A Sweet Life: Tribute To Karen Barker - $120
October 18, 2019 (6:30 - 9:30 pm) | Lavender Oaks Farm
Extraordinary. Complex. Whimsical. Fanciful. Multi-faceted. Sublime. These are just some of the adjectives that have been used to describe Karen Barker’s incredible desserts over the decades.
Born in Brooklyn, Karen spent her entire career in the Triangle, having met her husband, Ben, a Chapel Hill native, on the very first day of training at the Culinary Institute of America. Though a transplant to the region, she had the same secret weapon that so many great Southern cooks have in common: a grandmother who instilled a love of cooking and a belief that food can be the centerpiece of so much of life’s wonder.
After beginning their careers together at La Residence and Fearrington House, the Barkers made their mark in 1986, openingMagnolia Grillin Durham. In its 25 years of operation, Magnolia led the rise of New American cuisine, launched the careers of some of the South’s finest chefs, and won two James Beard awards: one for Karen as outstanding pastry chef in 2003 and one for Ben as best chef - Southeast in 2000. The Barkers were the first North Carolina chefs to take home the prestigious award, having created a well-respected fine dining restaurant long before the Triangle area had cemented its place on our nation’s culinary map.
In addition to her work at Magnolia, Karen was a co-founder of the Southern Foodways Alliance, a cookbook author, and a loving mother to two. When son Gabe opened Pizzeria Mercato in Carrboro in 2015, he was lucky enough to have his mother design the dessert program.
We are honored to bring together family and friends to celebrate the significant contributions Karen made to our community in a life too short. At this familial and nostalgic dinner, chefs who consider Karen a mentor and a hero will prepare an amazing meal, served family style, in her honor. We are thankful to have worked closely with Ben and Gabe on the lineup for this unforgettable evening at the beautifulLavender Oaks Farmin Chapel Hill. Our 2019 chef lineup includes:
Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, AL
Billy Cotter of Dashi Ramen and Toast in Durham
John Fleer of Rhubarb and Benne in Asheville
Phoebe Lawless of Scratch in Durham
Glenn Lozuke of Weaver Street Market in Hillsborough
Caitlin McCormick Schumacher of Fig in Charleston, SC
Amanda Orser of Littler in Durham
Tori Schumacher of The Ordinary in Charleston, SC
Debra Lewis of Vintage '59 Imports will curate the wines for the dinner, Durham Distillery will provide cocktails and Fullsteam Brewery will serve craft beer.
If you have food allergies or dietary restrictions, please do not purchase tickets before contacting us at 404-822-0276. There are no refunds, and many food allergies cannot be accommodated since all dishes are served family style.