2015 Pepperfest

PicMonkey Collage


Pepperfest 2015 kicked off just at the beginning of a crazy record-setting 12 days of rain; despite grey skies and a threatening forecast, we pulled off the biggest and best festival ever!

Thanks to all the amazing Sponsors, Chefs, Non-Profits, Volunteers, Farmers, Brewers, Wineries, Distilleries and Artists! Thanks to all attendees for coming out even under threatening skies.

2015 STATS

  • Approximately 1300 folks were in attendance
  • The festival doubled in size this year with twice as many vendors!
  • 580 pounds of waste was composted! Thank you Brooks Contracting!
  • 630 pounds of peppers were purchased from the local farmers for more than $4000!
  • 100 Volunteers helped put on the event.
  • Kids Pepperpalooza was over the top! 150+ children learned, celebrated and made about 100 Pepperfest flags for us to use as decorations in future events!
  • 2 full alphabets were made with food font fun and 1000’s of bubbles caught the wind across the field.


2015 CHEFS

Angelina’s Kitchen – Chefs Angelina & Chili Shack John (Pepper King 2010 & 2012)

Angelina’s Kitchen works with local farmers to bring you seasonal sustainable food cooked from scratch with plenty of special touches from our Greek and New Mexican background. Our year round relationship with our local farmers fuels our kitchen and keeps us going. We have now branched into prepared food – look for our grab n go section at our shop and at Western Wake Farmers Market. We will be expanding and adding more markets – so stay tuned through FB and our website here.



Cackalacky – Chef Page Skelton

Around the turn of the century, in our family’s tiny cottage kitchen in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, we set out on a mission to create an extraordinary spiced condiment that is made with naturally delicious sweet potatoes – the uniquely Southern root that has the ability to “make bland and ordinary food taste better.” And, that’s exactly what we did. We called our original creation, “Cackalacky®.” (Pronounced “kak-uh-lak-ee”)



Centro Mexican Restaurant and Gallo Pelon Mezcaleria – Chef Angelina Salamanca

NC’s first Mezcaleria began on the second story above Centro in our little 100 year old building in the spring of 2012. Gallo Pelón is an extension of our community. It is a place to drink, laugh and connect. It is a realization of the hopes and dreams of those who have dedicated themselves to this exciting new gathering space- those who depend on it.



BreakFAST and Beyond with Chef Bill

Chef Bill has been able to experience food from east to west coasts, allowing him to experience a wide range of flavors. He brings this experience to your table utilizing local farming resources, fresh ingredients, and international cuisines for your dining pleasure. Supporting Sustainable local Farmers by using their ingredients in as many menus as possible is not only good for communities, environment, and your health; it makes a huge difference in the flavor, color, and presentation of food. Food that is grown and raised in a healthy environment without hormones, preservatives, and chemicals means you are not eating them either and that makes all the difference.



Cottage Lane Kitchen – Chef Samantha Swan (2014 Pepperfest “Best Dish” 2nd Place Winner)

Cottage Lane Kitchen’s intention is to bring flavor to food without overpowering it. Condiments to compliment different dishes, cooking styles and palates are the main focus of the business. Their mission is to relish the world and entice tastebuds with ‘happy heat’!

The company’s flagship product, ‘Get Me A Switch’, a sassy yet sweet, pepper relish, was launched in October 2011. This relish is based on a heirloom recipe passed down from the founder’s great grandmother in the 19th century; to be refined by her grandfather in the 20th, perfected by her father and updated by her in the 21st. The name, ‘Get me a Switch’, acknowledges its southern heritage with spirit and describes the switching of the relish’s flavor from sweet to heat. It is made with jalapeno and serrano peppers and goes well with a variety of foods. It is made from all natural, locally sourced ingredients with no preservatives and is gluten free.



Demon Seed

Demon Seed is the hottest most flavorful condiment made from locally grown Bhut Jolokia peppers (Ghost Peppers). We use red and chocolate Bhut Jolokia peppers. We have been perfecting these heirloom peppers for years. Every pepper is hand picked at the peek of ripeness. Pick them too soon and they don’t come into their full flavor profile. A little dash will do ya.




Fearrington Granary – Chef Colin Bedford

A full-service restaurant, the Fearrington Granary is the perfect spot to enjoy fresh creative cuisine in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. Executive Chef Colin Bedford’s Contemporary American menus feature a delightful selection of salads, entrees, items from the grill and desserts. This vibrant restaurant provides seating on various levels with views of the charming village shops, surrounding gardens, and the rolling pastures filled with Belted Galloway Cows.




