Cheers! Dennis & Nancy King Quaintance
earth may be dormant, but were not. While waiting for Spring,
with its flavor-packed fruits and vegetables, weve been perfecting
ways to bring the best locally grown and produced foods to our tables.
We know that the nearer the farm to the fork the better the flavor,
so Jim Scoggin, our Victualer, uses our Field Truck for this purpose.
Our #1 mission priority is to provide the highest quality food
and drink at a good value, and this is really putting our money
where your mouth is. Were confident that our flavors have gotten
better since we opened our first Lucky 32 in Greensboro, fourteen years
ago. Were also confident that this Field Truck Initiative will
further enhance our flavors. Were excited, too, because using
more local ingredients not only means better flavors, it also means
more variety. So, dont be surprised if you notice that our salads
are little bit different from May to October, because often (not always),
well be serving what our partner farmers are growing and harvesting.
Scoggin and Bart Ortiz, our Vice President of Flavor and Consistency,
got to know some of our farmer neighbors better this past November when
they attended the Carolina Farm Stewardship Associations (CFSA)
17th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Boone. CFSA is a non-profit
member organization that works with North and South Carolina farmers,
gardeners and consumers to develop healthful, sustainable agriculture.
The purpose of the CFSA Conference was to bring together friends and
neighbors who are interested in developing a local food system in the
500 people turned out to swap tips and tricks of the growing trade,
and to attend some of the nearly sixty workshops that covered everything
from seeds to sales, practices to politics. The keynote speaker was
Elizabeth Henderson, who owns and operates Peacenote Organic Farm in
Newark, New York. Ms. Hendersons farm is staffed entirely
by members of the surrounding community who work together to plant,
grow and harvest the food that they use from the farm. Her success at
developing a sustainable, community-based food system was inspirational
and reaffirming. Its thrilling to know that this kind of idealistic
project can really work.
and Jim were impressed with the sincere intentions of the participants,
and with the level of camaraderie and trust at the event, where there
were long in the tooth hippies, wet behind the ears green
starched shirts and every make and model in between. Of course, one
of the highlights of the event was a buffet that featured dish after
dish of creative organic cookery that included everything from free-range
curried chicken with ginger-mashed sweet potatoes, to vast bowls of
salad made with fresh-picked, crisp greens of all kinds, and tofu salad
with roast garlic vinaigrette.
few other highlights included seminars such as Permaculture Garden
Design, More Fun Salad Production, Labor
How Successful Growers Deal with It, and Love Those Peaches.
Bart especially enjoyed learning about heirloom apple varieties in a
talk given by Bill Moretz of Moretz Mountain Orchards. Mr. Moretz grows
more than ninety varieties of apples in the five-acre orchard thats
been in his family for three generations. Looks like we may have found
our perfect apple grower!
and Bart went to this conference with several purposes in mind. They
wanted to make more contacts with North Carolina growers, and they wanted
to learn more about the farming way of life. Our goal is to create a
model for bringing fresh, local produce to restaurants on a large, sustainable
scale. We believe that well accomplish this only if we create
a win/win/win enterprise for our farmer partners, you (our guests) and
us. We love the idea of answering to the notion of a triple
We hope to give back to our community even more as our Field Truck Initiative grows and develops. For more information about CFSA visit their website at carolinafarmstewards.org. Were always open to developing partnerships with more farmers if you have any leads, or ideas about our Initiative, please drop Bart a line at email@example.com.
We Did It Again!
We are honored, and humbled, that the O.Henry Hotel has been awarded the AAA Four Diamond Award for the fourth year in a row. Were thrilled that our hotel has been chosen yet again for this top-notch rating.
Ports in the Storm
Decembers incredible ice storm left many without power, but all
four Lucky 32 restaurants, the Green Valley Grill and the O.Henry Hotel
were fortunate to keep theirs. We became ports in the storm.
As inconvenient as it was for many, it was a gratifying experience for
us. We get our kicks from serving, so serving when its
not just wanted, but needed, is even more satisfying. At the O.Henry
we normally serve people who dont live nearby (unless theyre
smart enough to take advantage of our great hotel packages) so having
the hotel filled with neighbors was really neat. We even learned a few
things, like we need cards and games in our lobby so folks who just
want to pass the time have more to do.
And it always feels good to get kind notes, so we felt mighty good when probably half of our guests went to the trouble of thanking us (or, more accurately, thanking Martha Schroeder, Sherrill Baker and the rest of our team) for the fine accommodations and courteous service. Most folks also mentioned their appreciation that we offered those displaced a rate that was $65 below our posted rate. The clouds that brought the freezing rain had a silver lining!