SNACK ATTACK: "People are crazy for chips because they're everything our prehistoric brains say we love: fat, salt and crunch," says Asheville cookbook author and food stylist Chris Bryant.

Any way you slice it

When, after my mother’s death, my father  married a woman a few ticks above us on the social pecking order, I was initially intimidated — and depressed. Poor Dad was marrying a snob. Our life would never be the same. But when the bride told me her favorite food was potato chips, I knew we’d […]

COMMUNITY FEEDBACK: West End Bakery owner Cathy Cleary says input from her customers, friends and West Asheville neighbors was invaluable in developing her new cookbook. Photo by Paul Jackson

Nourishing a neighborho­od: West End Bakery Cookbook embraces community input

Cathy Cleary has always had a knack for bringing people together.  In 2001, at a time when Haywood Road in West Asheville housed mostly appliance stores, she opened West End Bakery, which she co-owns with Krista Stearns and Lewis Lankford. “Haywood was not a place where people hung out,” says Cleary. “My partners and I […]

PUMPKIN PIE: Peter Affatato, owner and chef of Nona Mia Italian Kitchen, was inspired by his grandmother's pumpkin dishes to make his popular deep-dish, roasted pumpkin pizza. Photo by Nick Moen

Pumpkin pleasers: Asheville food specialtie­s welcome autumn

When Peter Affatato was growing up in Flushing, Queens, his grandmother — his nona — would take him to Long Island farms to buy pumpkins. “She bought them because they were cheap,” says Affatato, owner and chef at Nona Mia Italian Kitchen in West Asheville, “and then she would cook them with everything.” That’s how Affatato came up with Peter’s pumpkin pizza, a pie customers begin calling to ask about as soon as pumpkins start bronzing the fields.