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TUESDAY, SEPT. 18, 2012


Tim Parrish, foodservice marketing specialist
NCDA&CS Marketing Division

Best Dish in North Carolina
builds farm-to-fork relationship in local restaurants

RALEIGH — Food lovers and locavores have until the end of September to sample entries for the Best Dish in North Carolina restaurant competition. The contest, sponsored by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Our State magazine, highlights the relationship between local farms and local chefs.

Now, it’s not uncommon to see the name of at least one local farm, if not two or more, printed on a menu at your favorite restaurant. But the connection between farmers and chefs was not as noticeable when the Best Dish in North Carolina restaurant competition started in 2006.

“When we started this competition, it was difficult to figure out where local chefs were getting their ingredients,” said Tim Parrish, foodservice marketing specialist with the department. “Now, that information is readily available and shared proudly.”

In April, 25 restaurants were chosen from a list of entries based on proposed menus featuring local products and marketing plans for promoting the menu. Each regional finalist was required to feature its proposed menu for at least a four-week period between May and September. During that time, diners and judges could partake of the locally inspired dish.

“There are a lot of chefs who view their connection with farmers as a badge of honor,” said Parrish. “This year, the restaurants participating in Best Dish referenced more than 120 local farms, products and ingredients on their menus.”

Winners will be announced in November. To learn more about the competition and find participating restaurants across the state, go to


NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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