Fiddlehead Farm – Chef Emily Boynton

Fiddlehead Farm is a small 5 acre farm in Pittsboro, NC selling baked goods, jams, jellies and preserves, hot sauces and finishing salts, all made with love, and the best local and organic ingredients! Plus a small but mighty selection of vegetables grown using the best sustainable practices. They can be found at the Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market, Carrboro Farmer’s Market, and Chatham Mills Farmer’s Market. Products are also available from LoMo Market and at the Saxapahaw General Store.



Galloway Ridge

With three restaurants and a wonderful English-style pub to choose from, residents are always assured of an excellent dining experience. From the elegant, formal Camellia Room, the spacious and inviting Bistro, or the casual Weathersfield Café, you will find superb cuisine using the finest seasonal ingredients and friendly, expert dining staff.



Glasshalfull – Chef Marshall Smith

Glasshalfull is the friendly, optimistic restaurant, wine bar, and wine shop in the heart of downtown Carrboro. You can meet your friends for a delicious lunch or dinner of skillfully prepared, contemporary American cuisine, browse the wine shop for an intriguing bottle to take home for dinner, or just relax at the beautiful marble bar with a spicy margarita or frosty craft beer. Glasshalfull is a neighborhood destination dedicated to providing our customers with tasty, healthful food from local producers, a world-wide spectrum of delicious wines in your glass, and the conviviality of friends greeting friends.



Gravy – Chef Justin Bartolet

Ask any Italian-American what ‘gravy’ is, and they’ll tell you it’s the pasta sauce that their mothers and grandmothers cooked fresh every night. At Gravy Restaurant we take the same care, preparing our signature sauce every day using select tomatoes and locally grown herbs. The heart and soul poured into the preparation of traditional Italian-American dishes pairs with inspired modern twists and a focus on seasonal ingredients to define Gravy’s unique approach to this classic cuisine.







Green Planet Catering – Chef Paul Smith

Green Planet Catering is an award winning, sustainable caterer specializing in great tasting, locally sourced food and drink. We strive to operate with a triple bottom line approach, within a closed loop system. Green Planet Catering creates waste free, eco friendly events through use of compostable serving ware, running our delivery van on biodiesel, and operating our own farm (with NCSU) from which we source produce for catered events. Green Planet works with local farmers to provide the freshest, seasonal products around! We are also a certified B-Corp and certified Green Plus.





Harvest 18 – Chef/Owner Jason Smith

Harvest 18 is located in the Southpoint region. Harvest 18 is a neighborhood eatery offering chef-driven cuisine with over 80 % of it food sourced from N.C. farmers and purveyors. Executive chef and owner Jason Smith, leads a culinary team focused on creating seasonal menus and is committed to supporting the area’s natural resources by reinvesting over $500,000 annually through his local purchases.






Herons at The Umstead Hotel and Spa – Chef John Childers

A passion for locally grown fruits and vegetables and farm-fresh meats and seafood is evident in the exquisite food and beverage offerings throughout The Umstead Hotel and Spa. Fresh flavors, surprising food combinations, and striking presentation are the trademarks of every appetizer, meal, or signature cocktail or wine enjoyed here. At The Umstead, a sublime culinary experience isn’t limited to the well-appointed walls of Herons. Rather, guests can taste spectacular, locally sourced seasonal delights in a cabana by the pool, at a cozy table in The Umstead Bar, while lounging in our spa, savoring Afternoon Tea, or simply by ordering room service.




Lilly Den Farm – Tucker & Mackenzie Withington


Our mission is to provide a wide variety of natural and locally raised meats for individuals and families to enjoy with the peace of mind knowing the meat was raised healthy and humanely.








Little Hen

Little Hen restaurant epitomizes what we stand for in the food cycle. We strongly believe in supporting local farms and putting onto your plate what is fresh, seasonal, and as far as possible, devoid of all that mass production has created. And thus, artisanal products of every sort have every permanent place in our home, which is decorated in the style of a modern farmhouse. This is a home to be filled with memories of our family, our farmers’ families, and yours.




Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen

Our culinary journey during the past few years has been carrying us toward Southern foodways and locally-sourced food. So we’ve fully embraced this adjusted trajectory and we’ve even changed our name—to Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen! We have long believed that the nearer the farm to the fork, the better the flavor.








