Feature Presentation "Our Friend the Tomato"

Community historian and Charlotte Observer columnist Tom Hanchett tells tales of the origin of the tomato while Dalton Espaillat of Sabor Latin Street Grill and Dan Huntley cook tomato dishes and engage in conversation with Tom. You do not want to miss this interactive and tasty tomato presentation!


Tom Hanchett

Dr. Tom Hanchett is best known for his 16 years as staff historian at Levine Museum of the New South. Charlotte Magazine calls him “Charlotte’s Dr. History” and named him a 2015 Charlottean of the Year.

Dalton Espaillat

Dalton Espaillat was born in New York City. His mother was a nurse but soon returned to her native Dominican Republic where Mr. Espaillat grew up speaking only Spanish. His dad’s job with an international construction firm brought the family to the Charlotte area, where Mr. Espaillat learned English at age fifteen. He went to UNC Charlotte to train as an engineer and today his main work is leading his own RayDal Construction. When the 2008 Recession dried up construction, Mr. Espaillat and two friends bought a failing Mexican restaurant on Central Avenue. He kept talented Mexican cook Alejandra de la Cruz but re-tooled it as Three Amigos, the name purposely Anglicized to let non-Latinos know they’d be welcomed. As it transformed into an east Charlotte destination, he began dreaming of an eatery with the food of his homeland, which led to Sabor. Its menu is half Mexican favorites, half street foods popular elsewhere throughout Latin America: Venezuelan arepas, Argentine empanadas, and Salvadoran and Dominican specialties. In May 2017 his Sabor chain of Latino eateries opened its seventh store in Charlotte’s Southpark area

Dan Huntley "Dan the Pig Man"

Dan Huntley is co-author of Extreme Barbecue (amazon.com/books), a former Charlotte Observer reporter and Charlotte-native. In the last year, Dan has catered in Cairo, Egypt; Cody, Wyoming; and Key West. Danthepigman.com