In 2016 Gabe Barker returned from San Francisco to his hometown of Carrboro to found Pizzeria Mercato. Chef Gabe embraces the principle that “less is more”, allowing the hard work of local artisan farmers to shine through in his food. Pizzeria Mercato is a seasonally focused restaurant featuring a constantly changing, of-the-moment menu that relies on and is inspired by the nationally renowned Carrboro Farmers Market. Chef Gabe and his team are deeply committed to the vibrant hive of small farmers that supply their kitchen; so they encourage you to visit farmers like Beth and Elise from Elysian Fields Farm so you can feel the passion that is invested into the fresh ingredients used in their menu.
Vimala Rajendran is pioneer in the Chapel Hill local foods movement. Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe is a testament to how a local business can build community by engaging intentionally in the farm to fork process. Chef Vimala sources produce and meat from nearby family farms to honor the land her interdependence with other local organizations and small businesses. Vimala encourages you to visit Minka Farm to experience the admirable ethic of care that Farmer Kim follows in her care for her livestock.
Aaron Vandemark, owner and chef at Panciuto Restaurant, is devoted to the friends and farmers who supply his restaurant. Cuisine in his Italian-inspired yet enthusiastically Southern restaurant is in sync with the increasingly diverse surrounding community. Chef Aaron encourages you to visit farmers like Angie and Miles from Southwind Produce Farm who grow Southern staples like tomatoes and turnip greens, and also new ingredients like ginger, turmeric and galangal.