Friday, June 29, 2018

Chapel Hill chef to open new Roman-style pizza joint in 2019

Colorful Roman-style pizzas. Photo c/o of Stacey Sprenz Photography.

Chef Teddy Diggs
Chef Teddy Diggs, who recently departed Il Palio restaurant in Chapel Hill, has announced the creation of his new Roman-style pizzeria concept, Coronato. Slated for early 2019, the restaurant will draw inspiration from the Eternal City's bustling neighborhood pizzerie as well as offering up snacks, antipasti, craft beer, prosecco on tap and an assortment of Italian wines by the glass.

Diggs, is currently in search for a permanent location and until then, is planning to host pizza pop-ups for the general public. 

The first pop-up is scheduled for July 14, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., when Diggs teams up with Deric McGuffey (former pastry chef at Il Palio) and current partner with Cedar Grove's Botanist and Barrel. The pop-up will be featured at Botanist and Barrel, where one can expect innovative Roman pizzas along with blueberry tarts. Follow Coronato on social media for ticket information.

The vibe of Coronato will be casual with a lively vibe of Rome's side street eateries, showcasing a minimalistic urban design. Street art will be a huge part of the restaurant, which can be seen even in the the branding, which includes the Coronato's logo, an ode to legendary rapper Biggie Smalls.

"Coronato literally translates to 'crowned' in Italian and I want my restaurant to be 'King,'" says Diggs. "A king has a great responsibility to represent his family and to lead and influence others in the community. There is not an ego attached to the name, rather a tremendous responsibility."

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Local chef to appear on Food Network's Chopped Grill Masters

Chef Prieto will appear on Food Network's Chapped Grill Masters. Photo c/o Tabletop Media.

Head Fire Maker Christopher Prieto of Prime Barbecue is excited to announce that he will be appearing on Food Network's Chopped Grill Masters, with the first episode of the show airing July 31. 

Each chef competing is representing their region's barbecue style to battle it out for the $50,000 grand prize. 

Prieto is the owner and head fire maker of Prime Barbecue, and is also a champion pitmaster, book author, barbecue judge, teacher and barbecue eating expert. After years of experience through cooking, teaching and judging, Prieto believes that he has achieved what he considers “barbecue excellence” with his signature style that fuses together elements of Texas, North Carolina and Kansas City flavors. 

Prieto is opening Prime Barbecue in Knightdale later this fall. Prime Barbecue will include both indoor and outdoor seating along with a unique bar area by the "pit room.

Stonefield Cellars Winery offers relaxed setting just outside Greensboro


#79 – Stonefield Cellars Winery

Having just come back from our first visit to Napa Valley, we were settling back into our NC winery routine and on our way to Shelton Vineyards for the annual Running the Vines 5K, and decided to make a stop at another winery new to our adventures.

We decided on Stonefield Cellars Winery located just north of Greensboro, conveniently located in the Piedmont Triad. This family-run winery has actually been around for 12 years, opening March 2006, and offers up award-winning wines. One thing that initially intrigued us about Stonefield and why we chose this day to visit, was learning that the owner, Robert Wurz, is actually a graduate of the University of California – Davis, with a Ph.D. in wine chemistry and hails from Napa Valley. 

With an acre-and-a-half of vines on property, Stonefield is currently growing 14 different varietals of American, European and Hybrids. Everything is made from North Carolina grapes either from their own vineyard or elsewhere in the state.

It was another rainy day in NC as we made our way out west. As we pulled up to Stonefield Cellars in rural Guildford County, we grabbed our umbrella and headed up the pathway to the tasting room. We were greeted promptly by the resident tuxedo cat who came over to be petted before we entered the tasting room. The tasting room was warm and inviting with a gift shop offering the typical wine themed gift items as well as local handmade chocolates by Mama Laura’s. We first discovered these chocolates at Zimmerman Winery in Trinity and fell in love with them. 

Related Story: A Hidden Gem in Trinity: Zimmerman Vineyards

We were greeted by Kelley, the tasting room manager, who poured our wine selections. All wines are produced on-site and range from dry to sweet. We typically lean towards the dry wines ourselves, but always open to trying everything – you never know when you may find a new appreciation for a varietal you once turned your nose up at.

Related Story: Never Judge a Book by its Cover: Lazy Elm Winery & Vineyard

We first tried the 2015 Pinot Gris (non-oaked, stainless steel) and 2016 Pinot Gris (non-oaked, aged in neutral barrels). We found it interesting to put these two wines side-by-side and compare the variations in color and taste. We went down the list and tried much of what was offered between the two of us. Surprisingly, I found the Chardonnay to be quite pleasant – coming from a non-Chardonnay person.

The dry reds such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and even a Malbec; blended with creative names: Synchronicity, Dread Pirate Robert’s Bloody Red Wine (be sure to ask about the Pirate theme) and Mountain Mama Madness Red.

Surprisingly to us though, our favorite of the day ended up being the Vin De Narle’, a dessert wine with chocolate and cherry notes. We bought a bottle of this one to bring home and looking forward to opening this one up in the near future.

