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 […]

Filling vacant positions has been a struggle for the city of Asheville, according to development services director Shannon Tuch, who says that economic growth has increased demand for development specialists across the state. Photo by John Coutlakis

Permit pileup: Following the paper trail for Asheville’s growing food economy

Nicknames like “Beer City USA,” “Foodtopia” and “Paris of the South” all acknowledge Asheville’s increasing significance as a food and drink haven. But for city development officials, keeping pace with the permitting needs of a burgeoning food industry has been a hard bite to swallow. THE RESTAURATEUR’S HOLY GRAIL A certificate of occupancy must be […]

COMING SOON: Chef Patrick O'Cain hopes to open his new Asian restaurant, Gàn Shān Station, this winter. Photo by Tim Robison

Co-executive chef named for Gàn Shān Station

Patrick O’Cain has chosen a kitchen co-conspirator for Gàn Shān Station, his new venture on Charlotte Street. On Tuesday, O’Cain, owner of the soon-to-open Asian-themed restaurant, announced that Charleston, S.C., chef Chris Hathcock will join him in the role of co-executive chef at the eatery, which is slated to open later this year in the old gas station at […]