Welcome to Friday Night Bites, your weekly roundup of local food and drink news and events. Have a tip for us? Email food@indyweek.com. 


Veteran Bartenders Gary Crunkleton and Shannon Healy Will Take Over Crook’s Corner

Iconic Chapel Hill restaurant Crook’s Corner is about to add another set of big names to its history. Gary Crunkleton of The Crunkleton in Chapel Hill and Shannon Healy of Alley Twenty Six in Durham (who once served as general manager at Crook’s) will take over from owner Gene Hamer and celebrated executive chef Bill Smith. Chef Justin Burdett, formerly of Asheville’s Local Provisions and The Admiral, will helm the kitchen.

“It is almost impossible for me to overstate the impact Crook’s Corner has had on my personal and professional life. I have long wanted to be a part of Crook’s future. When Gary asked me to be a part of Crook’s 3.0, I leaped at the opportunity,” Healy says. “The great thing about Crook’s is that it is always evolving. There are a hell of a lot of Crook’s Corner alumni that, like me, are extremely proud of having worked for Gene Hamer and either Bill Smith or Bill Neal. Likewise, there are so many people like Gary, for whom Crook’s is a very special place. Our hope is that Crook’s Corner continues to be something we can be proud of, and excited about.”

Sunday Supper raises $400,000 for Hurricane Relief

Sunday’s October 7 “Come Together for the Coast” dinner and live auction, co-organized by chef Scott Crawford of Crawford and Son, chef Jake Wood of 18 Seaboard, and The Sunday Supper, along with advance ticket sales for the November 11 Sunday Supper lunch, has raised $400,000 to date for hurricane relief.

The Sunday Supper’s November 11 lunch event will feature a two-block long table on Fayetteville Street set for one thousand guests and a meal curated by Crawford and Wood. All proceeds from the event will benefit Hurricane Florence victims. Visit The Sunday Supper to purchase tickets ($25) or to find information on volunteer sign up and donations.

A Chef’s Life Star Vivian Howard Raises Money for Hurricane Florence Victims

North Carolina chef and PBS star Vivian Howard has launched a t-shirt fundraiser to help the residents of Jones County, N.C. which was devastated by Hurricane Florence. Proceeds will be donated to the North Carolina Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund and will directly benefit Jones County, a rural county of 10,200 residents that is located next to Lenoir County where Howard lives and owns two restaurants, ​Chef and the Farmer​ and ​Boiler Room. Howard debuted her “Country as Cornbread” t-shirt at The Sunday Supper event on October 7 where she was a guest chef. The t-shirts are available on Howard’s website for $25 plus shipping until October 31. Additionally, Howard will donate a portion of ticket sales from the viewing party for her A Chef’s Life series finale, The Final Harvest, to benefit hurricane victims in Kinston. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets. 


Dine Out Tonight. Do Good.

Today is World Food Day and several Triangle restaurants, La Farm Bakery, Mandolin, Centro, Garland, and Jack Tar Diner, among them, are joining hundreds of other restaurants nationwide to donate 10 percent of today’s proceeds to support chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen and its ongoing disaster relief work.

Durham Restaurants Donate to Durham CROP Hunger Walk

On Tuesday, October 16, Durham restaurants will celebrate World Food Day by donating 10 percent of sales to the Durham CROP Hunger Walk to fight hunger and poverty. Participating restaurants include Benetis Athena Restaurant, Blue Corn Cafe, Clouds Brewing, Hope Valley Diner & Catering, Neo-China Durham, Only Burger, Parizade, Picnic, Pomodoro Italian Kitchen, Pulcinella Italian Restaurant, Sushiōki, The Parlour, The Refectory Café, and Zweli’s Kitchen. For more information, visit the CROP Hunger Walk Facebook event page.

Breakfast. It’s What’s for Dinner.

On Tuesday, October 16, popular Southern breakfast spot Biscuitville will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. at all fifty-five of its restaurants, including its Cary, Durham, Fuquay-Varina, and Raleigh locations, for its annual Breakfast After Dark fundraiser. Twenty percent of food and beverage sales from the event will benefit more than two hundred local schools and community organizations; for a list of local schools and organizations that will benefit each Triangle community, click here.

TerraVita Fest is Around the Corner. Got Your Tickets Yet?

Now in its ninth year, TerraVita Food & Drink Festival is a can’t-miss fall foodie event—and it’s next week. From October 17 to October 20, TerraVita Festival will celebrate local and Southeastern food and drink at events across Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Don’t miss the Fall Fête on the Village Green, an afternoon of eating and drinking where you’ll need to plan strategically (and maybe wear stretchy pants). Look for dishes such as a sneak peek from chef Scott Crawford’s forthcoming French bistro Jolie; pizza from Peyton Smith of Mission Pizza Napoletana, who recently served up his wood-fired pies to New York mayor Bill de Blasio at the first-ever NYC Pizza Festival; and sweets from The Asbury’s Miranda Brown, who recently took home NCRLA’s N.C. pastry chef of the year award. Other standout events you can still snag tickets to include The Legacy of Ms. Lewis, a tribute to Edna Lewis, the legendary chef, cookbook author, and doyenne of Southern cooking, and the Hill Fire dinner, which will feature top N.C. talent like pit master Matthew Register of Southern Smoke in Garland (rumor has it he’ll serve a pork belly dish similar to the one he cooked on The Today Show), Clark Barlowe of Heirloom in Charlotte, and Lydia Clopton of Love, Lydia Bakery and PinPoint in Wilmington.


‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin, I get it, but with pumpkin spice turning up seemingly everywhere from Cheerios to candles to deodorant, I’ve started to tune out any product or dish whose name starts with pumpkin. But when I was presented with a box of pastries at a morning meeting (Jenny Bonchak of Slingshot Coffee Co. knows how to do meetings!), I couldn’t resist the pull of a smiling Jack-o-lantern cookie, speckled with coarse sugar and some sort of filling peeking out through the gaps in its eyes and teeth.

This “pumpkin hand pie situation” as Bonchak put it, is a seasonal offering from Yellow Dog Bread Company, and it’s everything you want in a pumpkin treat. It actually tastes of pumpkin, without being too cloying and sweet, and the spices, though I’m sure they’re in there, take a distant back seat to the flaky cookie-pie crust. And it happens to pair exceptionally well with coffee (okay, fine, I’m biased to Slingshot’s cold brew, but who isn’t?)—pumpkin spice lattes, however, need not apply.