Greensboro NC Hotel

Savor the South Weekend: September 26-28, 2014

Savor the South Cookbooks



PeachesPickles & Preserves

Sweet PotatoesSweet Potatoes

Sweet PotatoesPecans

See photos of Savor the South Weekend!

Food fanatics — a “Southern dozen” of them — will come together at the O.Henry Hotel to celebrate the wonderful SAVOR THE SOUTH® cookbook collection by UNC Press. The authors of these books are all deservedly well-known cooks and writers and a lively lot, so this is sure to be a fun time. There’ll be extraordinary food and drink, mingling with the authors, cooking demonstrations and samplings of more than 30 recipes. Each day will include a four-course dinner matched with special wines. We are delighted to partner with our friends at Our State magazine to present this very special weekend.

Each SAVOR THE SOUTH® cookbook is a big celebration of a beloved food or tradition of the American South. Stock your kitchen shelf and noggin with the flavors and culinary wisdom from some of the most accomplished foodies in the South. Written by well-known cooks and food lovers, each book brims with personality, the informative and often surprising culinary and natural history of southern foodways. Each volume is a treasure of some 50 recipes, from delicious southern classics to sparkling international renditions that open up worlds of taste for cooks everywhere.

In addition to ten cookbook authors, the weekend is hosted by Green Valley Grill Executive Chef Leigh Hesling, author Ronni Lundy, Chef Nancy King Quaintance, Our State Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Hudson and Our State's storyteller Amy Wood Pasquini.

The O.Henry Hotel is the perfect location for a celebration of southern food. There'll be plenty of optional activities during the weekend, including a Farmers Market trip, afternoon tea, biking on the greenway or shopping next door at Friendly Center.

Weekend Details

Friday, September 26

  • 2-6 PM: Check-in at the hotel, unwind and get ready for a weekend of fun, food and drink!
  • 6:30 PM: Our State Welcome Reception in the Social Lobby with small bites and drinks made from featured SAVOR THE SOUTH® cookbook recipes. Hosted by Our State Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Hudson and Our State's storyteller Amy Wood Pasquini. Live music by "Hot Club of NC."
  • 7:30 PM: Farm-to-Fork Grand Dinner with cooking demos by Executive Chef Leigh Hesling with his special guests, Miriam Rubin, Debbie Moose and April McGreger. The bespoke menu will pair seasonal farm finds with recipes from Savor the South books.
  • 9:30 PM: Unwind at Green Valley Grill Bar.

Saturday, September 27

  • 7-9 AM: Rise and shine for a trip to the Farmers Market with Chef Jay Pierce (or opt for a lazy morning).
  • 9-10 AM: Southern breakfast buffet with a special Biscuits & Preserves Bar, hosted by Belinda Ellis and Andrea Weigl.
  • 12 Noon-2 PM: Tasting Extravaganza & Book Signing. All of the authors present samplings of recipes from their cookbooks, chat with guests and sign their books. Make lunch of these snacks in the adjacent Walled Garden.
  • 2-3 PM: Talking Food - Our State's Favorite Food Memories & BYOM (Bring Your Own Memory).
  • 3 PM-6 PM: Optional afternoon activities (naps, afternoon tea in O.Henry's Social Lobby, walking on the nearby greenway, shopping next door at Friendly Center or relaxing in the Cloister Garden)
  • 6-10 PM: The grand finale, Bourbon, Bluegrass & Bacchanal! Start a Southern cocktail party with bites, bourbon & bluegrass fusion music in the lobby. Then enjoy a three-course, bacchanal-style dinner, hosted by Ronni Lundy, Nancy King Quaintance, Kathleen Purvis, Virginia Willis and Kelly Alexander. Afterwards, return to the lobby for more bluegrass.

Sunday, September 28

  • 7-10:30 AM: Drop-in Southern breakfast buffet with featured recipes
  • 2 PM: Late check-out
Your SAVOR THE SOUTH® cookbook Authors
Belinda Ellis
Belinda Ellis, author of BISCUITS
Photo courtesy of Fred Thompson
Debbie Moose
Photo courtesy of Robert Vatz
Kathleen Purvis
Kathleen Purvis, author of PECANS and BOURBON
Photo courtesy of Wendy Yang
Miriam Rubin
Miriam Rubin, author of TOMATOES
Photo by Jeanine M. Henry
Andrea Weigl
Andrea Weigl, author of PICKLES AND PRESERVES
Photo by Juli Leonard
Virginia Willis
Virginia Willis, author of OKRA
Photo by Scott M. Porush
April McGreger
April McGreger: author of SWEET POTATOES
Photo by Lissa Gotwals

Kelly Alexander
Kelly Alexander, author of PEACHES
Photo by Robert Adam Mayer

Jay Pierce
Chef Jay Pierce, author of the upcoming SHRIMP cookbook
Your Weekend Hosts
Nancy King Quaintance
Nancy King-Quaintance
Ronni Lundy
Ronni Lundy
Leigh Hesling
Executive Chef Leigh Hesling
Nancy King Quaintance
Elizabeth Hudson
Ronni Lundy
Amy Wood Pasquini


Our State

We are delighted to partner with our friends at Our State magazine to present this very special weekend.