Mez – Chef Aaron Stumbs

As with the entire Chapel Hill Restaurant Group, Mez strives to provide the value of quality service and outstanding food at an affordable price. We are committed to creating the best possible dining experience from our first contact with the guest through the end of the meal. We have also chosen to accomplish our goals sustainably, and we are proud of our efforts to become a leader in our industry. We were named “Sustainable Business of the Year” in 2007, we were the first Green Plus certified business in the United States, and MEZ was the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-designed restaurant in North Carolina.




Oakleaf – Chef Brendan Cox

Oakleaf, in Pittsboro, North Carolina serves seasonal, progressive cuisine with French and Italian influences and small production wines in the historic, stylish setting of a 1920s textile mill. The restaurant space is both grand and intimate. Exposed beams support the soaring, 25 foot ceiling. Huge windows line the brick walls on both the northern and southern sides of the space, bathing the reclaimed heart pine floors in light.Oakleaf is dedicated to seasonal cuisine and supports local farms and fishermen. Our menu changes frequently, depending upon the harvest brought to us each day by our farmers.




Person Street Cafe

Located in the heart of Raleigh’s fast-growing North Person neighborhood, the pharmacy’s café space has an updated nouveau retro look complemented by a menu of fresh foods made with local ingredients. And while you can still get a great milk shake, a full liquor license and restoration of the original soda fountains will expand beverage options to include everything from craft soft drinks to wine, beer and cocktails.




Piedmont Restaurant – Chef Greg Gettles

Piedmont in Durham, NC, features the adventurous and seasonal cooking of Executive Chef Greg Gettles. Inspired by all that the Piedmont region has to offer, local farm-grown ingredients from Coon Rock Farm are intensified using avant-garde methods; classic dishes are reimagined with an inventive spirit. The results are deeply flavorful, comforing, and often ethereal. Piedmont’s craft cocktails, local beers and award-winning wine list, under the direction of General Manager Crawford Leavoy, complete the modern farm-to-table experience.




Restaurant La Residence – Chef John

A Chapel Hill landmark since 1976, La Residence offers an American inspired twist on classic French food.









Small Cafe

Our food is based on our local farmers and suppliers to come up with good homecooked meals, soup stocks that take a good 8 hours to create, and preserving the harvest like crazy so we get to eat good year round. Currently, close to 60% of everything that goes into a meal at the Small Cafe comes from local farmers and suppliers. In addition, we hate throwing things out and wasting any resource we have, so you’ll see the solar water heater and the immense amount of reused materials, hear about the cistern to collect rainwater and irrigate the land.




Rise Biscuit & Donut of Morrisville

We opened Rise with a simple vision…serve great food at an affordable price point, made with good stuff by people who care. In other words, not your typical breakfast spot. We serve biscuits & donuts from 7am-2pm every day, waitstaff free and with a swift service line. We’ve got locally roasted coffee, juices, milk and flat or still water for you to enjoy while you wait.




Tempeh Girl

The cultivation of Tempeh Girl tempeh starts with organic North Carolina soybeans. We crack the beans, inoculate them ferment them for 24 hours to naturally lower the pH of the beans to give the tempeh culture a competitive edge, just like they do in Indonesia, the birthplace of tempeh. Tempeh Girl is one of the only US tempeh producers to preferment their beans. The finished product has an intoxicating mildly mushroomy aroma and is frozen fresh for best flavor. Tempeh should be cooked before consuming. It is best to steam or boil it before marinating and or browning. This will soften the texture and enhance browning. Tempeh really absorbs strong flavors and is often better the next day. Enjoy often!




Top of the Hill Restaurant – Chef Trey Cleveland

Opened in 1996 to prevent a chain restaurant from dominating downtown Chapel Hill, the mission of Top of the Hill is to embody and enlarge Chapel Hill’s culture and heritage by providing independent, unique and innovative food and beverage.Top of the Hill has won dozens of “Best in the Triangle” awards. The Brewery has won scores of gold medals in international competitions and three of its beers – BlueRidge Blueberry Wheat, Rams Head IPA and Singleton Ale – have been recognized as the best example of their styles in the world.




Trali Irish Pub – Chef Eamonn Kelly

The dishes that emerge from the Tra’Li kitchen are ones that we are sure you will relish. The hearty pub food created by Chef and Owner Eamonn Kelly of County Galway provides you with an authentic and satisfying taste of Irish country cooking. The seasonal menu offers variety and imaginative taste of North Carolina sourced ingredients.





Tribeca Tavern – Chef James Johnson

Locally owned. Features NC beers, and great Burgers. We’re a From-scratch kitchen. You can count on us for handcrafted flavors with a dash of homegrown flair. Settle in for relaxed dining amidst area images of days gone by and every day neighborhood moments and memories. Then, let your taste buds do the choosing from our thoughtfully designed menu with selections ranging from delectably health-conscious to decadently indulgent.




