Every subscription dollar collected by The Food Section goes directly to the production of food journalism that helps readers better understand their world and the other people with whom they share it.
But gaining insight through food isn’t an activity confined to text. Spirited Brunch, The Food Section’s signature event, gives attendees the chance to taste the culinary traditions of local faith communities and learn the stories behind them.
When I decided to organize the first-ever Spirited Brunch outside of Charleston, in keeping with the newsletter’s expansion plans, I discovered it’s hard to explain the self-guided snack tour to congregational leaders who haven’t experienced it. But almost as soon as Sunday’s Spirited Brunchette in Durham was underway, Blacknall Presbyterian’s director of congregational care, Becky Gould, got a sense of the event.
“It was just delightful,” Gould said, relating what she’d witnessed:
After sampling Blacknall’s Brunswick stew, a callback to the days when the church raised money by ladling out saucy potatoes and lima beans to millworkers, one Spirited Brunchette tourgoer decided she’d like to visit Reality Ministries next. But that group is housed in a church about one mile from Blacknall, and she wasn’t sure her canine companion, Mr. Darcy, was up for the walk.
Seeing her fret, a pair of attendees—who hadn’t previously met Mr. Darcy or his owner—invited them to hitch a ride, even though they’d never before had a dog in their car.
You see, one of the volunteer chauffeurs said, we’re cat people.
And then they all rode off together.
Many thanks to paying subscribers who made this Spirited Brunchette possible, including by underwriting the fee for Kendall Vanderslice, who capably served as in-town coordinator in the weeks leading up to the event. We’ll see you in Charleston on April 28, 2024 for the next scheduled Spirited Brunch!