Our area has an impressive array of chefs and restauranteurs who come from every corner of the world to show off here in the Triangle. However, we’re incredibly lucky to have many of these culinary connoisseurs who hail from the Tar Heel State originally, too. This rotating series will feature food service establishments of every realm from restaurants, food trucks, food products, culinary services and beyond. We will include just enough information on these local foodie superstars to give you a “quick bite” that we hope will inspire you to go out and try their food for yourself.
How did your local venture start?
Kathy Ellis Gunn, owner of Midway Community Kitchen, has been in the food service industry for years. Her experience spans across many areas including working at Magnolia Grill for ten years. She decided she wanted to create this food service space for many reasons. Kathy says, “I wanted a space that would get people excited to start cooking again. The reliance on packaged foods is staggering. I wanted people to learn skills and take away the intimidation factor of cooking.” Along with Kathy, she has an awesome team of leaders found in Jenna Mallett and Audrey Williams. Jenna serves as Event Coordinator and has a background in working and planning events for farms. Audrey works as the Kitchen Manager and provides eggs and produce to Midway Community Kitchen from her farm, Happy Chick Farm.
What makes Midway Community Kitchen unique to the Triangle?
Kathy’s eyes light up when she speaks of the many reasons that make Midway Community Kitchen special. She says, “We’re in a great location. It’s in an urban, established neighborhood and close to campus. Graham Street has just blown up and developed over the past few years. We’re happy to have such great neighbors here that support us and we are proud to be part of the neighborhood.”
What makes the Triangle “home” for you?
Kathy is a Durham native. She’s traveled extensively, but says the Triangle has a place in her heart because, “I’ve never wanted to live anywhere else. I have deep roots here and there’s no other place that feels like home.”
Where can we find out more about Midway Community Kitchen?
Tessa Nguyen is a chef and registered dietitian working in the Triangle area. She is an alumna of Johnson & Wales University and Meredith College. When Tessa isn’t traveling and discovering new food spots, she teaches culinary nutrition cooking classes at Duke and works as a consultant in the health and wellness industry. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter @