Mark Hibbs, chef of Uptown eatery Ratcliffe on the Green, has been involved with Charlotte's Taste of the Nation, a culinary event geared at ending childhood hunger, for the last seven years. He has recently joined forces with the National Pork Board and is excited about their involvement with this year's event.
Creative Loafing: Why participate in Taste of the Nation?
Hibbs: The first Taste of the Nation I was involved in was 20 years ago in D.C. I was only 21 and really in awe of the phenomenal chefs that banded together at this event to try to make a difference in world hunger. I have been involved in the Charlotte event for the last seven years, and I feel so fortunate to participate. It's great to see the community taking an active role in trying to alleviate hunger. But at the same time, it's difficult to see that after 20 years, this is still an ongoing problem.
What is your relationship with the National Pork Board?
The Ratcliffe's menu is powered by pork. The Pork Board approached me about getting involved with Taste of the Nation, and they decided that for every person that attends the event, they will donate one pound of pork to Second Harvest Food Bank. I would love to see upwards of 1,200 people attend. That much pork will go a long way to feed a hungry family.
What is one of your favorite things to make at home?
I have a garden at home, and I grow a lot of the produce served at the restaurant there. I love to make pork Italian sausage and pasta with homemade tomato sauce from my garden.