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The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) at N.C. State is hosting "Farm-to-Fork: A Celebration of Local Foods and Local Farms" featuring Carlo Petrini, author and founder of Slow Food International (www.slowfood.com). Here's what's happening:

  • Tuesday, May 22: Farm-to-Fork picnic honoring Petrini at the Chapel Hill Creamery (615 Chapel Hill Creamery Road, Chapel Hill), 5:30 to 8 p.m. The region's most acclaimed chefs will pair with Piedmont farmers to serve traditional foods, including barbecue! Featuring live bluegrass music and kids' activities. Tickets: $35; free for kids 12 and under. Proceeds benefit Lakewood and Burton schools in Durham. Contact: 755-3804 or e-mail meg@wsgroup.biz.

  • Wednesday, May 23: Friends of CEFS private benefit reception at the N.C. State University Visitor Center (1210 Varsity Drive, Raleigh), 5 to 7 p.m. Following the reception, Petrini will give a free lecture, "Farm-to-Fork Exploration," at the McKimmon Center (1101 Gorman St., Raleigh), where he will discuss the meaning and value of preserving food traditions, defending biodiversity, and protecting food that is good, clean and fair. Join Friends of CEFS at the $250 level and receive two tickets plus reserved lecture seating. For information, contact Lisa Forehand, 513-0954 or www.cefs.ncsu.edu.

Chef Amy Tornquist is bidding farewell to the Nasher Museum Café, where she has brought seasonal farmers' market fare to the art scene on Duke's campus. But don't despair—she has plans for a new Durham restaurant and bakery. Watts Grocery will open in August in the Watts-Hillandale neighborhood (1116 Broad St.) and Blue Bird will open in spring 2008, possibly in downtown Durham. Watts Grocery, a Southern gastro-pub-style restaurant focusing on local ingredients and artisans, will feature 95 seats and a bar and will be open for lunch, brunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Tornquist's Southern bakery, Blue Bird, will feature time-honored Southern sweets.

Starlu (3211 Shannon Road, Suite 106, Durham, 489-1500) is opening Porter's Parlor, an indoor/outdoor lounge, onsite. The spot includes comfy couches and a tapas menu.

Lots happening in wine: Panzanella (200 N. Greensboro St., Carrboro, 929-6626, panzanella.com) is hosting a Wines of Spain tasting Monday, May 21, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Cost: $40.

Citrus (100 Westgreen Drive, Chapel Hill, 933-0623, www.citrus-chapelhill.com) is hosting a food and wine tasting Friday, May 18, from 7 to 9 p.m. with The Chapel Hill Wine Company (2809 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill, 968-1884). The tasting will feature wines paired with hors d'oeuvres highlighting Citrus' culinary delights. $25 per person. Info and reservations: 968-1884.

The Hillsborough Wine Company (118 S. Churton St., Hillsborough, 732-4343) is hosting a free food and wine tasting with Kitchen 14, Hillsborough's first exclusive catering and community cooking class service, Saturday, May 19, from 1 to 5 p.m.  

Know about a special food event in the Triangle? Send it to Now Serving at food@indyweek.com.

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