2017 Chefs

Who makes the magic happen? These chefs take a combined 1000 lbs of Chatham County Peppers and turn them into delicious, surprising, and often explosive creations at PepperFest each year.

The 2018 chef list is being compiled and will be shared soon! For now, check out last year’s chefs, beverages and farmers! 


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.



Benny T’s Vesta

The Original Dry Hot Sauce – And by “original” we mean it’s the only one that exists. At Benny T’s, we believe that heat should enhance your food’s flavor, not disguise it. That’s why we created Vesta, the world’s first dry hot sauce. To bring the flavor, aroma, and mind-altering heat of fresh chiles to your table in a brand new way.





Big Spoon Roasters makes handcrafted nut butters from scratch in Durham, N.C. Uniquely fresh, delicious, and nutritious, each small batch is made to order with the best possible ingredients sourced directly from local and like-minded producers.





CAROLINA BREWERY & GRILL – Chef Dwayne Copeland

carolina brewery

If you’re looking for a great place to grab some grub and drink a fine microbrew or glass of wine then you need to swing by Carolina Brewery of Pittsboro, NC. Carolina Brewery offers a deliciously diverse menu selection – not what you might expect from a brewpub!

You’ll love our dishes that are prepared with fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables, and locally raised beef. Our friends at Lilly Den Farms provide us with top quality beef that’s fed our very own specialty grains. We proudly use local ingredients from: The Pittsboro
Bread Shop, The Phoenix Bakery, Lilly Den Farms, Chapel Hill Creamery, Chandler Foods,
Cackalacky Inc. and Counter Culture Coffee.





Carolina Farmhouse Dairy is a first generation farm in NC where a small herd of Jersey cows graze on grass year-round to produce sweet milk and a broad range of artisan dairy products.









Starting as a business idea proposed by a mom at a children’s playgroup, Chatham Marketplace opened on May 18, 2006 after several years of community outreach and fundraising. The Marketplace has grown into a bustling community hub with 2200 member-owners. Recently, a local partnership obtained our debt obligation. We are truly a locally grown and community owned grocery!







This is not your ordinary relish. We create a fiery, distinctive Southern Pepper Relish! Made from fresh chile peppers, with not a cucumber in sight, our relish has a modern, bold SPICY flavor with a firecracker personality to boot!






A showcase for high-quality seasonal ingredients, Counting House presents a global perspective on regional dishes and celebrates North Carolina’s rich heritage of fresh seafood with menus that feature rotisserie and roasting techniques. The bar and lounge is a welcoming place to taste innovative house-made cocktails, sip aperitifs, sample local craft brews, and explore broad bourbon and wine lists. Located inside 21c Museum Hotel Durham, Counting House combines contemporary design with historic details highlighting the building’s original terrazzo floors and arched windows and rotating exhibitions of contemporary art carry over from the adjoining hotel into the restaurant space.






Elaine’s on Franklin serves unique regional American cuisine in a cozy, romantic atmosphere in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill. Chef/owner Bret Jennings fuses bold flavors and classical preparations in his revolving menus focused on the finest local ingredients available. Elaine’s on Franklin’s delightful food is matched by their Wine Spectator award-winning wine and popular cocktail list. The restaurant features a three-course, early dinner prix fixe for $35 nightly from 5:30-6:30pm, perfect for a pre-theatre or post-meeting meal. Elaine’s on Franklin was awarded a Silver Medal for Best Restaurants of 2012 in the News & Observer and has received rave reviews in Southern Living and Delta’s Sky Magazine. Jennings has cooked at the James Beard House in New York City and was a finalist for Best Chef in the Independent Weekly’s Best of the Triangle 2012.





Located in Carrboro, Esperanza is an Empanada & Tequila Hotspot.

At Esperanza we do two things, empanadas and tequila! Choose from 1 varieties of savory and sweet empanadas and up to 70 tequilas and mezcals, plus whatever exotics we have in that week. We take pride in using the freshest ingredients in not only our food, but our cocktails as well. Whether you’re a seasoned empanada aficionado or just curious to find out what these little baked treats are all about, we look forward to seeing you soon!





