Knife & Fork

Flavor: Classic WNC field-to-table Ambiance: Subdued stylish Price: $12-$17 Where: 61 Locust, Spruce Pine Contact: (828) 765-1511 Hours: Tue-Fri, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., 5:30-9 p.m.; Sat, 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. The hardest part of being an artist — other than the measly paychecks and constant parental griping — is surrendering control of your […]

A great appearing act

Rabbit is one of the easiest animals to catch in the woods, but urban diners have had considerably less luck hunting the critter. Rabbit remains frustratingly elusive on Asheville restaurant menus, despite growing demand for its famously nutritious flesh. Everything about rabbit screams local food: Its production is well-suited to small farms. It has a […]

Farmers come to town

In the ongoing contest to get closer to the source of one's food, Asheville restaurateur Laurey Masterton may have achieved a new level of kitchen intimacy. Photo by Jonathan Welch Eaters who merely dabble in locavorism are generally content to know where their tomatoes grew. Slightly geekier grocery-goers might seek out information about who did […]

A long way from local

Tailgate markets are designed to showcase local foods, grown by local farmers on local land. So why does the most popular product at many Western North Carolina tailgate markets hail from 452 miles away? Photo by Jonathan Welch Freshly caught seafood is so beloved by mountain shoppers that many area markets have tweaked their rules […]

Getting your goat

While outsiders might associate mountain cuisine with ramps and corn liquor, Western North Carolinians know the region's most iconic local-food product of the 21st century is goat cheese. It's not surprising that a region as devoutly locavore as ours would embrace goat cheese, which elegantly encapsulates all the best attributes of local food. Goat cheese […]

Market economics

While local-food advocates have conditioned eaters to “buy local,” they haven’t yet persuaded them to “splurge local.” Market insiders, who admit they still haven’t fully deciphered consumer behavior, fret that tailgate markets’ hard-earned reputation as friendly meet-and-greet spots flush with local color may ultimately spell trouble for their commercial success.

Shooting the chef

Sandlin Gaither wanted to point his camera at loud, foul-mouthed, rowdy, besotted subjects, which is pretty much how he ended up shooting chefs. Street vendors, Bangkok, Thailand Photos by Sandlin Gaither "God, they almost look like pirates," local photog Gaither says of the back-of-the-house workers who've become an ongoing project for him. "They have tattoos, […]

Good and greasy

While area chefs have dutifully stocked their pantries with Hickory Nut Gap meats, Sunburst Farms trout and Spinning Spider cheeses, Appalachian food advocates say perhaps the most local of local foods is still missing from area menus. Photo by Jonathan Welch "People who like to eat out should see more beans with local history," asserts […]

Teaching vino

If you're wondering whether the recent dry spell in Mendoza will mean trouble for the next round of Argentinian wines, Jess Gualano will gladly geek out with you. But the 30-year-old owner of Asheville Wine Consulting — and the resident wine expert at West Asheville's Hops & Vines — would rather field questions like the […]

Canyon Kitchen

Flavor: Southern seasonal Ambiance: Cookout at a wealthy relative's summer place Price: $35 Where: Lonesome Valley, Cashiers Contact: (828) 743-7696, ext. 222 Hours: Friday and Saturday evenings, Sunday midday meal Xpress food writer Hanna Rachel Raskin can be contacted at food@mountainx.com. Lonesome Valley, a planned community plopped into a Cashiers valley with a singularly gorgeous […]