Our farm dinners feature the talents of a number of talented local chefs. We choose chefs that have the ability and inclination to create inspired, veggie-based dinners prepared with creative culinary finesse, featuring our in-season produce. In addition to the chefs listed, we often invite guest chefs, so the dinners will never lack in variety and inspiration!
Chef Cate Smith
Cate is Corporate Chef for Merriwether-Godsey Dining Services. Merriwether-Godsey serves over thirty institutions on the East Coast including Amherst, Guilford, and Ginter Botanical Gardens, and Sidwell Friends School. Cate develops menus and provides training for the employee-owned, woman-founded company based in Lynchburg. Cate is a native Virginian who resides in Durham. A music major, Cate pursued the culinary passion inspired by her grandmother and has spent 20 years honing her culinary skills. Cate is also a survivor of non-Hodgkins lymphoma and believes that healthy food has healing benefits. Cate has prepared a number of our farm dinners and is always given an enthusiastic response for her creative and delicious farm-fresh dishes.
Chef Bob Compton
Bob Compton, Executive Chef, of The Mebane Downtown Table. Bob is a native of this area, has returned to his family’s 300-acre farm, and has mastered Southern cuisine. He became enamored with the healthy benefits of good food as a chef at Duke Hospital and as Executive Chef at Refectory Café in Durham. The art of creating beautifully presented and sophisticated dishes was mastered as the Chef de Cuisine at 5-star Il Palio at the Sienna Hotel in Chapel Hill. He has gained a reputation as one of the region’s best farm-to- fork chefs as evidenced by being voted “Fan Favorite” at Carolina Inn’s recent Barbecue Throwdown. At Table Restaurant he has wowed guests who have offered such reviews as: “Best kept secret”…”Beautifully prepared and presented”…”Unexpected treat”…”Delightful surprise”…”Delicious, remarkable meal”…”VERY impressed”… and “What a delight!”
Chef Daniel Taylor
Chef Daniel Taylor is classically trained in all areas of the culinary arts with over 20 years of professional experience. He has worked in and owned restaurants in the Triangle where he landed his 1st head chef position in Chapel Hill at the age of 24. His international experience includes the Cayman Islands where he served as executive chef, with a focus on harvest dinners using local, organically grown vegetables. Daniel also devoted 6 years working in London with Michelin Star critical acclaim.
Daniel feels that cooking at home has become a lost art and should always focus on local, simple and delicious ingredients. His goal is to bring the art and joy of cooking to people in their own kitchens. This ethos prompted him to start his new business, Briar Chapel Chef, where he teaches in-home cooking lessons individually as well as for groups. How delighted we were to learn that he loves gardening as well. What a pleasure to have him chef our farm dinner for the very first time and we are eager to work with him!
Chef Caroline Morrison
Chef Caroline Morrison is a North Carolina native who discovered her passion for cooking partly out of frustration from being vegetarian in the South. She knew there was an abundance of produce within the region, but dining options seemed lackluster, cursory, and often made from canned or frozen products. This propelled her to earn her culinary degree and begin experimenting with pop-up events hosted with partner/co-owner, Siobhan Southern. Together, they opened the Fiction Kitchen in January 2013. The Fiction Kitchen, in downtown Raleigh’s Arts & Warehouse district, proudly boasts the title of the Capital City’s only 100% vegan/vegetarian restaurant. Its mission: thoughtful, creative and approachable vegetarian cuisine prepared with the freshest seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Recognized for its diverse menu, local beers, thoughtful wine selection and signature cocktails, The Fiction Kitchen is perhaps best known for treating omnivores to a satisfying, often mind-blowing introduction to vegetarian cuisine.