Last night, Taste Carolina celebrated the holidays with a dinner party. I try to give two parties each year where all the tour guides get together, one in January for the holidays and another one in the spring to celebrate Taste Carolina’s March anniversary. Over the years we’ve celebrated at Toast, Acme and Carrboro Beverage Company, Panciuto and The Wooden Nickel, Bull City Burger and Brewery, Centro and Foundation (with Crumb), Vimala’s and TOPO, and, last night, Jose & Sons and Crank Arm.
After beer hour at Crank Arm, where we enjoyed really delicious beers, we arrived at Jose & Sons, where yuca fries with chimichurri, beef flautas, and, my favorite bite of the night, tostones (fried plantains) topped with pimiento cheese and bacon, were out on the table. We all ordered margaritas and other drinks. I really loved my cucumber margarita.
I’m fortunate to have fantastic tour guides. I make it a point to hire people who are way more bubbly than I am, who are wonderful hosts, resourceful, and who love the concept of Taste Carolina and the cities they show off each week. I think Dean has been with Taste Carolina the longest, and Neesey is the newest. I’ve never had to let anyone go, but I have had turnover: guides who want their weekends back, whose day jobs have become too demanding to have a second job, or who have moved. It’s hard to lose talented employees because they are very hard to replace – and because I like everyone a lot and miss them when they leave the company.
I can’t wait for the next party, and I’m thinking that it won’t be a sit-down dinner. Perhaps some kind of stand-up, cocktail-like party. Something high energy for this high energy group! And with an awesome cake.
PS: If you are interested in working for Taste Carolina or who know anyone who would make a great guide, please contact me.