Get a taste of the best food, entertainment and culture from seven different regions all around the Carolinas, all in one day!
Carowinds is where the Carolinas come together, and on Saturdays and Sundays from April 22 through May 14, we’re bringing together the best from seven distinct cultures from North and South Carolina. Come to enjoy gourmet food and handcrafted beverages, homemade arts and crafts, first-rate entertainment, and memorable experiences from:
- North Carolina’s Asheville and the mountains, Outer Banks, and Lexington
- South Carolina’s Upstate, BBQ region, Lowcountry, and Charleston
All of that, all in one day!
Savor the Carolinas' Best Eats and Drinks
Food is a revered institution in the Carolinas and a central part of our culture. We invite you to taste the best culinary treasures our region has to offer.
If it’s true that altitude affects attitude, then the highlands of Asheville and the North Carolina mountains are among the happiest places in the Carolinas. Stretching the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Great Smoky Mountains, this easy-going region is a haven for outdoorsy types with countless options for skiing, hiking, biking, fishing, boating, kayaking, rafting, bird watching and much more. Mountain music streams from traditional instruments such as the fiddle, banjo, dulcimer and mandolin.
The crisp air, vibrant colors and majestic posture of the mountains inspired this hearty menu of smoked egg and pork belly salad, mushroom ravioli with wild herb better and pecan cinnamon bread pudding with cream cheese icing.
Upstate South Carolina Region
This 10-county region in the northwest part of the state boasts a treasure trove of history. It’s a significant center of the Cherokee heritage and the sight of numerous battles in the American Revolution and Civil War. It’s also notable that South Carolina is the largest peach producer in the South.
Our Upstate South Carolina menu celebrates Southern soul-food favorites with a sweet potato pop-over, spring onion bread pudding with pickled peaches, and butterbean sliders with pimento cheese and arugula.
The Lowcountry is a region in the “lower”, or most southern, part of South Carolina. Home to the Gullah culture, its descendants keep tradition alive with a distinctive language and crafts such as sweetgrass basket weaving. The region is known for its sensory experiences: salty aromas from pluff mud, boisterous hymns from frogs and katydids, and welcome shade from live oak trees in their shawls of Spanish moss.
The Lowcountry embodies the coast, so our menu honors it with peanut and oyster stew, tomato pie and a bourbon chocolate fritter.
South Carolina Barbecue Region
When Germans settled in the middle part of South Carolina in the 1700s, one bit of the old country they brought with them was their love of mustard. We are eternally grateful, because they used it to create a mouth-watering, tangy mustard-based barbecue sauce.
Honoring the Official Picnic Cuisine of South Carolina, we offer you a pulled pork spring roll with Carolina mustard sauce, barbecue roasted corn and poached peaches over gelato.
Outer Banks Region
Out and away from North Carolina’s eastern shore is a crescent of narrow barrier islands we call the Outer Banks. Thousands of vacationers visit each year for the immaculate beaches, windswept dunes and free-roaming wild horses. The Wright brothers took the first powered flight here and it was a favorite haunt of the infamous pirate Blackbeard.
As the Outer Banks are surrounded by water, its menu pays homage with frog legs, fried catfish with Calabash hushpuppies, and a seafood potato croquette.
Lexington Barbecue Region
“Lexington” is oftentimes synonymous with “BBQ” and with one taste, you’ll know why. Known as the “Barbeque Capital of the World”, North Carolina’s Lexington “Q” features a vinegar-based sauce that is a delicious concoction of ketchup, salt, pepper, sugar and other spices that vary by secret recipes.
We honor the home of BBQ with a triple header of heartiness: our beer-basted pulled pork slider, barbecue chicken slider and barbecue ribs.
From its start as an English colony in 1670, Charleston, South Carolina, has made headlines throughout history. The port town saw its share of skirmishes in the American Revolution, and it heard the first shots of the Civil War. While some physical elements of war remain within its 1,400 historically significant buildings, any harsh feelings have vanished and Southern hospitality has stepped in -- so much so that some have dubbed it “America’s Most Friendly City.”
South Carolina’s state hospitality beverage is tea, and we bring it to you in our sweet-tea glazed chicken. You’ll also enjoy some Southern comfort food with our crispy shrimp and grits and Lady Baltimore cake.
Wash It Down With These Local Favorites
Taste of the Carolinas is proud to serve beer and wine from locally owned and operated businesses.
Witness Culinary Demonstrations
We know food in the Carolinas and are always ready to show off our skills. Watch live at the Harris Teeter Kitchen as today's top chefs put their cooking skills on display!
