In the News

Ground breaking celebration at the Piedmont Farmers Market
"With Bocca Felice, I am so blessed to be a part of the health and wellness of so many people in the Cabarrus community.  This is a place where I can share with everyone the steps we are each making to take better control of the choices that lead to more dynamic living!"  --Gina

"Kannapolis cooks learn more about spring cooking"

Our Kannapolis library cooking class "Spring into Seasonal Cooking" was featured in an article written by Marty Price for the Cabarrus Neighbors section of the Charlotte Observer in April 2013.  We have pasted the article below, or you can go directly to the Observer's site where you will find the article along with the cooking class recipes by clicking here.  Happy Spring!
by Marty Price
Gina Guthrie brought her style of healthy cooking to the Kannapolis Library with her “Spring into Seasonal Cooking” program last Tuesday.
Guthrie introduced such ingredients as baby bok choy, Jerusalem artichoke, fennel and “the mother” as she demonstrated how to make easy and delicious salads with fresh produce that will be available soon.
When Guthrie spoke of “the mother,” she was referring to the cloudy material inside raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
“The mother is the best part,” Guthrie said.
She explained, saying that process of making clear apple cider vinegar filters out “the mother” and some of the intense flavor along with it. She uses the raw, unfiltered version in her spinach, fennel and apple salad to give it just the right zing.
Jane Jacobs, a fan of Guthrie who attended the program, said she loves the robust flavor it added to the salad. And Guthrie reminded the class that vinegar lowers blood pressure and onions aid with digestion.
Guthrie started her business, Bocca Felice – Italian for “happy mouth” – in 2007, selling her Italian food at the Piedmont Farmer’s Market. After catering several Cabarrus County functions, she was asked whether she would like to teach classes. She has been giving classes and demonstrations on healthy eating using seasonal, locally produced foods ever since.
Kathyrn Cornell, a self-proclaimed “Gina groupie,” said she has been following Guthrie from place to place to attend her classes, “looking for new tastes and combinations in healthy food.”
“God put certain crops of food here at certain times, and crops that grow together go together. Spring to me is fresh, so I want fresh flavors, and that makes me think of salads,” Guthrie said as she mixed an Italian green bean salad that included sun-dried tomatoes and walnuts.
As an advocate for healthy food, Guthrie cautioned the class to stay away from processed foods. But she added that a few processed foods can be good as presented the class with baked sweet potato fries.
Pat Chaffin was pleasantly surprised and said they tasted like potato chip as she munched on a few of the fries. Each participant received a copy of the recipes that Guthrie prepared, including Italian green bean salad, spinach with fennel and apple salad, as well as the strawberries with Greek Mascarpone drizzle.
Guthrie’s next demonstration will be at the Viva Verde Earth Fest from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 20 at North Cabarrus Park. For more information on Guthrie, her healthy cooking classes and her catering, visit
The next adult program at the Kannapolis Library is a demonstration on how Facebook works, how to change settings and how to upload pictures, at 10 a.m. April 18. For a calendar of events for all the Cabarrus County Libraries, go to
Marty Price is a freelance photographer and writer for Cabarrus News. Have a story idea for Marty? Email him at

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She's Breaking the Sugar Habit 
Local woman offers catering and healthy cooking classes

We were thrilled with this amazing article that was published in The Charlotte Observer in October 2012. Take a moment to read the article below, or click here to go directly to the Observer's site.

by Susan Shinn
Who knew “sugar” was a four-letter word?

