Local business uses food to connect people

Restaurateur and TV personality Guy Fieri said it well — “Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together.”

Lesley Stracks-Mullem, owner of Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours, started out doing food tours for friends and family. She found it great fun and realized there was an opportunity to expand her passion to a successful business. Started in 2009 in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, Taste Carolina now leads tours for as many as 8,000 people per year in nine North Carolina cities.

Making personal connections between the visitors and restaurants, her business is “all about community,” Lesley says. Chefs are happy to come out of the kitchen to meet the tour participants, which is in line with Taste Carolina’s mission to connect people and restaurants on a personal level.

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