Following our tasting, Kelley was kind enough to take us back to where the magic happens – the barrel and winery room. She was very informative on the winery, events, its wine education program and even the volunteer program they have in place.

Upon leaving the tasting room we walked around a bit between rain showers to look at the landscaped gardens, patio and even the amphitheater for outside concerts at the Friday Flavor Concert series. We are looking forward to visiting again, perhaps on a sunny day to enjoy a glass outside on the patio.

Fun Fact #1: Stonefield Cellars also offers wine-making classes twice a year; in the Spring and Fall taught by winemaker, Robert Wurz. The course is 10-weeks and covers the full winemaking process. 

Fun Fact #2: Looking for an in-depth winery experience? Consider volunteering. Stonefield offers a “Will Work For Wine” program. 

Triangle Around Town's top 🍷choice: We really enjoyed the Vin De Narle Dessert Wine and ended up taking a bottle home with us.

Hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday – 12-6 p.m. and Sunday – 1-6 p.m.

Tastings are $7 for 7 wines

Visit the web page at for Facebook for upcoming events.


By Jennifer Primrose
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Friday, June 22, 2018

A familiar face finds his way back to Chapel Hill's Il Palio restaurant

Chef Adam Rose is back at Il Palio after a 5-year departure. Photo courtesy of Tabletop Media.

By Dathan Kazsuk

Chapel Hill's Il Palio restaurant at the Siena Hotel has a old face coming in to take over the helm. Executive Chef Adam Rose will be returning to the hotel to take the lead of all dining operations beginning July 1.

Rose was the executive chef at Il Palio from 2007 to 2013, when he left to become the executive chef and partner at Black House restaurant in Durham from 2013 to 2015. Prior to his first stint at Il Palio, Rose was the head chef at Elaine's on Franklin in Chapel Hill. 

Hailing from Long Island, New York, Rose started working in places such as Jack the Horse Tavern in Brooklyn before moving to North Carolina.

General Manager of the hotel, Anthony Carey, is excited to have Rose back in the kitchen. "Having chef Adam walk back through the kitchen door of Il Palio restaurant was like a dream sequence from a move," he says. "The staff was really happy to see him and to know he is returning as our chef. Several associates worked with chef Adam prior to his departure and were so excited to share with him all the great renovations that have taken place during his time away."

Guests and fans of the restaurant can expect new offerings such as cooking classes and intimate dining experience with Chef Rose. One of which will be a summer Sangria making class.

Previous chef, Teddy Diggs, who once was preparing foods in Martha's Vineyard will begin his new venture with a new restaurant coming soon – which will focus on Roman pizza and friend snacks.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Burger Mondays gears local chef for Blended Burger Project

Take a look at Chef Sean Fowler's Blueprint Burger. Courtesy of Mandolin's Facebook page.

By Dathan Kazsuk

If you like a good burger – join the crowd.

A good, juicy burger with the fixing can be bliss. Taking that first bite and having the juices running down your chin ... it’s just the best.

And on June 25, you can join Mandolin’s Chef Sean Fowler for his first ever Burger Night. On that evening, Chef Fowler will feature his latest burger, created with the James Beard Foundation challenge in mind. And you can’t beat this deal. Enjoy the Blueprint Burger for only $9, instead of the regular priced $15 – on Monday’s only.

But what is the Blueprint Burger? Well, it’s Fowler’s take on the American classic, built around a blended burger of meat and mushrooms. Crafted using 50 percent grass-fed chuck, 25 percent Heritage Farms bacon and 25 percent Fox Farm trumpet and shiitake mushrooms. Top that with blue cheese, pickled Mandolin Farm ramp aioli and squeeze all those ingredients inside of a La Farm Bakery brioche bun and you got yourself one heck of a mouth-watering burger.

This burger is Mandolin’s entry into the Blended Burger Project, a project created by the James Beard Foundation to re-imagine the iconic burger. The restaurant will be serving up this burger from June 25 until the end of July

And be sure to vote for Chef Fowler’s burger here! This year’s winner will be invited to cook their burger at the Beard House in New York City. Last year, The Bistro at Topsail in Surf City, North Carolina, was one of five winners. So let’s keep the burger awards in the state again for 2018.

Let the Pros Teach You How to be a Foodie!

Thinking of starting up a food blog? Maybe you need some help growing your online brand. If that’s the case, you might be interested in this pop-up food blogger event hosted by Culinary Clicks held at the Penthouse Suite inside The Durham Hotel on Thursday, July 26.

Limited to only 15 seats, this evening of education will kick off with a workshop session led by Tabletop Media Group’s Kristen Baughman. She’ll kick off the event and share with you actionable steps to successfully work with many local brands.

The pop-up which runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. will also feature a slew of discussion panels from local professionals such as Meghan Grant (I’m Fixin’ to Blog), Linda Nguyen (Girl Eats World) and photographer Stacey Sprenz (Tabletop Media Group).

So, if you’re looking how to make that huge splash in social media, do yourself a favor and look into this evening of influential advice. Each attendee will also walk away with a free professional headshot taken by Stacey Sprenz.

Tickets cost $49.50 and can be purchased here.