Well, actually, it’s a four-word phrase: high-fructose corn syrup. Gina Guthrie, 42, believes it should be avoided at all costs.
Guthrie is the owner of Bocca Felice, a local business that offers catering and healthy cooking classes. On Oct. 9, she presented “Breaking the Sugar Habit” to 16 women at Central United Methodist Church in Concord. She offers about one class a month.
Guthrie asked participants to answer a 10-question survey, titled “Are you ‘attached’ to sugar?” For most of us in the class, the answer was “yes.”
“This is where I’m challenged to walk the talk,” Guthrie said. “I’m doing the best thing for my health. We’re learning to upgrade our sugars. We’re learning to make better choices.”
By “upgrading our sugars,” she means choosing unprocessed, unrefined sugars such as honey and molasses, as opposed to the white crystals in the bowl.
Guthrie started making changes in her diet after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in college. She began a macrobiotic diet and noticed its benefits during treatment. She started her business five years ago.
“To put something in your body that’s fake, that’s not God-made, can come up no good,” she said.
She prefers what she calls “God’s sweeteners.” For example, substituting caramelized red onions for sugar-laden ketchup in meatloaf. Caramelization brings out the onion’s natural sweetness. Guthrie uses balsamic vinegar when cooking the onions in place of sugar.
Guthrie explained that all sugars are ranked on the glycemic index, 0 to 100. Low glycemic foods enter the body slowly; food with higher numbers, more quickly. The sugar in fruit, fructose, is ranked between 15 to 20. Carbohydrates – corn, potatoes, rice, wheat, grain – with glucose are ranked from 55 to 75. Then sucrose, pure sugar, is at 100.
Not all sugars, of course, are created equal. And sugar is a main ingredient in many foods. A 12-ounce bottle of Sprite, for example, has 38 grams of sugar, equal to almost 10 teaspoons.
“It’s shocking!” Guthrie said.
Of course, you’d expect sugar in soft drinks. But what about in “healthy” yogurt? There are almost 7 1/2 teaspoons of sugar in a serving of Yoplait.
“It’s hidden everywhere,” Guthrie said.
Participants in the class were surprised.
“They’re trying to look healthy with these products,” said class member Pamela Sutis. “It’s really deceptive to me.”
Instead, Guthrie recommended stirring honey into plain Greek yogurt. It has 9 grams of sugar (lactose, which comes from dairy foods), and no added sugar. With the honey and her homemade granola, it’s delicious. Local honey, which is unpasteurized, has a glycemic index of 35.
Besides the honey yogurt, the evening’s menu included Magical Meatloaf with Fontina and Mushrooms; Baby Spinach Salad with Bleu Cheese Crumbles and Maple-Cider Vinaigrette; Sweet Potato, Celery and Apple Salad; and Banana-Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies.
It was all delicious, and truth to tell, you’d never miss the refined sugar.
What to use instead? Guthrie compared maple-flavored syrup with corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup as the first two ingredients listed to Pure Vermont Maple Syrup with one ingredient: maple syrup.
“It’s pure,” she said. “It’s a better choice.”

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Bocca Felice Pledges 
to Support Local Producers!

In October 2010, North Carolina launched its 10% Local Campaign, asking its residents to voluntarily pledge to spend 10 percent of their existing food dollars on locally-produced foods. 

North Carolina residents spend an estimated 35 billion dollars a year on food.  By redirecting 10 percent of these dollars to local farmers/producers, we would influence a 3.5 billion dollar increase to our local food economy.  

Bocca Felice has already made the pledge to use as much locally-produced foods in all of its classes and catering, and we encourage you to visit the campaign webpage to pledge your support.  Your efforts will be recorded and made evident to the policy makers in Raleigh.  So please.... 
Make a Choice.  Make a Difference.  Make it Local. 


Gina Appointed to the 
Cabarrus County Food Policy Council

     Bocca Felice's endeavors to make healthy, delicious, local foods available to the people of Cabarrus County will be further perpetuated with my (Gina) June 2010 appointment to the Cabarrus County Food Policy Council.
Gina and Julie Holland volunteer at the FPC booth at the Cabarrus County Fair
     I hope my appointment will provide a new opportunity to encourage the development of a sustainable local food economy and strengthen the community’s connection between food, health and local resource protection. 
     After a successful inaugural year on the council, I am excited to be continuing to hold my seat through 2012. We have made great strides developing a program that brings local food education to the children in our local schools.  We hope to continue to grow this endeavor into an established farm to school program in Cabarrus County.  For more information on the Food Policy Council, this link to the article published in the Salisbury Post.