A decade ago, the Abundance Foundation hosted one of the first-ever major foodie festivals in our area, the Amazing Pepper Festival (it’s no ordinary pepper fest). Yes, our region celebrates farms and local food with a variety of food events now; this was particularly exciting because it was hosted at the site where so many local businesses are based today (Piedmont Biofuels, Piedmont Biofarm, Screech Owl Greenhouses, Abundance Foundation, Fair Game Beverage Company, and more). And, though The Plant is spacious, it was obvious that the event would grow and require a new venue.
Some exciting facets of the Amazing Pepper Festival remain, including the crowning of a king and queen, individuals who are the biggest cheerleaders for peppers and local food (competition is pretty tough since we’re among a number of chefs, foodies, and farmers). The event evolves, with a growing buffet of creative dishes that infuse, garnish, grill, liquefy, roast, and basically enthrall us with the taste of peppers.
New this year is the Flying Pepper Trail Race, a four-mile fun run, which begins at 10am the day of the event. Run, eat peppers along the way, and take a shot of Flying Pepper Tobago Infused Vodka (not just amazing, but award-winning, among the top three in food/drink category of Our State Magazine’s 2017 Made in NC awards). Please note, only participants 21 years of age or older may taste the Fair Game Beverage Company vodka.
Children’s chef competition, music, and plenty of good food and drink, all with a creative take on pepper, are part of this year’s tenth time offering tasty fun. Look for the familiar chef supporters that return again this year, and the food and drink vendors familiar throughout the region, Carolina Brewery & Grill, Fearrington Farmers’ Market, and Chefs Angelina & Chili Shack John (Pepper King in 2010 and 2012). See you this fall for this foodie extravaganza!