Kathleen Purvis

Who’s leaving Atherton Market? (No one.)

By Kathleen Purvis

kpurvis@charlotteobserver.com

George Schmaren
George Schmaren CHARLOTTE OBSERVER

Spring is the time for cleaning, so here are a few scraps of news to sweep off my desk:

A lot of us were startled when another publication recently reported that Lynn Shanklin Caldwell is leaving the Atherton Market. Lynn Shanklin Caldwell was startled, too.

“I’m not abandoning the market,” she told me. “I don’t think I could ever do that.”

Caldwell, who founded the market and has stuck with it through four locations, isn’t leaving. She’s just stepping away from her daily duties. Samantha DeRosa, who was formerly with the Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend, will take over as market manager, while Caldwell will serve on the market’s steering committee.

Caldwell is focusing on a new project to establish a food-innovation district that would include several components, including an urban farm. Similar projects are being built in Detroit, Louisville and Baltimore. The project is just getting started, but it does have a website, if you want to know more: www.cltfooddistrict.org.

James Beard nominees around here

While Charlotte didn’t make the list when the finalists were announced Tuesday for the James Beard Awards, there was news in the Carolinas. Kinston chef Vivian Howard’s show, “A Chef’s Life,” got three nominations, for TV Show on Location, Visual and Technical Excellence and Personality/Host.

Charleston’s Sean Brock was nominated for outstanding chef and for his book, “Heritage.” Others in the Carolinas: John Fleer of Rhubarb in Asheville and Jason Stanhope at FIG in Charleston are both up for Best Chef Southeast, while FIG and McCrady’s in Charleston are up for best wine program.

Media winners are announced April 24 in New York, while chefs and restaurants will be announced May 4 in Chicago.

Honoring ‘Dean of Dough’

George Schmaren was the pastry instructor at Central Piedmont Community College when baking around here wasn’t much more than birthday cakes. He did as much as anyone to fill this town with the talented bakers who feed us today, and he taught me a lot about how to understand what happens in an oven.

George died last week at age 90, and I didn’t want to miss the chance to salute him. He was buried in his chef’s jacket, which is exactly what he would have wanted.

Purvis: 704-358-5236

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