You may have peered into one of the towering, angled windows of the new glass building on 721 Broad Street in Durham and wondered what was going on in there. On Wednesday, the building by Duke's East campus opens its doors for a grand opening celebration from 5 to 7 p.m. Among the local businesses setting up shop inside is Hummingbird bakery, the long-awaited dessert shop by Watts Grocery chef/ owner Amy Tornquist.
Tornquist, also owner of Sage & Swift Gourmet Catering, paired up with pastry chef Heidi Durham for the new concept. According to a press release, Hummingbird "seeks to bring a fresh perspective to the classic confections of a bygone era."
Tornquist, who was born across the street from Watts Grocery and lives a few blocks from the bakery, wants to celebrate traditional Southern confections. Diners at Watts Grocery could test items on the dessert menu prior to the bakery's opening.
"We have this vanilla cake that we really like and spent a lot of energy to make it right," Tornquist says. "We're trying to make sure that we don't have a repertoire that's so broad that nothing is excellent."
The bakery's proposed offerings beckon whimsy and nostalgia: tiny hand pies, both savory and sweet; peaked meringue pies in lemon and chocolate; butterscotch pudding scooped into mini mason jars to take home; homemade marshmallows and peanut brittle. Tornquist says soups and sandwiches will also be available, along with a full coffee bar using coffee from Joe Van Gogh just down the road.
In June, farmers market shoppers and festivalgoers in Chatham and Orange counties were welcomed by a new roving pizza oven. Capp's Apizza serves personal-size, homemade Neapolitan-style pizza from a wood-fired oven mounted on a trailer.
Owner John Cappelletti ordered the oven from Naples, Italy, to provide an efficient and traditional way to cook what he says is the perfect pizza. He has nicknamed it Vesuvio.
Cappelletti and his family, usually his teenage son and daughter, hand-toss dough as customers order. The pizza is sauced and topped with locally sourced ingredients, many from their own small farm, Gladstone Farms. Toppings include homemade sausage, fresh produce and herbs, and traditional Italian choices such as fresh figs.
The oven, he says, can heat up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit but maintains a temperature in the 800 range. He uses red and white oak wood—no coals, gas or electricity. In less than two minutes, 12-inch pizzas come out perfectly charred at the edges with an ideal fusion of warm toppings and melted cheese on top. The oven "holds heat for several days, so we take it and bake bread the second or third day," says Cappelletti.
Capp's Apizza is stationed at Fearrington Village's farmers market on Tuesdays and in Saxapahaw on Saturdays, with alternating Fridays at Hillsborough's Depot and The Roost at Fearrington Village. You can also find them at the N.C. Hops and Roots Fest at Shakori Hills on Sept. 1 and at the Carrboro Music Festival on Sept. 30.
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