When their plan to sell handcrafted sausages at the farmers market was shot down due to state restrictions on retail sales of charcuterie products, Justin and Katie Meddis devised a new business strategy. The husband-and-wife team launched Rose's Meat Market and Sweet Shop without a brick-and-mortar location, a food truck or even a farmers market stand (nor a website, but you can find them on Facebook). Instead, their entrepreneurial impulse and love for food created a new approach to bringing community together through whole-animal butchery classes and well-planned dinners combining meats and sweets.
On Saturday, Rose's hosts a Japanese Chicken Dinner at Elodie Farms in Rougemont. This one hasn't sold out yet, as most of their butchery classes do. The duo has prepared a menu using vegetables sourced from Four Leaf Farm and chickens from Sunset Farms, with an optional pairing by Hillsborough's new but already formidable Mystery Brewing Co. Four courses feature dishes utilizing parts of the entire chicken. A spicy somen noodle salad appetizer combines crunchy pea shoots with crispy chicken skin, and later courses present sake-poached chicken breast and marinated chicken legs. Dessert, a mochi cake, focuses on foraged wild blackberries.
Justin and Katie, both recent San Francisco transplants (though Katie is from this area), hope to encourage a local food economy in which farmers find it easier to sell their entire animal and customers find it more appealing to buy less popular cuts. Justin says they will open a butcher shop soon where, as in their classes, they'll help consumers figure out what to do with every piece of the animal. Justin trained in Charleston, S.C., with Craig Deihl, a chef nationally acclaimed for his charcuterie practices. At the shop, Justin will supply sausages and artisan meats, and Katie's homemade confections will make picking up dessert easy.
Pittsboro celebrates local beer next week with events honoring Carolina Brewery's fifth year in town (carolinabrewery.com). On Wednesday, Aug. 8, the brewery introduces its limited-edition anniversary lager in a schwarzbier style—deep brown with a roasted flavor that's light on hops. Thursday customers will receive a souvenir glass; Friday customers can enjoy live music in the outdoor beer garden.
Then on Saturday, a free brewery tour is combined with a burger competition that culminates a monthlong contest of customer-submitted "Dream Burger" recipes. Chefs Alex Stewart and Adolfo Cabral will cook up six finalist recipes for a judging panel that includes Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller. The winner will see his or her burger on the restaurant's fall menu and receive a new barbecue grill.
A portion of the brewery's burger sales for the week will be donated to The Abundance Foundation, a Pittsboro-based organization promoting local food, sustainability and renewable energy education initiatives.
"We are excited to celebrate this milestone anniversary with our friends and family in Chatham County," says Carolina Brewery owner Robert Poitras. "This is the right place for a growing local business to succeed, and we are proud to be in Pittsboro."
Correction: For Rose's Japanese Chicken Dinner at Elodie Farms, the vegetables are being sourced from Four Leaf Farm (not Elodie Farms).
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