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{Localista Picks} Sept 18 – 24

It’s that time again! Time for this week’s “Localista Picks” for your Eat~Play~Shop local consideration. Each week I highlight a few area activities and local businesses you might want to consider fitting into your very busy agenda. So, without further ado, here are the Localista Picks for Wednesday, Sept. 17th –  Tuesday, Sept. 24th:

Eat Local

What’s the most direct path to eating locally? Why direct from the farm, naturally and that’s what we all have the chance to do this weekend during the Eastern Triangle Farm Tour (Saturday and Sunday, from 1 to 5 pm both days). Purchase your tour tickets online now (like today!) and tour all 27 farms or as many as you can fit in over two afternoons. Don’t forget to pack a cooler in the car to take home farm fresh products.

On the topic of good food from farms and gardens and such, Durham-based SEEDSHarvest Dinner is Thursday, Sept. 19th and offers dishes from notable restaurants/chefs and food artisans from all around the Triangle, including Mateo, Poole’s Diner, Firsthand Foods and Counter Culture Coffee (just to name a few). If you hurry you might still be able to score tickets to the event at The Pavilion at Durham Central Park.

A long time resident restaurant in Raleigh’s Warehouse District reinvented itself in the last couple of weeks. Jibarra is now Jose and Sons Bar and Kitchen. The new vision is based around the community, featuring locally sourced herbs and produce and awesome ingredients from neighbors Videri Chocolate and Crank Arm Brewing. The owners promise you’ll find favorites like ceviche and guacamole on the new menu, as well as new dishes that tie together the owner’s southern roots with their Mexican heritage. Try the blackened shrimp paired with Chihuahua cheese grits or Chile Rellenos filled with local market vegetables for starters. If you like what you try, give ’em shout out on Google+ Local (and earn yourself an entry in the contest).

Play Local

It’s a busy weekend for the arts in the Triangle, especially if you’re a jazz fan. The 3rd Annual Apex Jazz Festival returns to downtown Apex on Saturday, Sept. 21st. This jazz-crawl event around 11 stages features live performances by Captain Luke and Cool John Ferguson, Paul Rogers (of Peter Lamb and The Wolves), Katharine Whalen (Squirrel Nut Zippers), Ed Stephenson, and blues group The Bright Mines and many others. Of course, you’ll need something to sustain your jazz crawl momentum. Look for a Beer & Wine Garden and an outdoor food court featuring food trucks Chirba Chirba, Bagguettaboutit, RedEye Barbecue, The Meat House, Gussy’s Greek Food, Anna’s Pizza, and Tequila Dales Wings to refuel when needed.

At the other edge of the Triangle, jazz fans will find the 4th Annual Hillsborough Jazz Festival at the historic Moorefields estate, 84 beautiful acres just a few miles from Hillsborough. [UPDATE] Beginning at noon on Sunday, Sept. 22nd and continuing until 6 pm, attendees can enjoy live performances from six performers, including Serena Wiley, Robert (Griffanzo) Griffin featuring Taz Halloween, Stacy Looman Jazz Trio, Capital Transit, the dynamic Jo Gore and the incomparable Yolanda Rabun.

It’s going to be a super-sized weekend of fun with the arts in Durham and it starts with Third Friday events and a Center Stage Yep Roc Showcase on the lawn in front of DPAC. Then Centerfest Arts Festival takes over downtown Durham Saturday and Sunday with (take a deep breath…) 130 juried visual artists, 63 performing acts on 5 stages, two creative kid zones, a beer garden and stage, a mobile app, a Bull City Buck$ “scan”venger hung and a whole lotta good Durham food (shew!). Thank goodness we have three days to soak up all that Bull City creativity.

Shop Local

Hold on to your aprons, cooks! There’s a new kitchen shop opening this week in Cary’s Waverly Place. Whisk plans to open its doors this Thursday, Sept. 19th and will be stocked with fine cookware, professional tools, dinnerware, specialty foods, fun gadgets, and one-of-a kind items. Look for name brands you’ll appreciate, like All-Clad, Le Creuset, Wusthoff and Nespresso inside. But that’s not all – there will be cooking classes too, including skill building, demo and hands-on participation style formats. Stop by this weekend to congratulate Whisk owners (and Cary residents), Dan & Diane Saklad on their new venture!

Latin-America-Street-Food-c At the risk of repeating myself, I’m going to suggest that you get to Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill Wednesday evening (Sept. 18th, 7 pm) for the CHOP NC meeting featuring Sandra Gutierrez and her latest cookbook “Latin America Street Food”. I attended her cooking class at a Southern Season this past weekend and the recipes in the book are a delight, easy to make and so diverse. The recipes take cooks/readers on a culinary travel log through Central and South America, treating us to dishes such as Potato and Chorizo Masa Boat with Avocado-Tomatillo Taco Truck Sauce, a Peruvian Flounder Ceviche with Corn Nuts and desserts like Argentina’s famous sandwich cookies, Alfajores. That’s a trip you don’t want to miss!

You’ve noticed the somewhat cooler temps and maybe enjoyed the brisk chill in the early, early morning lately, so you know that Fall is just around the corner. For many that means time to plant Fall crops, like those you’ll find at Durham Garden Center. Look for cabbage, collards, brussels sprouts (yay!), cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, and pick up seeds to plant beets, kale, lettuce, turnips, spinach and some chard. That should hold you through the Winter. But don’t forget Fall’s favorite flower, Mums! You’ll find all that and a bag of compost at Durham Garden Center.

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Got feedback for me? I’d love to hear it, as well as any tips or items you think could be featured in upcoming weekly “Localista Picks” posts. Just fill out the handy form below.

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