A Southern Night at the Cinema – North Carolina | Video

By: TLP's Partners

Discover the South through the lens of culinary artisans in The Local Palate’s Southern Night at the Cinema video series. Born out of a desire to experience Southern cities through the eyes of the chefs that call them home, these bite-size stories transport viewers to destinations in Arkansas, North Carolina, and South Carolina. In each city, acclaimed chefs guide us through their favorite restaurants, watering holes, and hidden gems. Watch as they share their stories, connection to their communities, and journeys with food, and above all, teach us about the diverse and vibrant communities that shape the Southern culinary landscape.

In North Carolina, discover new places, create real emotional connections, and enjoy rich experiences. Take a look at destinations with unexpected charm along with an authentic vibe. Visitors want more than a typical vacation, long lines, and a ton of “likes.” That’s why, in North Carolina, you can experience the state like a local would, taste the unique culture, and see the not-so-seen sights. From the welcoming people and hidden gems to incredible scenic beauty and savory “suppers” (not dinners), everything about North Carolina is authentic. Even the state motto, “Esse Quam Videri,” places value on being rather than seeming. So, take the time to soak it in. Abandon those “must-see” lists and trade them in for new opportunities to discover deep connections and experience what’s real.

Dean Neff

Dean Neff, a 2023 James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef Southeast and 2024 nominee for Outstanding Chef, opened Seabird in Wilmington, North Carolina, with wife Lydia Clopton in 2021. At Seabird, Neff offers “Seabirdie” oysters farmed exclusively for the restaurant and changes the menu daily based on backdoor deliveries from coastal foragers. Prior to opening Seabird, Neff was the chef and owner of Pinpoint in Wilmington, recognized as one of the best new restaurants in the South by Southern Living. In addition to honoring the seasons and the seaside food culture unique to Wilmington, Neff is also an outspoken champion of the NC Oyster Trail and Cape Fear River Watch.

Zwelibanzi Williams

Zwelibanzi Williams, Zweli for short, first discovered her love for flavors at a very young age in Zimbabwe. After high school, she migrated to Durham, North Carolina, to attend North Carolina Central University, where she majored in hospitality and tourism. After graduating, she worked in various roles in restaurant chains and food service departments in Durham. Although her career was taking off, she yearned to create recipes of her own. In 2016, she took a leap of faith and launched her catering business, Zweli’s Inc. Quickly she became the preferred caterer of some of the largest organizations in the area including Google, UNC, and Duke. Today, Zweli is the proud owner of three restaurants and is known as one of North Carolina’s most prominent chefs.

Silver Iocovozzi

Silver Iocovozzi is the chef-owner of the James Beard Award-nominated Neng Jr.’sAsheville’s only Filipinx restaurant and a New York Times and Bon Appétit Best Restaurant. A second-generation Filipinx and lifelong Southerner, Iocovozzi owes their inspiration and dedication to the diffusion of Filipinx cuisine and heritage to their mother, Neneng, a first-generation immigrant. Iocovozzi, a 2023 Time100 Next honoree, has cooked across the globe, holding positions such as chef in residence at Palm Heights Grand Cayman and opening sous chef at Asheville’s Buxton Hall Barbecue

On the Road


Nestled in a valley surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina, is an outdoor mecca with a thriving art scene, hippie charm, and a beer culture at a fever pitch.

On the Road


Rooted in history and industry, Durham is a cultural haven for diverse eateries and a rich community that warmly welcomes those in its midst. 

On the Road


Sandwiched between white-sand beaches and a downtown riverfront, historical Wilmington offers a lively, timeless escape for any vacationer.

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