2017 Judges & Emcee

Thank you to our judges & EMCEE for participating in Pepperfest 2017 food, beverage and kids chef competition!

Eric Hodge, 2017 Pepper Festival EMCEE
and host of WUNC’s Morning Edition 

Eric began at WUNC with All Things Considered and then took over the Morning Edition slot where he enjoys the challenge of bringing North Carolina news to listeners each weekday. Eric moved to Carrboro from New York City in 2000. He worked for the BBC and XFM radio while living in London, England. He has also run his own music marketing company, worked for major record labels in both New York and London, and worked on the Grammy Award nominated Harry Belafonte project, “The Anthology of Black Music.”

 

Drew Jackson, The News & Observer Food Judge

Drew Jackson is a food writer for the News & Observer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beairshelle Edme, WNCN-TV 
Food Judge

Beairshelle Edmé joined the CBS North Carolina team in March 2016 and currently anchors weekend mornings and reports weekdays.

 

 

 

 

 

John Huisman, The Triangle Explorer

Food Judge

John Huisman writes about local events, food, and culture on his blog. He grew up at the Jersey Shore but has called Raleigh home for the last nine years. He is an avid runner and fan of coffee shops

 

 

 

Joe Ovies, 919 Beer and 99.9 The Fan
Beer Judge

Joe Ovies is co-host of the afternoon and evening sports talk show on 99.9 FM The Fan ESPN Radio, and a contributor to 919 Beer.

After sampling a few (hundred) local libations, a few of us at 919 Beer decided that it probably wouldn’t hurt to have an online resource for our growing local community. The goal of 919 Beer is all about the BEER.
Building
Engaging
Educating
Resourcing the local craft beer community
We want to help grow our local beer community by engaging, educating, and being a resource for all who want to be a part of it. Wanna join us?

 

Wayne Holt, 919 Beer
Beer Judge

After sampling a few (hundred) local libations, a few of us decided that it probably wouldn’t hurt to have an online resource for our growing local community. The goal of 919 Beer is all about the BEER.
Building
Engaging
Educating
Resourcing the local craft beer community
We want to help grow our local beer community by engaging, educating, and being a resource for all who want to be a part of it. Wanna join us?

 

Adam Eshbaugh, 919 Beer
Beer Judge

After sampling a few (hundred) local libations, a few of us decided that it probably wouldn’t hurt to have an online resource for our growing local community. The goal of 919 Beer is all about the BEER.

Building
Engaging
Educating
Resourcing the local craft beer community
We want to help grow our local beer community by engaging, educating, and being a resource for all who want to be a part of it. Wanna join us?

 

Lynda Loveland, WRAL-TV
Spicy Kid Competition Judge

Lynda Loveland co-hosted the WRAL-FM morning show, and co-anchor WRAL’s morning news on Fox 50. Read more here.

 

 

 

 

 

Max Trujillo, NC F&B Podcast
Spicy Kid Competition Judge

Hospitality industry veteran, Max Trujillo gets behind the scenes of North Carolina’s burgeoning food and beverage culture. He interviews local chefs, sommelier’s, distillers, farmers, brewers on the NC F&B podcast.
Max is an LA sommelier/restauranteur/wine distributor that moved his family to North Carolina in 2013. He was the General Manager for Midtown Grille for the first 3 years he lived in Raleigh.

 

 

Matthew Weiss, NC F&B Podcast
Spicy Kid Competition Judge

Hospitality industry veteran, Matthew Weiss, gets behind the scenes of NC’s burgeoning food and beverage culture. He interviews local chefs, sommelier’s, distillers, farmers & brewers on the NC F&B podcast.
Matthew is a certified sommelier from New York. His experience ranges from restaurant/bar to importing some of the finest wines in the world. He recently moved his family to North Carolina and distributes various fine liquor from Heaven Hill Distilleries.

Leoneda Inge, WUNC’s Race and Southern Culture Reporter
2017 Pepper Festival Awards Presenter

She is the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position, which explores modern and historical constructs to tell stories of poverty and wealth, health and food culture, education and racial identity.  Leoneda has been a long standing Pepper Festival Judge over the years.

 

 

Plus!…Laura White of The Indy Weekly as a Spicy Kid Competition Judge.