COMPETITIVE EDGE: Sheila Tillman, associate dean of hospitality at A-B Tech, says the school's history of participation and success in culinary competitions has boosted Asheville's visibility in the national food scene. Photo by Stewart O'Shields

Asheville’s food pioneers: A-B Tech trains tomorrow’s chefs

A-B Tech’s culinary and hospitality curricula, started in 1968 and accredited by the American Culinary Federation, were the first such programs in North Carolina. Of course, there were far fewer lodging options and high-end food destinations in Asheville back then. But some folks saw the area’s potential and felt that culinary education and tourism were […]

FROM THE FARM: ASAP founder Charlie Jackson began his work in the WNC food community as a farmer in Madison County.

Asheville’s food pioneers: Charlie Jackson and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project

To fully appreciate how rich our local food scene is, it helps to leave town, says Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project founder and executive director Charlie Jackson. “It’s hard to get perspective sometimes,” Jackson says. “But you can really tell [how great Asheville's food scene is] when you have to leave to go someplace else. In […]

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 […]

AIR FORCE: Michel Baudouin was instrumental in organizing local restaurant owners to form Asheville Independent Restaurants. Photos by John Coutlakis

Asheville’s food pioneers: An interview with three of the founders of Asheville Independent Restaurants

One of the most notable aspects of Asheville’s culinary community is its focus on camaraderie rather than competition. Tangible proof of this phenomenon is the success of Asheville Independent Restaurants, an organization formed in 2002 by a group of local chefs and restaurant owners who joined forces to create a united front for the betterment of Asheville’s […]

Grocery store wars: East Asheville Bi-Lo closing

After opening for business 30 years ago in east Asheville, Bi-Lo is closing its grocery store at 801 Fairview Road. The local closure comes as part of a decision by Jacksonville, Fla.-based parent company Bi-Lo Holdings to close 23 Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie grocery stores across the country. Spokesman Brian Write told Supermarket News that the […]

From left to right, French instructor Allison Weems, CSW Andy Hale and Metro Wines co-owners Gina Trippi and John Kerr are the organizers behind Sip and Speak, an educational series for Asheville adults. Photo by Kat McReynolds

Sip and Speak language series pairs wine and words

“This is about the fusion of two passions,” says French instructor and wine enthusiast Allison Weems, explaining the inspiration behind her new continuing education series, Sip and Speak. The Asheville French School founder approached Metro Wines owners Gina Trippi and John Kerr earlier this year with the idea of offering in-store classes exploring basic language […]