Greetings from Carrboro,
There they were. Finally. It was a relief after the countless hours of driving through the relentlessly flat middle of America. The majestic Rockies shimmered in the distance. Denver was nigh. Or, well, not. It would be wrong to call the snow-capped image a mirage; the Rockies do, in fact, exist. As does Denver. It was more of a cruel deception – a trick purely of scale. Sometimes having a goal in sight is wildly helpful. And sometimes not so much. What I assumed was maybe an hour away turned out to be so, so much more. And the fact that I could see where I was headed made it that much worse.
I most definitely fall down that rabbit hole of fandom with food. Sort of on a regular and recurring basis. But with an awkward loyalty and optimism usually reserved for failed talent scouts. You know, that kind of perpetual this-is-the-year naivete woven into the hearts of NC State basketball fans. Every August – every single August – I’m convinced that okra is going to have a breakout year. Some kind of avocado toast moment that moves okra into the national conversation. Like that is ever going to happen. Can you imagine a McOkra?
There’s another big event looming in front of us that is, in fact, a lot closer than I dare to imagine. I like to blame it on the audacity of August heat that won’t allow me to fully grasp that cooler days aren’t that far away. And with that, the comprehension that the 8th Annual Salt & Smoke Festival is a mere nine weeks away. Saturday, October 28th will be here faster than you can say “barbecue.” It’s been a long four years since we last held Orange County’s biggest party. And, oh boy, we can’t wait to do it again.
The music lineup is set. And it’s great. Lennon KC, Boom Unit Brass Band, Onyx Club Boys, Jesse Fox, and Dawn Landes. The menu is set. Clams and oysters from our friends at Shooting Point Oyster Co. Smoked fish dip and pimento cheese. Whole hog barbecue, collard greens, mac & cheese, cole slaw, hoppin’ John, cornbread, and squash pickles for the win. Of course, there will be plenty of delicious beer and wine and cocktails to guarantee that the party never stops. And a magician and games and a photo booth to keep you mightily entertained.
All at a new, larger venue, beautifully set by a glorious pond in the middle of Orange County. So, yes, the best weekend of the year is back. Tickets are on sale now and as of today, we’ve sold close to half of the available tickets to this year’s event. For those of you who’ve never been, the Salt & Smoke Festival is 400+ people of all ages listening to music, enjoying great food, and generally having a perfect Saturday with a slew of other folks who are lucky enough to call this corner of North Carolina home.
To my mind, the best way to enjoy Salt & Smoke is to come with a group of friends. And to encourage that, we’re offering a group discount. Through the end of the month, four tickets purchased together are $360 instead of the usual $500. Not bad. We’ve limited the number of available group purchases to 20. So act fast. As they say, the early bird gets the best tickets.
Justin Burdett, who ran the kitchen at Acme for the past few years, has moved on to making cheese with Chapel Hill Creamery. But he can’t seem to keep cooking out of his life! He is looking for 2-3 busy individuals or families interested in having him provide a weekly personal chef service where he does all the cooking and the shopping. The meals can be prepared at your home or remotely. The meals provided will be creative, delicious, healthy, and seasonal. If you’re interested (and you should be), email Justin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Life, meet upgrade.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme