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It is with great regret that I announce this will be my last blog for Chapel Hill Magazine. In two short weeks, I leave my beloved Chapel Hill to start a new journey as the Associate Food Editor for EatingWell Magazine in Burlington, Vermont. My new 9-to-5 job splits my time equally between the magazine, their online site and the test kitchen. In short, it’s perfect for my multi-tasking brain.
Before I go, I want to say thank you to those who have read my blog posts for the past few months. I’ve been overwhelmed with how many people have reached out to me, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing me what home truly is: the people. During my last few weeks, I have been meeting friends and family for breakfasts, coffee, lunch, dinner and drinks at all my favorite local haunts. I’ve eaten saag paneer at Vimala’s Curryblossum Cafe, veggie pizza from Italian Pizzeria III, the bento box in the Lantern bar, mussels from Kitchen, a giant scone at Foster's, the spring rolls at Jujube, carrot cake from Weaver Street Market, almond chicken salad on a croissant from The Weathervane and crab cakes at Acme. And not to forget, I’ve also had a latte from Caffe Driade and a Manhattan (or two) from Pecadillo.
In no way is this a complete list of all the amazing food and drinks Chapel Hill has to offer; in fact, I still want to have a turkey reuben from Neal’s Deli, muhammara from Mediterranean Deli and any drink Gary Crunkleton would like to concoct for me. Maybe something that could accompany the songs “Leaving On A Jet Plane” and “Carolina In My Mind” at the same time? I’m thinking something made with TOPO vodka.
Yes, I know how cold it is. And yes, I know I’ll be missing the UNC-Duke game in the Dean Dome for the first time in 10 years, but I’m thrilled to be joining the amazing crew at EatingWell to create healthy, delicious food for all. But I also know, like any true Chapel Hillian, that the best part of leaving Chapel Hill is coming back.
If I haven’t had coffee, a drink or a meal with you yet, send me a text, give me a call or send me an email. Or, if you aren’t busy Saturday, March 2, join Marilyn Markel, Caitlin Burke, Gwen Cummings Maller and I at the Cooking School at Southern Season as we all make recipes from our childhood. I cannot think of a more appropriate way to spend my last day in Chapel Hill.
Breana Lai is the owner of Satiate: Nutrition-to-Table and a cooking school instructor and supervisor at Southern Season. We wish her the best of luck as she starts this exciting new chapter in her life!