The Whirl: Taste of the Wild 2023

On Oct. 11, WALTER hosted its annual Taste of the Wild event at The Merrimon-Wynne House. This event celebrates the joy of eating food grown and raised in North Carolina.

This year, WALTER brought in chef Ricky Moore from Durham’s Saltbox Seafood Joint and BBQ master Matthew Register of Southern Smoke in Garland to co-curate a special menu that highlighted North Carolina produce, seafood and meat.

Moore boiled whole shrimp with peanuts for an experiential appetizer, then fried cured catfish for his entree, served alongisde his signature Hush-Honeys. Register offered Wagyu sliders as an appetizer, then an entree of grilled pork loin served with a Tasso ham gravy with squash and rice pudding.

Cocktail hour offered a chance to mingle with each other (and try out some fly fishing, too). During dinner, guests heard from the chefs and sponsors to learn about the origins of the meal, local conservation project and each company’s commitment to sustainability in North Carolina.

Special thanks to our presenting sponsor Great Outdoor Provision Co., title sponsor WILDERS, supporting sponsors Green Front Furniture and Fox & Bailey, and event partner Triangle Land Conservancy. Additional thanks go to Fullsteam Brewery, Westgate Wine and Young Hearts Distilling for the drinks, as well as Locals Seafood, The Finch Forest, Garret Wildflower Seed Farm, Attended Events, If It’s Paper, Alphagraphics and the band Old Habits for making the evening a success. 

This article was originally published in WALTER magazine in December 2023.