Lara Lyn Carter Promotes Georgia Grown

Days before the whirlwind media trip she’s taking to Canada, Emmy-award winning television host and local celebrity chef Lara Lyn Carter took an opportunity Thursday to promote Georgia products, while also saying thank you to Georgia Grown’s chief and state agricultural commissioner Gary W. Black with an intimate luncheon at the Shackelford House.

“Georgia Grown has been very good to me and supported me,” said Carter as she prepared for Black’s arrival. “The commissioner has done things for me as well ,so (the luncheon) was an opportunity, because he was going to be in this area, for me to do something to say thank you and to introduce him to some of the people here.”

One of the people Carter wanted to make sure the commissioner could spend some time with was Todd White, head chef of the Albany Technical College Culinary Arts program. Carter and White have been working together on a number of projects lately, many of which are tied to Georgia Grown products.

“Todd and I started a competition at the school, using Georgia Grown products, and we’re talking about keeping those things going and running those in the culinary schools throughout the state,” said Carter. “Todd has done such a beautiful job with that and with really hammering home using local, fresh and Georgia Grown products.”

Additionally, Carter said she hopes bringing together people like White and Black will help raise the area’s profile and generate more activity in her native region of the state.

“We have so many Georgia Grown businesses here in Southwest Georgia,” Carter said. “I would really like to see us have some of these festivals and events coming to our area and not always Savannah and Atlanta. We’ve got a strong Georgia Grown community in Southwest Georgia and I’ve been promoting it.”

Carter said the leadership at Georgia Grown, including Southern Marketing Coordinator Beth DeLoach Meeks, who also attended Thursday’s luncheon, has been very pleased with her involvement and that her impending trip to Canada will be another way to promote what her home state has to offer.

While in Toronto, Carter, who recently won a state Emmy for hosting her Georgia Public Television series “A Thyme For Sharing,” will primarily film multiple live episodes of numerous Canadian television shows.

Carter will also host a 30-minute Facebook LIVE segment with viral video platform Diply, then record some foodie videos for the website’s Delicious by Diply series.

“I’m filming with Diply while I’m there,” Carter explained. “That is the fastest growing Internet site, and they have everything from decorating to fashion.”

While she said she hopes the trip will continue to increase her profile on a larger scale, Carter said she’s equally proud that the media tour will give her an opportunity to promote the local products that are critical in preparing her signature Southern dishes, such as shrimp and grits.

“I’ll be taking Georgia with me,” said Carter. “Everything I’m doing is true Southern. I’m doing my Georgia Grown shrimp and grits while I’m there, so I’m taking Gala’s Grits with me and I’m taking Georgia Olive Farm Olive Oil. And I’m taking my own (Wicker & Whisk) product line with me, so I’m going to be promoting Georgia things while I’m there.”

Carter’s connection to Georgia Grown was at the heart of Thursday’s luncheon, which Carter said was a way to bring everything she’s involved with together in one place, while having a good time.

“The luncheon is to do two things: to talk about what I have done with Georgia Grown and promoting Georgia with what I do with the food and the television, and getting ready to take this trip to Canada,” she said. “I am going to be promoting Georgia products and Georgia Grown is supporting this.”

Georgia’s Agriculture Commissioner said he could not be more pleased with the way Carter has represented the state across the country, and now internationally.

“Our state is truly blessed to have such a wonderful culinary ambassador in Lara Lyn Carter,” said Black. “Our goal at Georgia Grown is to improve the understanding and importance of the agricultural industry to the public, all while solidifying the connection between the grower and the consumer.

“Thanks to Lara Lyn’s unique ability to communicate to those consumers, she easily translates our sometimes obscure dialect of farm to the familiar language of food.”

Black said he was also pleased with the meal Carter prepared Thursday. The guests enjoyed roasted pear and pecan salad with a maple vinaigrette, butternut squash and sweet potato curry soup, port wine mustard and pecan encrusted beef loin with spinach and smoked Gouda rice casserole, and pumpkin gingersnap cheesecake.

“It’s delicious,” said Black.

To learn more about Georgia Grown visit To see recipes from the luncheon or to learn more about Lara Lyn Carter and follow her trip to Canada, visit or follow her on Twitter at @LaraLynCarter.

By Brad McEwen - Originally featured in the Albany Herald