Vimala’s Curryblossum Cafe

We grow our community by engaging intentionally in the farm to fork process and living our vision of creative resiliency. We bring our community together with love, warmth and hospitality over delicious, healthy food. We prioritize worker, environmental, and social justice; accessibility through affordability; and sustainability at every level. We pay a living wage. Our producers are local, our investors local, and our long-term goals are about transforming the local economy. We source our produce and meat from nearby family farms; organize our workplace around joy and liberation; honor the land and our relationship to it; and practice interdependence with other organizations and small businesses who share our values.





Aviator Brewing Company opened the hangar doors in Nov 2008. We started brewing beer in an airplane hangar at Triple W airport in Fuquay Varina, NC. We moved the airplane to one side and put in the boil kettle and mash tun! We have since moved to a larger 23,000 sq. ft. building in Fuquay Varina. We have added a hangar to our new building and made it a bar! Come on out to the brewery for a tour.



Local kombucha brewer











Brothers Vilgalys Spirits was started in 2012 to bring Krupnikas, a traditional Lithuanian style of Spice Honey Liqueur, to America. Our Krupnikas has a delicious and complex flavor unlike any other spirit or liqueur. It is smooth enough to sip on its own, starting out with sweet honey flavors that build to a warm spicy finish. Our recipe started on our stovetop at home as a special drink we made for friends and family. We still make it the same way, using only whole spices, North Carolina wildflower honey, and pure grain neutral alcohol.






Carolina Brewery is a locally owned brewery and restaurant that has drawn international attention for its handcrafted beers, all brewed in-house by Director of Brewing Operations, Jon Connolly, and his team. Founded in Chapel Hill in 1995, Carolina Brewery is the fifth oldest brewery in North Carolina. A second brewpub, Carolina Brewery & Grill, opened in Pittsboro in 2007, greatly expanding the company’s brewing and wholesale sales capacity. The Carolina Brewery is committed to featuring North Carolina and local products whenever possible.





Crude Bitters & Soda was started in 2012 with a DIY attitude and the thought that delicious cocktails and soft drinks could be improved upon. Each bitters and soda flavor is hand-made by human hands utilizing only the finest ingredients and careful attention.Crude Sodas are old-fashioned fountain sodas served via draft. The flavors are unique and crafted to be savored purely on their own, sweetened with a perfect balance of natural sugars. High fructose corn syrup is wrong and should not be in your soda pop. Crude Bitters are crafted from 100% maceration in alcohol, with no chemicals or dyes. Bitters are used to enhance a cocktail, give a slight edge to the nightcap, and bitters made with glycerin can leave your drink in ruin.





Fair Game Beverage Company in Pittsboro, North Carolina produces craft wines and spirits from local farms. At the heart of our wines and spirits are the fruits, grains and juices and the people who grow them. We work hard to source high quality fruits, grains and juices directly from North Carolina and southeastern growers. In fact, nearly all of our Grape wines and Sweet Sorghum are grown and harvested by Andy and Chris, and our grains are grown and malted right here in the Piedmont. We study the old hand crafted methods of Portugal, Italy and Cognac, France to bring world class wine and spirits to Chatham County, North Carolina. Come visit us for a tour of the distillery and wine tasting.





Four Saints Brewing of Asheboro, NC, pays homage to the patron saints of beer, Saint Wenceslaus, Saint Nicholas, Saint Luke and Saint Augustine of Hippo. They’ve become the most recognized patron saints for brewing and beer because of their contributions to and associations with the world’s favorite sudsy beverage. Four Saints Founders Joel McClosky and Andrew Deming are carrying on the brewing tradition in the hopes of future sainthood, or at least to make some really good beer.





Fullsteam is a Durham, NC production brewery and tavern inspired by the food and farm traditions of the South. Our mission: to pioneer the art of Distinctly Southern Beer. We brew traditional and experimental beers with a Southern sensibility, often incorporating local farmed goods, heirloom grains, and seasonal botanicals to guide our beer and our quest. The more we buy local, the more we directly improve the quality of life of NC farmers, foragers, and agricultural entrepreneurs. We seek no less than to build a Southern Beer Economy…one pint at a time.





local. live. raw. hey durham! naturally aged. bottle conditioned with organic and local medicinal flavors. in most cases, flavors come from fresh, raw materials that are juiced and blended. this preserves all the natural oils and chemically active goodness. with the pH balancing properties of kombucha, home:bucha is a living medicine to be enjoyed daily! Mission: make the dankest kombucha. share it with others. create community and community spaces. thrive!






