Highland Brewing Co. employee Jay pours his favorite brew, the Gaelic Ale, for attendees of the 2014 Food Blog Forum. Photo by Maria McReynolds

Asheville hosts 120 hungry bloggers

Ashevilleans, more so than residents of many other cities, know where their food is raised, grown or picked and can often participate in the process with little effort. This reverence for cuisine afforded Asheville the honor of hosting Food Blog Forum’s 2014 conference, a three-day networking and educational event for 120 food bloggers from across the nation.

FEEDING SUCCESS: Jack's Nut Butters owner Jack Fischer will talk about his business and expansion goals at the Financing Our Foodshed Gathering on Sunday, Aug. 24. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

Local dollars, local food: Slow Money NC hosts Financing Our Foodshed Gathering

Carol Peppe Hewitt is a matchmaker of sorts. As cofounder of the North Carolina chapter of the international nonprofit organization Slow Money and author of Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food With Slow Money, Hewitt’s goal is to help sustainability-minded food entrepreneurs and community members interested in supporting their work meet and — quite possibly — fall in love.

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 […]

The Whole Foods mobile kitchen will donate its Aug. 18 sales to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. Photo courtesy of Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market to set up mobile kitchen on Tunnel Road

Upscale grocer Whole Foods has planned a week of mobile kitchen feasts in anticipation of the grand opening at its 4 S. Tunnel Road location. The campaign kicks off with a “community giving day” on Aug. 18, at which nonprofit Brother Wolf Animal Rescue will be the sole beneficiary of all food sales.

Xpress file photo.

Mellow Mushroom celebrates #40YrsBaked

On Aug. 20, popular pizza chain Mellow Mushroom will celebrate 40 years in business by offering customers extremely cheap eats, including a $2.50 small cheese pizza. Mellow Mushroom’s marketing team is encouraging patrons to celebrate their event, Way back Wednesday, by posting social media under the hashtag #40YrsBaked – a slogan that may or may not refer to the company’s stone-baked pizza.

Valet Gourmet owner Kenan Hopkins takes his dog Mayday for a stroll. Photo by Jared Kay

Special delivery: Valet Gourmet takes Knoxville

Valet Gourmet, an Asheville-­based multi-­restaurant delivery service, expanded its operations into Knoxville, Tenn., as of Monday, Aug. 4, by acquiring a similar delivery business called 622­-EATS. Founder Kenan Hopkins closed the deal with 622-­EATS and started fulfilling orders in Knoxville the very same day. “We’re only one week in, but the response has just been […]

Renovations continue at Ben's Penny Mart. Photo courtesy of Ben's Tune-Up

Ben’s Tune-Up brings new convenience store to South Slope

“Everybody needs sodas and cigarettes and snacks,” says Ben’s Tune-Up co-owner Meg Alt. Now, individuals who work and play downtown have an expedient means to get these items. Ben’s Penny Mart, Asheville’s newest convenience store and hangout, is scheduled to open on Friday, Aug. 15, at 195 Hilliard Ave. adjacent to Hi-Wire Brewing. The hours […]

A $20 pledge earns donors one Thru Hike game. Photo courtesy of Thru Hike's Facebook page

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. THRU HIKE: THE APPALCHIAN TRAIL […]

GET FIRED UP: Darren Stephens' patent-pending wood-fired oven cooks a 20-inch pizza in just 90 seconds.

Amazing Pizza Co. rolls out mobile franchise plan

Western North Carolina’s (and the nation’s) mobile food trend continues to roll along: Darren Stephens of Mills River believes he may have found a new market niche with mobile pizza kitchens. Nearly two years of research and development and about $60,000 pumped into the Asheville-area economy have yielded a compact, wood-fired oven that cranks out […]

COOKING WITH CONFIDENCE: Making sure employees are ServSafe-certified "makes me more confident in my crew, myself as a chef and the food we serve," says Amy Lawson, chef at Nine Mile West. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

Safety first: Local restaurants team up with Goodwill for food-safety training

With 109 food-poisoning cases in Buncombe County in 2013 — and probably more that went unreported — Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina has teamed up with the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association to train local workers and certify them through the national ServSafe program. “Making people sick is bad business, and you can definitely take measures […]

Early Girl Eatery owners Julie and John Stehling are pictured with Southern Living food critic Morgan Murphy, center, during Murphy's recent visit to their Wall Street restaurant. Photo courtesy of Early girl Eatery

Southern Living food critic visits Early Girl Eatery

Southern Living food critic, author and television personality Morgan Murphy visited Asheville on Sunday, July 13, with the mission of sampling two specific menu items at Wall Street’s Early Girl Eatery: the Early Girl benny and the local sausage and sweet-potato scramble. “I am constantly searching the South for the most inventive and creative fare — and hot […]