AS SEEN ON TV: Lex 18's new "Downton Abbey" dinner events will allow diners to experience a vintage banquet complete with butlers, footmen and interactions with a few characters from the popular British television show. Photo by Hayley Benton

Small Bites: Downton Abbey in downtown Asheville

The new year will bring a fresh dinner theater experience to Asheville — one that will be of particular interest to fans of the British television series Downton Abbey. On Sunday evenings starting Jan. 4, downtown restaurant Lex 18 will offer live viewings of the popular BBC program while re-creating an aristocratic 1920s meal in […]

Sunny Side Salad: Brunch can be breakfast, it can be lunch — or it can be anything in between. Sunny Point's breakfast salad is one dish that bridges a gap between meals. Photo courtesy of Sunny Point Café

Asheville: Brunch City, U.S.A.

Walking through the streets of downtown Asheville on a chilly Sunday morning, it’s hard not to be tempted by the smell of fresh-roasted coffee wafting from inside cracked doors. Outside, eye-catching rows of sandwich boards line the sidewalk. “Lobster omelette; local eggs,” reads one. “Fresh-squeezed pomegranate mimosa,” reads another, adorned with a colorful chalk-drawing of a tasty-looking […]

Brittain Farms was one of 30 vendors at the Holiday Marketplace by Blue Ridge Food Ventures. Photo by Kat McReynolds

In photos: Holiday Marketplace at Blue Ridge Food Ventures

More than two dozen vendors gathered for Blue Ridge Food Ventures’ annual holiday market, held 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, on A-B Tech’s Enka campus. The event, which drew about 750 shoppers last year, brings together craft food purveyors from Blue Ridge Food Ventures and other suppliers of small-batch goods. “We started […]

HANDYWOMAN: Ashley English's Homemade Living books cover topics like beekeeping, raising chickens, and canning and preserving food. Photo of English from her Small Measure blog

Rhubarb hosts Ashley English Week to honor the local author’s recipes

It’s Ashley English Week at Rhubarb! The local author, known for her Homemade Living book series, is thrilled to be showcasing recipes for both food and drinks at the celebrated restaurant, which she calls one of her favorite local spots. “Who would’ve ever guessed that my patronage of a restaurant so seriously deserving of every […]

FILLING STATION: “A lot of functional crafts pair well with locally made food products, like a serving board and a pizza kit,” says Lindsey Mudge. Find both at the Cool Craft Market. Photo courtesy of Babula Pottery

Cool Craft Market at HandMade in America

“This is one of my favorite events of the year because it’s all about mindfully deciding where to spend holiday dollars,” says Lindsey Mudge, communications and operations manager of HandMade in America. She’s talking about the nonprofit organization’s annual Cool Craft Market — an indoor shopping experience featuring more than 40 vendors of crafts (think […]

Asheville chef William Dissen, owner and executive chef at The Market Place, met with legislators and presidential chef Sam Kass in support of GMO labeling in early December. Photo courtesy of Dissen

Know your GMOs: Asheville chef speaks up at Capitol Hill labeling debate

Asheville chef William Dissen, owner and executive chef at The Market Place, championed states’ rights to enforce genetically modified organism (GMO) food labeling during an activist trip to Capitol Hill earlier this December. Dissen and about two dozen other renowned chefs spoke against the DARK Act (or “Denying Americans the Right to Know”), a proposed bill […]

Photo by Kat McReynolds

Clips Beer & Film Tour releases 2014 attendance figures

According to a press release, New Belgium’s 21-city Clips Beer & Film Tour raised some $139,524 for charities across the nation and drew more than 20,000 guests. The outdoor film and beer-tasting event, which stopped in Asheville on Friday, Sept. 5, raised $5,717 locally with attendance by approximately 1,400 individuals. Asheville’s average waste diversion rate […]

FOOD SAVER: Kingsport, Tenn., resident Celeste Rutledge offloads produce purchased through Real Food Living Azure Co-op at Asheville's Patton Avenue Kmart. The co-op deal's worth the drive, says Rutledge. Photo by John Coutlakis

Real Food Living and WNC Artisan Foods join the buyers club scene

Two local buyers clubs have launched in the Asheville metro area with an eye to helping small businesses, families and individuals. For both, the initiatives are about community building. For over 20 years, Vickilynn Haycraft has ordered quality bulk and natural foods from Azure Standard, a Dufur, Ore.-based company that gives her an alternative to traditional grocery […]

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 […]