Larry’s Coffee – 100% of our coffee is Organic, Fair Trade, and Shade Grown. This means the people we source our coffee from nurture the environment for their kids’ futures. This approach to farming also yields superior coffee beans. Everyone wins! Our approach to roasting is a CRAFT. Our one-of-a-kind slow-roasting style is part science, part art. Developed to bring out every wonderful note of flavor in every coffee bean. It’s one of the reasons our coffee has an ardent following and tastes so good.






Mystic™ Bourbon Liqueur is a small-batch spirit made in North Carolina by Barrister & Brewer.










Pebble Brook Spirits believes crafting a quality spirit is an art. Since our founder began the distillery, we have believed in using the highest quality fruits and spices to develop our offerings. We are excited to be at the forefront of a new American craft distilling industry.






Top of the Hill Distillery crafts TOPO Organic Spirits at our facility in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.We are the only fully local and USDA certified organic distillery in the South. Our vodka, gin, whiskey are world-class, award-winning selections that celebrate making great spirits from the finest ingredients available right here in our home state.







Yesteryears Brewery, next-door to Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro serving some of the best IPAs, Saisons, Stouts,lagers and many more around. Great Beers! Great Friends! Great Memories!






Since early 2012, Mystery Brewing Company’s mission has been committed to producing seasonally appropriate, hand-made, artisanal ales and lagers. For Pepper Festival, we’ll have habanero beer…it’s one of our favorite events!








Angelina’s Kitchen – Mocha Cayenne Brownies and Locally Roasted Coffee

BreakFAST and Beyond – Pepper pimento cheese pita chip topped with pepper jelly

Cackalacky – Pulled Pork BBQ with Cackalacky Spice Sauce and Cackalacky Cheerwine Sweet Sauce as well as our Cackalacky Spiced Nuts

Chatham Marketplace – Shishito-Apple Butter on a Mini Biscuit with Country Ham (or with out ham); Strawberry/Rhubarb & Datil Jam Biscuit, Thai Bangkok & Plum Jam Biscuit. Biscuits are made with Atkinson Milling Company Flour from Selma, NC

Fearrington Granary – Heritage Farms pork belly BLT with red pepper jam

Fiddlehead Farm – Local Roasted Peach Preserve Pie topped with your choice of either Jalapeno, Habanero or Ghost Pepper Sugar

Glasshalfull – Chili roasted Pork Taco with pepper relish and assorted hot sauces

Gravy – Pimento cheese stuffed pimento peppers, Carolina gold rice, house spicy sausage, house pimento cheese, charred pimento peppers

Harvest 18 – Hemp seed hummus stuffed Chocolate peppers with tobago pepper bruschetta and pig ear crackling.

Herons at the Umstead Hotel and Spa – Pierogi.
Lamb.Pimento Cheese.Pepper Kraut.Buttermilk.

Little Hen – Green Chili

Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen – BBQ NC pork belly with hot pepper rice noodles and crispy shishitos.

MEZ – Pork Posole Verde with Pickled Tobago Relish

Oakleaf – Blistered Shishito Peppers, Misonnaise, Pork Belly & Citrus

Piedmont Restaurant – Pork Posole Verde with Pickled Tobago Relish

Provence of Carrboro – Gazpacho

Restaurant La Residencia – Red Pepper and Garlic Eastern NC style Pork; Pepper infused Polenta, plus a series of pepper garnishes, chutneys and jellies

Rise Biscuit and Donut of Morrisville – Ham, padron sour cream donut with tobago icing

Tempeh Girl – Ratatouille

Trali Irish Pub – vegetarian pepper-infused boxy – a shredded potato cake, pan-seared and topped with a” pepper and Kilbeggan Irish whiskey” marmalade.

Weathervane Restaurant & Patio – Pork Cheek Chili Verde. Hand Milled Grits. Farmer’s Cheese.

Wildfire Wood Fired Pizza – Five Pepper Pizza


Carolina Brewery – Sky Blue Golden Ale, Flagship IPA, Copperline Amber Ale, Oatmeal Porter, and a specialty pepper cask

Crude Bitters and Sodas – Red bell-tobago bitters, habanero bitters and lime-cucumber-habanero soda.

Yesteryears Brewery – Oktoberfest Beer infused with Anaheim Peppers

Special thanks to our photographer Jonathan Young at JYVisuals for so taking so many gorgeous photos!