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.


Sean Umstead Advances to Bedlam Vodka Cocktail Competition Quarterfinals
Sean Umstead—owner of craft cocktail bar Kingfisher, which is set to open this fall in downtown Durham—is a quarterfinalist in BAR FIGHT!, Bedlam Vodka’s first ever cocktail competition. Umstead plans to use North Carolina-sourced produce as the core of Kingfisher’s trademark cocktails, and he’s applying the same practice to the BAR FIGHT! competition; his latest creation, “Under The Big Top,” combines Bedlam Vodka with a simple syrup made from the tops of locally grown strawberries.

TerraVita Food & Drink Festival Returns to the Triangle in October
Eat, drink, and educate yourself October 17–20 at the ninth-annual TerraVita Food & Drink Festival in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. The festival features dinners prepared by highly regarded chefs, demos from rising culinary stars, and more, all connected by the theme of sustainability in the food industry. Tickets go on sale online at noon on August 10.


Heirloom Tomatoes Star in Hummingbird’s Rosé-Paired Five-Course Tasting Menu
It’s peak tomato season, and Raleigh’s Hummingbird is dedicating an entire night to the juicy, versatile fruit. Burrata caprese, beef carpaccio with pickled green tomatoes, and lemon pound cake with tomato compote are among the night’s featured fare. There will also be tomato cocktails and five different rosés chosen by Bordeaux Fine & Rare‘s Johnny “Rosato” Lambrakis, who says rosé’s acidity and fruitiness pairs perfectly with tomatoes. Author, educator, and “N.C. Tomatoman” Craig LeHoullier will be in attendance, imparting knowledge gained from a lifetime of gardening and research. The event takes place on August 8 at Whitaker & Atlantic. Purchase tickets online here.

Food Trucks and Face Painting at Taste of Soul NC
Snack on fried seafood from Oak City Fish & Chips, cool off with a refreshing Jay’s Italian Ice, or grab something from one of the other nine food vendors featured at Taste of Soul NC, the “ultimate cookout experience.” In addition to the grub, there will be board games, face painting, live music, bounce houses, and a mist tent to keep you from overheating. The event is open to the public and will be held at Durham Central Park on July 22 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Take a Respite from the Work Day at the Delightfully Different Lunch MeetUp
Nowadays, it’s so easy to zap leftovers in the microwave or order food to the office that we forget lunch breaks used to be more of an event. The Delightfully Different Lunch MeetUp is trying to bring back this tradition, reminding us just how beneficial a tasty lunch with good company can be. The lunch is part of a series sponsored by the Durham Business & Professional Chain, an organization working to advance African-American representation in the business world. Every month, they select a local African-American-run restaurant as a location for the MeetUp; the upcoming lunch is on July 26 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at The Chicken Hut (cash only). Reserve a seat here.

Piedmont New World Wine Dinner Highlights Summer Produce
The next wine dinner in Piedmont‘s Summer Series spotlights the bright flavors of summer produce. Menu items include ceviche with grilled corn and peppers, cantaloupe carpaccio, and a rustic summer berry tart, among other seasonal-ingredient-driven dishes. The dinner is at Piedmont on the evening of July 26. Click here to reserve tickets.

Carrboro Coffee Roasters Hosts a Screening of Gender In Coffee — A Documentary
How often do you think about the origin of your morning cup of coffee? Not just the country it’s sourced from, but the farming families and communities that produce it and their daily hardships. Gender in Coffee — A Documentary delves into challenges coffee farmers face, specifically the growing issue of gender inequalities in the industry. A screening of the documentary takes place from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on July 25 in the training room at Carrboro Coffee Roasters (located within Open Eye Cafe). The event is free with a suggested donation of $10. All proceeds go to the Equal Origins initiative of The Partnership for Gender Equity. Seating is limited and can be reserved here.

Toast‘s rapini panini is more than just a sandwich that sounds like it belongs in a Dr. Seuss book. It’s a masterful creation, a delicious amalgam of ingredients carefully chosen to complement one another’s tastes and textures: rapini (more commonly known as broccoli rabe), sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic, and asiago fresco. I love this panini because it manages to feature a generous amount of meat without overwhelming the wonderfully bitter rapini (the true star of the dish), resulting in a well-balanced sandwich that’s filling but won’t leave you feeling weighed down.