The acclaimed TerraVita Food & Drink festival returns to Chapel Hill Thursday through Saturday serving up an impressive assortment of chefs, sommeliers, brewers, distillers and baristas from throughout the South.

The festival began in 2010 and quickly became a hit on the foodie scene. Its stated focus is “excellence and sustainability.” That focus manifests itself with three days of events such as the Southern Harvest dinner and Sustainable Classroom workshops.

Collaborating on the harvest dinner are Kevin Johnson, executive chef at The Grocery in Charleston; Jason Alley, chef at Pasture and Comfort restaurants in Richmond; Craig Rogers, owner of Border Springs Farm; Spencer Carter, chef at Weathervane; and Vanessa Haydock, pastry chef at Weathervane. On the beverage side will be a curated selection of sustainable wines, Fullsteam beer, cider from Crude Bitters & Soda and coffee from Carrboro Coffee Roasters.

A Sustainable Classroom ticket is good for three classes. Each class is designed to last slightly longer than one hour and there are nine to choose from on topics such as “The Wholesome Food Movement and Accessibility in the South,” “The Color of Wine: Tasting and Pairing with a Master” and “Southern Comforts—Pairing Bourbon with the Fall Bounty.”

Of course, one of the most popular parts of TerraVita is the “Grand Tasting on the Green.” More than 40 food artisans and chefs will have delectable samples for you to taste plus there will be 100-plus craft brews, wines, liquors and coffees available. A demonstration tent has sessions with chefs, farmers and cookbook authors.

Another festival highlight is the “Carolina Table: East Meets West” dinner which is created by seven chefs from across North Carolina.

The festival takes place Oct. 9-11 in various locations in Chapel Hill and ticket prices vary. Visit for details.