Chef Damaris Phillips
Appearance Dates: April 22
Damaris Phillips is the season 9 winner of Next Food Network Star and currently hosts Southern at Heart on Food Network. She's a Southern spitfire from Louisville, KY, who graduated from Jefferson Community and Technical College with a degree in culinary arts and now teaches at the same school inspiring up-and-coming chefs to follow their dreams. Before returning to teach, Damaris took on various restaurant and baking jobs, working in the front and back of house. Damaris uses her wit and her traditional Southern cuisine to pack a one-two punch in the kitchen.
Chef Markeeta Smalls
Appearance Dates: April 29
Chef Smalls is known for her southern flare but has experience in all types of cuisines. Smalls grew up in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where she also graduated from Johnson & Wales. She’s worked with several accomplished chefs in the Carolinas and has since ventured out with Food for Soul with Chef Smalls where she is a personal and catering chef. Taste the love! Feel the Soul!
Chef Alyssa Wilen
Appearance Dates: April 30, May 6 & 7
Growing up in Charlotte, NC Chef Alyssa has been involved with cooking nearly her entire life. A 2005 graduate of the Art Institute of Charlotte, Alyssa started and ran her own catering company while in school. Her professional career has taken her to Italy and several restaurants in Charlotte that range from upscale restaurants, a country club to small intimate dining. Chef Alyssa's Kitchen was named Best Cooking Class by Charlotte Magazine.
Chef Geoffrey Bragg
Appearance Dates: May 13
Geoff Bragg is a Chef Instructor at the Community Culinary School of Charlotte. As a 30-year veteran in the culinary industry, Chef Bragg uses his passion for cooking to help our local communities through training, education and the development of local food-supported economies. While his professional career has spanned from 35-seat bistros to multi-million dollar resorts, he feels his deepest contribution to the foodservice industry is through education. He understands that a strong community requires engagement on multiple levels and, as such, takes on many projects he feels contribute to enriching Charlotte.
Chef Lucca Annunziata
Appearance Dates: May 14
Chef Luca began his culinary career under his mother’s tutelage where he grew up in Naples, Italy. Known for his innovative juxtaposition of complex flavors that contrast creating a modernist’s interpretation of cuisine, Chef Lucca has traveled the world, including San Moritz, Switzerland, Germany, France and eventually New York where he worked with Good Housekeeping Magazine in the test kitchen as well as being responsible for preparing private luncheons for the cover models.
Live it Up with Our Carolina-Grown Entertainment
The Carolinas sure know how to raise fine musicians and we bring the best to you at Taste of the Carolinas at the Harmony Hall Patio Stage.
Back Porch Orchestra
April 22 | 12:00pm
May 7 | 12:00pm
May 14 | 12:00pm
Back Porch Orchestra is an acoustic original and cover music act. Their particular brand of roots music is influenced by country, bluegrass, rock, classical and more. If you want to experience music from its roots and have one heck of a good time, Back Porch Orchestra fits the bill like no other.
April 22 | 4:00pm
April 23 | 12:00pm
Tony Barnes is a nationally touring solo acoustic act, former lead guitar player and co-writer for Nashville-based Southern Rock band, Mckenzies Mill. He is a recognized instrumental song writer and performer, a five-year veteran of the Nashville music scene.
April 23 | 4:00pm
May 6 | 12:00pm
Jeff Luckadoo & Southern Wave is the premier southern rock/country band in the Carolinas taking audiences by storm with their southern fried originals and classic feel-good sing-along tunes that keep the crowd rockin'.
April 29 | 12:00pm
May 7 | 4:00pm
May 13 | 12:00pm
Often compared to contemporary acts like Zac Brown Band and Jason Aldean, they can also scale their show back to a more throwback style in the vein of Old Crow Medicine Show and Mumford and Sons.
April 29 | 4:00pm
April 30 | 12:00pm
From Jason Aldean to Journey and from Zac Brown to Cross Canadian Ragweed, the Chris Winward Band’s live performances are energy filled with songs about living the life of a modern day troubadour.
Natty Boh Duo
April 30 | 4:00pm
May 14 | 4:00pm
Natty Boh is an acoustic duo from Charlotte, NC that features guitar, vocals and mandolin. The group can play several hours of music ranging from rock to bluegrass and everything in between.
May 6 | 4:00pm
May 13 | 4:00pm
Chris Sanchez is an island roaming, guitar slinging storyteller from Texas that has taken root in the Carolinas. The Chris Sanchez brand of music is a fusion Blues, Rock and Alt Country.
Experience Carolina Culture, and Take Some Home
Experience what it was like to be a Carolinian in times past and take home some handmade arts and crafts.
Every day during Taste of the Carolinas!
12pm, 2pm, 4pm & 6pm
Outside Harmony Hall
Outside Harmony Hall