Charlotte, North Carolina, has long been a banking town. These days, its dining scene is booming as well. As the city works to rebrand itself as a destination for food and drink, it has to choose which stories to tell in order to sell the place. In highlighting local, chef-driven restaurants, what is gained…and what’s lost?

Nearly two decades back, Dr. Nini Bautista de Garcia (l) and Nancy Plummer (r) started an annual restaurant crawl. Taste of the World features international restaurants in Charlotte East. The women see themselves as one of the catalysts for Charlotte’s food renaissance.

Irina Zhorov is a writer, photographer, and producer. Her work has appeared on NPR, Planet Money, and 99 Percent Invisible. She’s a Philly girl living on an old horse farm in North Carolina and working on a novel set in Siberia. 

Music for this episode is from Blue Dot Sessions: “Coulis Coulis” by Confectionary, “Great Is the Contessa” by The Contessa, and “Stale Case” by Darby