Recipe

For generations, the women in writer Alice Randall‘s family, including Alice, topped two hundred pounds.

As she wrote in a 2012 New York Times Op-ed, and now in a new cookbook, being heavy was something to aspire to.

John F. Blair Publisher

  

Known in North Carolina as the "Barbecue Man," Bob Garner shares his love of the state's favorite food through recipe books, restaurant reviews, and regular segments on UNC-TV's North Carolina Weekend, where some foods get his stamp of approval: "Mmm-mmm."

But his newest book takes readers on a culinary trip around the state from the little-known Neuse River Fish Stew and Ocracoke Fig Cake to the classic Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Texas Pete hot sauce and Mount Olive pickles.

Updated Wednesday 1/8/14: So, earlier this week, I told you about a little game I play with my husband every January. It involves our grocery money.

We give ourselves a budget, and tell ourselves that, no matter what, we will not go over that amount of money for groceries.

On Sunday (our shopping day) gave ourselves $150 that should last all week for our 3-person family. (Usually we just "try our best" with our shopping, but don't give ourselves a monetary limit.) We spent $60 for our first shop and had $90 left for the rest of the week.

Vijay Dey at the White House Kids' State Dinner on July 9.
Mei Dey

Twelve-year-old Chapel Hill resident Vijay Dey took a special trip to the White House last week after being selected as one of 54 nationwide winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a program sponsored by food website Epicurious and Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative. The Challenge asked young chefs to submit a healthy recipe that meets the USDA’s MyPlate standards, meaning half of the dish is comprised of fruits and vegetables. They also were encouraged to submit the story behind the dish.

Dey’s winning recipe was for Spring Rolls, a dish he said was inspired by his grandfather. “My grandpa makes that recipe and I thought it tasted really good,” Dey said. “And it fit with the MyPlate food group categories.”

Phoebe Lawless
Lissa Gotwals

People who bake pies for a living usually do so because they love it. Not to win awards. So when Phoebe Lawless of Scratch bakery learned recently that the James Beard Foundation named her a semi-finalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef – an honor she shares with only 19 others in the country – she was thoroughly shocked.   “I certainly did not expect to find myself on the list,” she said.  Lawless learned of the honor while at home on her couch, when someone mentioned it on Twitter.  

Even though he’s been a James Beard Award semi-finalist for three years in a row, Chef Aaron Vandemark of Hillsborough’s Panciuto was caught off guard last month when he learned that his name was on the list yet again. He was checking his email and received a congratulatory note, at first not realizing what it was for.  But that’s not too different from last year, Vandemark says. In 2012, he was alone in his kitchen cutting up lamb parts when he received a phone call from a writer in Raleigh who gave him the news.  “I’m always surprised by how informal it is,” he admits, referring to the fact that The James Beard Foundation does not notify its semi-finalists directly.