Nearly 150 people packed into the former Goodyear Tire store and garage location at Stonewall and Tryon Wednesday night for the second installment of Crescent Communities’ Skyline Series.
Last week’s themed discussion of “Passion meets Inspiration” offered an exploration of Charlotte, its food and how the food scene affects culture.
Crescent is the firm behind the development of Tryon Place, a mixed-land-use project along the three-acre parcel. Prior to ground breaking, which is slated for later this fall, Crescent is using the space to host an occasional series of community-focused discussions and host several artists in residence with access to the space for studio use and to display their work.
The evening kicked off with a panel discussion featuring Charlotte chef Bruce Moffett (Barrington’s), Atlanta chefs Steven Satterfield (Miller Union) and James Beard award winner Linton Hopkins (Restaurant Eugene), Sarah Crosland, the executive editor of the Charlotte Observer’s magazine division, and John T. Edge of the Southern Foodways Alliance.
A common theme echoed by the panelists was the important role food has in creating a sense of place for a community.
“You can’t have a great food city without having great neighborhood restaurants,” said Edge, who writes about the foodways of the American South. “Yes, people make journeys in search of new and innovative cuisine, but it starts in individual neighborhoods. In Atlanta for example, the food culture is being defined in neighborhoods such as Buckhead, Decatur and along Buford Highway.”
Crosland noted several restaurants outside the core of center city that were gems for their neighborhoods and worthy of a special trip.
“Joe Kindred is doing some amazing things in Davidson at Kindred,” said Crosland, author of “Food Lovers’ Guide to Charlotte. “And we have young rising stars like Clark Barlowe (Heirloom in Coulwood) who is incorporating foraging and even beekeeping into his approach. It’s exciting.”
Chef and restaurateur Moffett encouraged people to explore the suburban landscape in Charlotte and take advantage of the multi-cultural fare served in the city’s many international restaurants.
“Musashi in south Charlotte doesn’t have much ambiance,” Moffett said. “But the food is spectacular. Go off the sushi menu and order some of the traditional Japanese dishes. The cooking here and in these types of neighborhood places is from the heart.”
Plenty of tasty bites were offered with Benton’s country ham sticky biscuits and goat cheese mousse. Not to mention tomato, watermelon and peach salad with butter peas and buttermilk chive dressing among the standouts.
The vibe for the evening was conversational and foodie oriented. Tyler Niess, Crescent’s chief marketing officer, perhaps summed it up best when he said, “Great places need great spaces. Food can play an important role in shaping the identity of the city. We’re glad to play a part in encouraging that discussion.”
Photos by poprock photography
Michael Solender mjsolender