Letter from the Editor

Let’s eat!

Matt White, Executive Editor


don’t think you ever really feel at home in a place until you’ve had a good meal. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that one of the earliest things I remember about living in Chatham is a food story. It was a Friday night and we had just moved in so we headed to Pittsboro for dinner and, by luck, walked into Virlie’s Grill and its longtime Friday Night Special. Every week, Virlie’s crew fires up a grill behind the diner and cooks filets, ribeyes and New York strip steaks, served with a loaded baked potato and salad.

And just like that, we felt at home.

For our first Food Issue, I wanted to capture the excitement of that night, the feeling of stumbling into a food tradition so local that you immediately want to share it. We started with seven of our local chefs from all over the food map – pizza, seafood, pastries, even a brew pub. We asked them to tell us where they like to eat.

For breakfast. For lunch. With kids. For drinks. And, of course, for where they’d send a good friend for a dinner that offered a true taste of Chatham.

We got answers that ranged from fine dining to taco trucks, starting on page 50.

We also look back at a Chatham cooking legend, Mildred Council, known to all as Mama Dip, who passed away in May. Her traditional recipes of simple ingredients and family methods fed at least three generations in Chapel Hill – skills she learned growing up on a farm just off Hamlets Chapel Road.

And while most of this issue is our grateful tribute to the bounties of Chatham’s food scene, we also check in with Kathy Tawney and Betty Gilson, who run the PORCH program in Briar Chapel, one of several neighborhood chapters around Chatham that work together to combat food insecurity.

Oh! One more thing: While the gorgeous coconut cake on our cover, made by Marcey Clark at Postal Fish Company, is to celebrate Chatham’s food scene, we’re celebrating, too – Chatham Magazine is one year old!

Welcome to our first Food Issue. Go ahead. Dig in. CM

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Please let us know what you think – the best ideas always come from our readers. Send us an email or call our Executive Editor, Matt White, at 919-933-1551.

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Chatham Magazine is a bi-monthly publication that seeks to capture the beauty, charm and unique character within Chatham County.

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