THE SMALL PICTURE: "I'm definitely on a mission to bump up the wine culture around here," says the Asheville Wine Market's new owner, Larry Weaver, of his intentions to bring in more wine by small, independent vignerons. Photo by Jonathan Ammons

Asheville Wine Market has new owner, new focus on independent wineries

After 21 years of continuous ownership, the Asheville Wine Market has officially changed hands. Opened in 1993 by Eberhard Heide after he left Weinhaus, the store became Asheville’s second wine shop. But rather than a buyout, this takeover seems more like a passing of the scepter. Larry Weaver moved from the New York/New Jersey area […]

TOP TASTING: Larken Egleston, regional brand ambassador for Rémy Cointreau, will visit Top of the Monk on Wednesday, Nov. 19, to host a showcase of Woodford Reserve's finest bourbons. Photo courtesy of Top of the Monk

Top of the Monk event to spotlight bourbon and the Manhattan

No plans for hump day? How about Whiskey Wednesday at Thirsty Monk? On Wednesday, Nov. 19, the regional brand ambassador for Rémy Cointreau, Larken Egleston, will be making his way to Asheville to host a showcase of Woodford Reserve’s finest bourbons at Top of the Monk, the speakeasy above Thirsty Monk. Woodford, based in Versailles, […]

FROM THE HEART: Restaurateur Laurey Masterton (far right in the red hat) was known for both her love of  community and her entrepreneurial savvy. "She was so generous, and yet she was such a sharp businesswoman," remembers her friend Howard Hanger. Mountain Xpress file photo

Asheville’s food pioneers: The legacy of Laurey Masterton

When Laurey Masterton opened her restaurant and catering company storefront, Laurey’s, in 1990, most of Asheville was still degenerate. Barley’s wouldn’t start slinging pizzas until four years later, but Laurey’s sandwich shop paved the way for an entire section of Biltmore Avenue to be revitalized. “Cooking was a big part of their family, and that […]

LOCAL HARVEST: From left, restaurateur Hector Diaz, his wife, Aimee Diaz, and Mike Fortune load produce into Hector's truck for an early-morning delivery. The Diaz' farm, Salsa's 44, supplies produce to their four Asheville restaurants. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Back to the hills: Asheville’s fight for a sustainable farm-to-table system

Mike Fortune started Green Hill Urban Farm nine years ago. From the road, all you see is a large, densely planted yard behind three West Asheville homes; gnarly trees with big bushes underneath. But in fact, the farm raises rabbits, ducks, geese, mushrooms and artichokes; figs, pears, plums, cherries, raspberries, blueberries. It’s hard to believe […]

CHEERS: Downtown farm-to-glass cocktail venture Sovereign Remedies recently opened to the public,  Photo by Jonathan Ammons

A cure for all ills: Sovereign Remedies opens for business

After several months of anticipation, Sovereign Remedies, Asheville’s new farm-to-glass cocktail haven, opened last week. In his typical, community-focused fashion, owner Charlie Hodge first welcomed Asheville bar employees for a Bartenders Brunch on Wednesday, Sept. 3, followed by a family-and-friends event on Friday, Sept. 5, which allowed VIPs and the press to get the first tastes.  The […]

UP IN THE AIR: Scott Thomas, left, and Mike Piroli, right, were hoping to open the Public School bar in the old Standard Paper Sales Co. building on Banks Avenue this fall, but city paperwork has kept the project from getting off the ground as scheduled. Photo by Cindy Kunst

The long hello: Permitting issues drag on for South Slope ventures

Driving by the old Standard Paper Sales building, you can see construction workers carrying equipment in and out and hear the sounds of loud machinery. Vortex had originally planned to open in the space in June, and four other South Slope businesses had their sights on the space for September. As the summer slips away, you can’t help but wonder what’s holding up those projects.

Chef Ulfet Ozyabasligil Ralph, from the Culinary Vegetable Institute in  Charleston, SC, wins the Chefs Challenge. (Mountain Xpress / Jesse Farthing)

Taste of success: Regional chefs battle it out at Chefs Challenge

Crowds of people, people and more people — more than 3,000 — made their way to the annual Asheville Wine & Food Festival at the U.S. Cellular Center downtown on Saturday, Aug. 23. At the end of the evening came the highlight of the festival: the final competition in the annual Chefs Challenge, a cooking competition that pits regional chefs against each other in an Iron Chef-style battle.

GOING COMMERCIAL: Thomas Mincarelli samlpes a commercial wine during the recent judging for the Asheville Wine and Food Festival. Mincarelli won the Double Blue Ribbon in this year's amateur wine competition. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

Blood of the grape: Asheville Wine & Food Festival spotlights local vintners

Asheville may be Beer City, but that’s not the only libation local residents enjoy. Consider the continuing success of the Asheville Wine & Food Festival. Now in its sixth year, the annual celebration of the region’s winemakers, wine shop owners, chefs and restaurants is expanding its focus on local wines, adding a competition for commercial […]