A Cornelius couple's April 16 wedding in Pinehurst came complete with a horse-drawn carriage ride and something a bit more unusual: 12 Secret Service agents.
Bridegroom Jason Stapleton is the grand-nephew of former President Jimmy Carter, who attended the rehearsal dinner, wedding and reception with his wife, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.
Stapleton and his bride, Rachel Griffin, are co-general managers of Latitude 36 Raw Bar and Grille, on Lake Norman at 18665 Harborside Drive, Cornelius.
Stapleton's grandmother on his father's side was Ruth Carter Stapleton, Jimmy Carter's sister.
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"It was just an honor to us that he had time in his schedule for us," Griffin said in an interview at Latitude 36, after the couple returned from their honeymoon in Napa Valley, Calif.
Rachel Griffin and her family got a chance to hang out with the Carters away from the limelight during Christmas 2009, in the Carters' home in Plains, Ga.
"It was neat that they got to meet them as they really are," Stapleton said. "Everybody was laid back."
Rachel Griffin got to sample the Carters' home-cooking and programmed a new TV for them.
At the wedding, Jimmy Carter was so congenial that he personally greeted each of the 145 guests after the ceremony.
Galway Hooker joins "Farm to Fork" effort
Galway Hooker Restaurant and Irish Pub, 17044 Kenton Drive, is offering two prix fixé menus this month as part of Carolina's Farm to Fork Restaurant Month through May 31.
Executive chef Steve Jordan said the effort mirrors what the restaurant tries to do year-round.
"Whether it's cheese from Ashe County, bread from Cleveland County or vegetables grown right here at Lake Norman, we try to use fresh, local ingredients as much as possible in all our dishes," Jordan said.
Jordan is offering two special three-course meals this month, including an $18.95 option that features a farmer's salad with pickled golden and red beets, goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette, followed by a pan-seared day boat flounder with almond butter over wilted local spinach and sweet potato gnocchi; for dessert, strawberry shortcake trifle.
The second option, for $28.95, begins with grilled vegetable terrine with local arugula and house-made bacon vinaigrette.
The main course is local braised pork shank and root vegetable over creamy parmesan polenta, followed by mini cupcakes made of local zucchini bread with a cream cheese cardamom frosting for dessert.
For details about Carolina's Farm to Fork Restaurant Month, visit www.carolinasfarmtofork.com. A portion of the proceeds from Farm to Fork Restaurant Month will benefit the new Slow Food Charlotte Farmers Fund.