As a “producer-only” market (meaning that the products are grown or baked or tended or preserved by the farms who bring them to market), the Fearrington Farmers’ Market benefits everyone involved. It supports small local growers, ranchers, and bakers by providing a direct outlet for their products. It encourages sustainable farming practices which preserves and enhances the quality of the soil. It helps the local economy. And it brings high quality products to consumers at a reasonable price.





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.




GLASSHALFULL – Chef Tony Del Sarto

ghfGlasshalfull, is downtown Carrboro’s own optimistic restaurant, wine bar, and wine shop. Here’s your invitation to gather your friends for a festive exploration of our delicious contemporary American cooking and intriguing selection of wines from around the world. Plenty of free parking make it easy to meet for lunch or dinner, or simply a cocktail around the beautiful bar. So as the sun sets on the Carrboro countryside and the candles cast their romantic glow, you’ll be forgiven for imagining you’re in “Paris,” after all.





Granite Springs Farm is a Market Garden and CSA, growing vegetables and mushrooms without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. We also supply produce to several local restaurants. Given the ol’ adage, “You are what you eat,” we encourage you to learn more about the fresh, seasonal food we grow just for you and your community. Visit the Know Your Food! page to learn more about the vegetables we grow and recipes on how best to prepare them, tried and approved from our own kitchen!





Green Planet Catering is one of the most sustainable catering companies in the United States. We focus on the food from the seed to the composting process by growing much of our own produce. We track our waste to minimize our impact through activities like composting services and reusing waste products like fryer oil to make biodiesel.

If you are looking for your next corporate, wedding, or special event caterer we would love to assist you. We cover all areas of the Triangle and even travel to destination weddings. Food is our passion, sustainability is our mission, and professionalism is our approach.




HARVEST 18 – Chef/Owner Jason Smith 

harvest 18

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.








Haw River Mushrooms grows gourmet edible mushrooms in Saxapahaw, NC, including shiitake, lions’s mane, and blue, pink, and golden oysters.








Honeysuckle Tea House: 1) organically grows its own produce, 2) invents its own recipes for tea blends, tinctures, honey-wines, soups, salves, chocolates, soaps, balms, 3) designs and packages a hand-picked and hand-crafted line of therapeutic products, 4) repairs that which becomes ‘broken’, and 5) repurposes that which becomes ‘waste’. Honeysuckle is a multi-faceted undertaking; an offering of quality goods created and served by a skilled and dedicated staff to a conscientious public.






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







LILLY DEN FARM (Tucker & Mackenzie Withington) 

Lilly Den’s 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.







LUCKY’S DELI offers custom catering services perfect for groups large & small. From Breakfast & Bagged Lunches for the whole office to Meat & Cheese Platters for parties, we’ve got you covered.






We are the newest food company on the block and we are here to rock your senses with our brand new herb infused avocado oils made locally in North Carolina. We hand select our ingredients and infuse our oils with both the flavor and the nutritional benefits of herbs and good little roots like ginger and turmeric and chili peppers to give you the best tasting, most versatile culinary oils you’ve ever landed in your kitchen.
That’s our promise to you!








Norm’s Farms is dedicated to providing a great tasting line of American Elderberry products that provides a choice to the expensive European counter part found in most stores. We believe in keeping the list of ingredients short and simple with no GMO’s ever, No artificial sweeteners or alcohol.








What Is A Poke Bowl You Might Ask? It’s A Hawaiian Dish Served With Fresh, Diced Fish On A Base Of Rice Or Lettuce, Topped With Your Choice Of Crunchy Additions, Salty Morsels, Sweet Sauces Or Spicy Kicks! With Our Selection Of Fresh And Scrumptious Toppings, You Get To Be In Charge Of Your Poke Bowl! Can’t Make Up Your Mind? No Worries! We Have Some Flavor Packed Favorites That We’d Love To Share With You! Don’t Know If You’re In The Mood For Fish? We Have Other Options As Well! On A Diet Or Have Specific Food Restrictions? Yep, We Got You Covered! Check Out Our Menu For All The Wonderful Options We Have, And Follow Us On Facebook, Twitter And Instagram For Specials! We Can’t Wait To See You Soon!






Welcome to Parizade! Here, you will find dishes prepared with a flair and attention-to-detail that’s second to none in an atmosphere that’s as stimulating as it is innovative.

