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Chefs For Change

Join us for a “Farm to Table” style four-course dinner featuring some of Charlotte’s best chefs on Monday, November 14th at 6:30 PM at The 658 Center. Tickets are $85 per person. If you commit to donate and bring with you 2 pairs of new socks (any size), discounted tickets can be purchased at $75 per person. Contact Lara Hicks with any questions at

Proceeds from the Chefs for Change dinner benefit the Project 658 Culinary School.

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Featured Chefs Include

Chris Coleman, Director of Culinary Experience at Marriott City Center

stoke-chef-chris-coleman-hi-by-reuben-bloomChef Chris Coleman was born and raised in the northwest corner of Charlotte’s Mountain Island Lake community. He spent his summers on his grandparents’ farm in Purvis, Mississippi, where he learned to appreciate the importance of local ingredients and fostering community.
When his parents promised him a car if he covered the expenses, Chris took a job bussing tables at a local seafood restaurant at the age of 14. He stayed for four years, working in the front of the house before graduating to expediting. There, he became enthralled with the bustle and creativity of the kitchen. He enrolled at UNC Charlotte to study art and ceramics, but soon decided he wanted to become a chef and moved to Central Piedmont Community College’s culinary program.

During his second semester at school, he landed a job cooking on the line at McNinch House. When the head chef left, he was elevated to executive chef at 21. Chris developed and refined his cooking style over the next eight years, starting to source locally and developing a tasting menu. Of his experience at McNinch House, he says, “I grew up there and developed who I am as a chef.”

He branched out in 2012 to create The Market Kitchen pop-up dinner series using only locally sourced ingredients, while also experimenting with modern techniques. In early 2014, he opened The Asbury, a 40-seat farm-to-fork restaurant at The Dunhill Hotel. Under his direction, the restaurant was awarded two “Best of the Best” BOB Awards by Charlotte Magazine.

Chris joined Charlotte Marriott City Center in 2016 as the Director of Culinary Experience overseeing Stoke Restaurant, Stoke Bar and coffeehouse Coco and the Director. He brings a rustic yet refined take on seasonal American cooking that showcases high quality, meticulously sourced ingredients, while he continues to work with local farmers, producers and artisans.

Paul T. Verica, Chef and Owner, Heritage Food & Drink

dsc_2551Chef Paul has twenty plus years of experience in all facets of the industry. From a young age he was enthralled with the culinary world having spent many a day’s wondering the commercial kitchens of the Philadelphia Marriott where his parent’s worked. In high school when he realized that the chances of playing for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles were slim to say the least he turned his focus towards the hospitality industry.

Upon graduating from high school he enrolled in the Hospitality Program and Delaware County Community College after two years of core classes and attaining an associate’s degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management he embarked on the nest steps of his lifelong education by enrolling at The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College to attain his culinary degree. While at the Restaurant School he worked at a variety of restaurants from the Classic French and Thai blend of Nais Cuisine, to the new American styling’s of Chef Peter Pryor and the classic foundation from German Master Chef Henio Koberg. He was also fortunate to stage with Michelin Three Star Chefs Alain Passard of L’Arpege and the late, great Bernard Louisseau of La Cote D’Or, it was while he was in France that he was introduced to the concepts of farm to table cooking and living in harmony with the seasons.

Over the course of the last decade Chef Paul has been part of the emerging culinary scene of Charlotte as Executive Chef for the Providence Bistro restaurants, Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Director of The Dunhill hotel and most recently as the Executive Chef and Director of Food Service at The Club at Longview. It was at Longview that he was able to embrace the farm to table movement gaining national press for his kitchen gardens and his seasonal and local approach to club cuisine. In November of 2013 Chef Paul and his partners opened Heritage food & drink, in Historic Downtown Waxhaw.

Obie Ferguson, Chef and Owner, Wisteria

obieWisteria is a family owned, casual neighborhood restaurant. We opened July 2012 and our focus has always been community and sustainability. Our menu changes regularly based on seasonality, the mood of the kitchen and what our farmers bring us.

Obie Ferguson is a self taught chef, starting as dishwasher in 1994. Moving around the country as climbing the ladder as a chef he finally settled in Morganton, NC. One year later Wisteria opened and he started really focusing on farm-to-table and sustainable cooking.

Joselyn Perlmutter, Owner, Sweet Affairs

photo(76)Joselyn Perlmutter is the Owner and Head Pastry Chef at artisanal dessert catering service, Sweet Affairs. Joselyn founded Sweet Affairs in 2015, bringing the Charlotte community a truly unique dessert experience.

Born and raised in the D.C. metro area, Joselyn graduated from the University of Miami in Florida with a degree in Entrepreneurship. After years of testing out gourmet cupcake recipes on her friends and family, Joselyn followed her passion to France where she received formal pastry training at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Patisserie in Yssingeaux. Owned by the renowned Chef Alain Ducasse, Chef Joselyn had the opportunity to study alongside the school’s talented pastry chefs – learning how to create everything from from buttery croissants to rich, chocolatey entremets.

Upon her return from France, Joselyn worked under Chef Marion Pitcher at Clyde’s of Chevy Chase. She is currently the pastry chef and morning sous chef at Block & Grinder in Charlotte, NC.