Patrick Cowden, Executive Chef at The Pharmacy Cafe and Green Planet Catering in Raleigh, North Carolina discusses partnering with local farms, the importance of community, cooking with food in season, creativity in the kitchen, how he uses resourceful methods to reduce food waste, and why transparency is needed for a quality food system.
In November 2015 Chef Patrick Cowden partnered up with Daniel Whittaker to take ownership of The Pharmacy Café in Raleigh North Carolina. Their vision was to create a friendly neighborhood modern take of an old school pharmacy lunch counter. Located in an actual working pharmacy that has been serving the public for over a hundred years they serve hand crafted soda jerk style offerings (sodas/egg creams/fizzes), gargantuan biscuits, and creative upscale sandwiches that are all driven by what is seasonal and available locally. Whittaker and Cowden also operate Green Planet Catering, an award winning sustainable catering company that serves Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill.
Chef Cowden, who attended New England Culinary Institute, had done long stints as Executive Chef of Tobacco Road Sports Café’s three locations and The Weathervane Restaurant at A Southern Season in Chapel Hill before starting this new adventure. As a long time resident of the Triangle he has steered the course at such places as Michael Jordan’s 23 Sport Cafe, The Grill at Glen Lennox, Michael Dean’s, Jean Claude’s Café, and his own restaurant Patrick’s Seasonal Cuisine which was located in North Durham. All of which have garnered numerous accolades and have appeared on many best of lists in the triangle.
As a Chef who is committed to North Carolina products and local producers he showcases these products and farmers on his menus. He has also taken part in numerous Farm-to-Fork picnics and has been a finalist in the Best Dish of North Carolina sponsored by the Dept. of Agriculture. Another driving factor behind Chef Cowden’s philosophy is his commitment to sustainability. He strives to reduce the ecological impact of his operations to the barest minimum. This commitment coupled with a passion for exciting Southern inspired cuisine makes Chef Cowden a natural fit for Green Planet Catering and Person Street Pharmacy Cafe.