century ago family and community have been at the heart of events and gatherings in the area. The same holds true today, and theres always something happening in any one of our villages, townships and master-planned communities! Aside from the awe-inspiring beauty and majesty of our mountains, lakes, waterfalls and forests - below are a few additional reasons you should join us for a Party on the Plateau in May:

May 14-17Highlands Cashiers Players present Neil Simons Rumors at The Martin Lipscomb Performing Arts Center in Highlands. Showtimes Thursday thru Saturday 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 2:30 p.m. Tickets: Adults - $20; Students - $8 may be purchased one hour before the performance on an as available basis. Reservations can also be made by calling the box office at 828-526-8084. May 15Historic Zachary-Tolbert House tours resume in Cashiers on Fridays and Saturdays thru October 17, 2009 (click here for more information). May 23Summit Memorial Day 5K Race in Cashiers. For more information, call 828-743-5755. May 23-27Annual Plant Sale at Highlands Ball Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Featuring hundreds of locally grown hostas and perennials. Proceeds help local scholarship students and local projects. Come early for best selection! Rain date is Sunday, May 24. May 23-24The Village Square Art & Craft Show at Pine Street Park in Highlands. Featuring regional artisans showcasing fine art, pottery, baskets, folk art, jewelry, furniture and more. Face painting for the kids. For more information, call 828-787-2021. May 27Snakes & Ice Cream at the Village Green Pavillion in Cashiers at 6 p.m. Childrens program that is presented by Patrick Brannon and is part of the Village Nature Series. Co-hosted by Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust and Village Green. FREE admission! Call 828-526-1111 for more details. May 29Collective Spirits Wine Festival at The Bascom in Highlands. Featuring wine tastings from premier North Carolina distributors, as well as silent auctions, artistic demonstrations, a symposium and gala seated dinner under a tent on The Bascoms new terrace. For more information or to order event tickets, call 828-526-4949. May 29-30Cashiers Historical Society Hosts 2009 Appalachian Music Symposium at the Albert C. Carlton Library in Cashiers and Lombards Lodge in Whiteside Cove. Symposium features presentations by renowned historians and performances by David Holt, Sheila Kay Adams, Lee Knight, The Queen Family and Jacob Jones. Daily tickets are $80, and Two-Day tickets are $145. Seating is reserved and limited so order your tickets today! For more information or to place your ticket order, call 828-743-7710 or send an e-mail to zacharytolbert@aol.com. May 30Blues, Brews & BBQ on the grounds of the Rib Shack Restaurant at The Old Edwards Inn & Spa in Highlands from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fun-filled, family-friendly outdoor bash featuring live music from Hurricane Creek, mouth-watering ribs and southern sides from the Rib Shack and ice-cold brews from Highland Brewing Company. Tickets available for purchase at the Rib Shack Restaurant or by calling 828-526-8008

Savory, Salty, and Sweet

Like the Oscars are for the film industry, a fierce competition known as the sofi™ Awards is for the gourmet and specialty foods industry. Little known to the layman, this contest, in its 45th year, calls for hundreds of gourmet and specialty food companies nationwide, small and large, new and old, to duke it out for the Best Product of the Year, plus Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. The awards ceremony highlights the newest culinary innovations, recipes, and technology. Aside from bringing fame and prestige to the winners, a sofi™Award can mean millions of dollars in sales. 
Categories from baked goods to condiments to sauces and meats, cheeses, and seafood are judged by a vast panel that include gourmet food industry tastemakers from the Culinary Institute of America, food media like the Wall Street Journal, Williams & Sonoma, Sur La Table, cookbook authors, famous chefs and restaurateurs, Whole Foods, and many more. These judges are not only the experts in their field but influencers of trends. 
Outside of the industry, everyday foodies and culinary “passionistas” long to stay on top of the food trends for the pleasure of eating, drinking, cooking and sharing. Reading popular gourmet magazines like Bon Apetít and Food & Wine usually provide an insider’s look at cooking trends and recipes, however, some of the sofi™ awarded products never make it on their pages.
However, NC Living Magazine is in the know, and we are sharing the best in most categories so you can be on the forefront of some epic culinary covets. These stellar award-winners from the 2018 competition are ideal to incorporate into your next recipe, give as a hostess gift, or as a present for the food lover in your life. If not found on your grocer’s shelves, all products can be found on the Internet. To see the entire list of award winners, go to www.specialtyfood.com.