Savor the South Weekend Package

  • Friday & Saturday accommodations at O.Henry Hotel (Sept 26 & 27)
  • Our State welcome wine reception
  • Friday four-course farm-to-fork dinner and cooking demos
  • Saturday cocktail party with live music
  • Saturday four-course "Bourbon, Bluegrass & Bacchanal" dinner
  • Tasting Extravaganza lunch (sampling 20+ recipes)
  • Southern breakfast buffet both mornings
  • Historic farmers market trip
  • Cookbook of your choice
  • Welcome gifts
  • UNC Press Club Reader's Circle Membership for new members ($200 value)
  • Late checkout on Sunday

$449 per guest, based on double occupancy
($599 per guest, based on single occupancy)

The Savor the South One-Night Package includes Friday night accommodations and dinner, along with Saturday breakfast and lunch.
$295/person, based on double occupancy
($369/person single occupancy)

Seating is limited. Please call the O.Henry Hotel at 336-854-2000 for reservations. No reservations will be taken after 5 PM on Tuesday, September 23.

More about your hosts:
Ronni Lundy is the author of Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken and Butter Beans to Blackberries, as well as seven other books. She is the recipient of the Southern Foodways Alliance's Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award and the editor of Cornbread Nation 3: Foods of the Mountain South. Born in Corbin, Kentucky, she presently lives in Burnsville, NC.

Nancy King Quaintance is Vice-President of Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels, the owner/operator of O.Henry Hotel. She started her career at 15 as a dishwasher with Disney in Florida. She went on to Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island, then to Cornell’s Hotel School, where she studied hospitality and culinary arts. While at Cornell, she served as a culinary teaching assistant. From there, she went to work in sales and front office operations for several hotel companies. In 1994 she joined the Quaintance-Weaver team, assisting with the culinary team with everything from recipe development, to expediting, to doing weekly cooking segments for a local TV station. Now, she works with the company's marketing, operations and culinary teams.

Leigh Hesling the Executive Chef of Green Valley Grill, O.Henry Hotel, Print Works Bistro and Proximity Hotel. With his mantra of “nearer the farm to the fork, the better the flavor,” you will often see him at the farmer’s market and transporting his fresh vegetables in style in his London “Veggie” Taxi. Before moving his family to North Carolina in 2005 to join our team, Chef Hesling traveled the world for five years as a chef with the Queen Elizabeth 2 and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Prior to the ships, his culinary training started in Australia and took him to several countries before cooking at several restaurants in England. His appetite for fresh, local and seasonal ingredients stems from his upbringing on a farm in the mountains near Cairns, Australia. His family grew much of what they ate, from livestock to fruits and vegetables, and that instilled in him a healthy respect for those who work the earth.

Elizabeth Hudson is a native of North Carolina who grew up in the small community of Farmer, near Asheboro. She holds a B.A. degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and began her publishing career in 1997 at Our State magazine, where she started in the circulation department answering telephones before moving to the editorial department. She held various editorial titles for 10 years before becoming Editor in Chief of the 80-year-old publication in 2009. Through her work with the magazine, she has learned where to find the best barbecue — eastern and Lexington-style — and she also knows where to find our state’s most photographed waterfalls. On the Outer Banks, she has walked in the same sand where pirates once tread, and she knows how much milk makes a perfect bowl of Southern snow cream.

Amy Wood Pasquini is currently the marketing development director for Our State and is the Executive Producer of Content for “Our State,” a ten-time, Emmy Award winning, television show produced by UNC-TV. She is also the producer of many Our State travel weekends including the Best of Our State and Learn & Live Weekends. Born in Atlanta, Wood grew up in North Carolina. She obtained her BA in journalism from Georgia State University. She is the author of two books “Life Between Azalea Festivals,” and “White Bred, A Prodigal Jaunt Through the Suburban South” in addition to many articles for Our State. She lives in High Point with her husband John Pasquini where they enjoy sampling pimento cheese recipes from around the state. A ‘foodie’ from long ago, Amy always concludes her talks by singing the Butter Bean Song.

Download a Savor the South Weekend PDF flyer


O.Henry Hotel, Greensboro
O.Henry Hotel

624 Green Valley Road, Greensboro, NC 27408
336-854-2000 | 1-800-965-8259 | FAX: 336-854-2223 |
Located adjacent to Friendly Center, near downtown Greensboro and GSO Airport.
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O.Henry Hotel is part of the Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants & Hotels family.
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