Ever step into a room so expansive you need to stand there for a moment to take it all in? You’ll feel that in Parizade’s main dining room. Our sweeping open kitchen elegantly trimmed in hammered copper curves along the entire restaurant; a long window offers a glimpse of your food being prepared; art on the walls enchant with scenes of food, love, and the celebration of life in a carefree, wondrous land. This is definitely a space that plays with the senses.Our extensive menu includes the freshest seafoods and meats impeccably prepared to please even the pickiest of palates.





PEPPERCORN (Courtyard Coffee, Blue Dot Coffee)


Offering seasonal, local, fresh, creative food and a beautiful venue for the special events in your life, in downtown Siler City, opening soon!





The Pharmacy Café is a modern take on an old-school pharmacy lunch counter set in a refurbished, historic building from 1910. The menu features huge biscuit creations and griddle breakfasts and a mix of classic and creative sandwiches and salad bowls focusing on local ingredients. The 1930’s soda fountain was brought back to life to create house-made sodas and locally made ice cream is the focus for our sweet treats. Come by and settle in while playing games around our community table or chat with friendly neighbors and new friends!





Piemonte Farm is a dream come true, it evolved from making small batches of herbal jellies and a few jars of local honey to a whole new adventure with artisan bread baking, artisan aged cheeses and fresh farm eggs from our happy free roaming hens. From our farm to your table, we are inspired by a simple living out in the country and found ourselves blooming the best we can where we are planted.







Join us for Great Food, Great Beer and Good Times. Pizza, Pasta, Spirits and Sushi. Our promise to you is Great Food Always with a side of good times. Check out what all the Ruckus is about.







Chef Restaurateur Serge Falcoz-Vigne and his team bring a truly authentic French fine dining experience to Raleigh, NC. Opened in 2004, Saint Jacques French Cuisine aims to showcase France’s culinary heritage, with its love of exceptional food and fine wines.We are dedicated to using the freshest and highest quality ingredients, which we source locally by working closely with North Carolina farmers.





The core focus of Tandem is to offer great food in a warm relaxing environment – a place in the community where people come to relax, unwind and have fun. The name Tandem reflects the closeness of their working and personal relationship.




Whether you live in Chapel Hill, are just visiting or are here to connect to your college roots, Top of the Hill – or TOPO as we have come to be known – is a destination spot. Our menu is loaded with locally-sourced ingredients, our acclaimed beer collection is brewed right on site, and our outdoor deck boasts a panoramic view of downtown.






Durham’s VERY OWN Crazy-Good Toffee… rich dark chocolate blanketing golden toffee & confettied with almonds. Happily distinctive & your new favorite!







Gourmet Popcorn available in bags & tins. The perfect gift for any occasion… or a great snack for any time!









Locally-sourced, Fresh, Fast & Healthy Menu.  Located on the town’s main shopping street. The cafe provides seating for 65 diners over two floors. The Pharmacy Cafe was formerly The Bibbings Pharmacy, which served Newton Abbot for more than 100 years. – Full coffee service –
– Breakfast until 11  with jam/hotsauce bar –
– Lunch until 4pm featuring a pickle bar –
-Outdoor seating – Beer and Wine.





New bar and restaurant in Carrboro North Carolina. Featuring 40 craft beers, 60 bourbons and a whole lot of balls. Comfort food and drinks!







Dedicated to holistic healing and green living. Heal naturally with food and lifestyle including easy, healthy recipes free of gluten, dairy, and cane-sugar.








A restaurant and market serving globally-inspired dishes using locally-sourced ingredients.










With roots firmly planted in North Carolina, Watts Grocery takes its name from the Watts-Hillandale neighborhood where Amy has fond childhood memories and the Watts St. Grocery, a favorite shop for candy and snacks in Trinity Park in her childhood. Featuring her favorite local foods by the forkfull- many raised, caught, smoked, pickled, or cured within a two-hour radius- Amy weaves them into her cooking and the result is an updated, distinctive take on North Carolina cuisine.






Have you ever picked up a jar of peach and pepper jam, and said to yourself what in the world would I do with this? Yo Mamma’s Style says put more peppers in it and while your at it warm some up, thin with a little olive oil, brush it on some nicely roasted chicken pieces.

When you want to transform an ordinary meal to something truly extraordinary – look no further than Yo Momma’s Style products.


September 20th 3 – 6 PM