1 WINNING CATEGORY: PRODUCT OF THE YEAR
Product: Cardamom bitters, Brand: The Bitter Housewife
An ideal savory bitter to add to your next craft cocktail using añejo tequila or scotch (currently available at Whole Foods, Amazon and other online stores).

2 WINNING CATEGORY: BAKED GOODS, GOLD MEDAL WINNER
Product: Gran Pasticceria Tortina White, Brand: Loacker USA
A “trifecta of sublime tastes” per the winning notes, melding together creamy white and dark chocolates, crispy wafers, and hazelnut crème to make one darn good tortina wafer.

3 WINNING CATEGORY: BAKING INGREDIENT, GOLD MEDAL WINNER
Product: Roasted Peanut Oil, Brand: La Tourangelle
Made in the USA, this virgin pressed oil rates high on its nutty fragrance and ability to ramp up the flavor of any baked recipe, not to mention using it to dress a salad.

4 WINNING CATEGORY: BBQ SAUCE, GOLD MEDAL WINNER
Product: Badass Smoked Sriracha & Roasted Garlic Mop Sauce, Brand: Wildly Delicious Fine Foods 
A sweet, salty, and savory sauce good to mop up anything and everything. Once you go Badass, you won’t go back. Enough said.

5 WINNING CATEGORY: COW’S MILK CHEESE, GOLD MEDAL WINNER 
Product: Organic Rogue River Blue, Brand: Rogue Creamery
Aged for one year and produced in Oregon, this multiple award-winning veiny blue comes from pasture-raised cows that graze on organic land. The wheels are wrapped in Syrah leaves and soaked in pear brandy. Flavor notes include hazelnuts, berries, morel mushrooms, and sweet woodsy pine. 

6 WINNING CATEGORY: DARK CHOCOLATE, GOLD MEDAL WINNER 
Product: Poco Dolce Olive Oil and Sea Salt Bar, Brand: Poco Dolce Confections
Small batch bittersweet chocolate tiles made with California olive oil and topped with grey sea salt. Divine!

7 WINNING CATEGORY: COOKIE, GOLD MEDAL WINNER 
Product: Orange Pistachio Shortbread, Brand: Smart Cookie
Nothing like a buttery shortbread sprinkled with toasted green pistachios, zests of orange, and hints of cinnamon and vanilla to make your mouth water. Balanced by texture and taste, this cookie is good enough to serve to dinner guests or at your next tea.

8 WINNING CATEGORY: CRACKER, GOLD MEDAL WINNER 

Product: ParmCrisps, Brand: That’s How We Roll, LLC

These crackers pack a punch and a crunch made with 100% aged Parmesan Cheese. Made in small batches with no artificial ingredients, these fine artisanal crisps pair beautifully with a fig spread or raspberry jam.

9 WINNING CATEGORY: SALSA/DIP, GOLD MEDAL WINNER 

Product: This Dip is Nuts: Roasted Green Chile and Pepita, Brand: Bitchin’ Inc.

Organic, gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO, this dip with an almond base is not only tasty, but also healthy. A clear winner with its mellow heat and savory sweet flavors, it is smooth and “bitchin'” according to the brand.
 

10 WINNING CATEGORY: ICE CREAM, GOLD MEDAL WINNER 

Product: Black Sesame Ice Cream, Brand: Humphry Slocombe

Handcrafted small batch ice cream blended with toasted black sesame seeds and garnished with sesame oil creates a new taste sensation for those who like savory and sweet. The product gets rave reviews across the board.
 

11 WINNING CATEGORY: COOKING MARINADE, GOLD MEDAL WINNER 

Product: Ancho Chile Tamarind Sauce, Brand: Salsaology

Flavors inspired by the Jalisco region of Mexico, this marinade positively challenges the taste buds with its combination of savory, smoky and sweet. Delicate and tangy tamarind, roasted peanut and smoky chilies bring a new zing to chicken and pork dishes.