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 […]

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 […]

MENU FOR ALL: Despite its seacentric name, Oyster House offers plenty of vegetarian-friendly fare, including a hummus plate, red beans and kale and a spinach-mushroom burger. Photo by Jayson Im

Carnivore name, vegetarian game: 12 Bones, King Daddy’s and Oyster House offer more than their titles suggest

By now, Jim Klingel is accustomed to the misconceptions that the name Oyster House Brewing Co. yields. On a regular basis, the restaurant’s chef hears that his brother Billy’s brewpub is owned by The Lobster Trap (it’s not, though its roots began there), that all of the beers are made with oysters (only the stouts […]

PUMPKIN PIE: Peter Affatato, owner and chef of Nona Mia Italian Kitchen, was inspired by his grandmother's pumpkin dishes to make his popular deep-dish, roasted pumpkin pizza. Photo by Nick Moen

Pumpkin pleasers: Asheville food specialties welcome autumn

When Peter Affatato was growing up in Flushing, Queens, his grandmother — his nona — would take him to Long Island farms to buy pumpkins. “She bought them because they were cheap,” says Affatato, owner and chef at Nona Mia Italian Kitchen in West Asheville, “and then she would cook them with everything.” That’s how Affatato came up with Peter’s pumpkin pizza, a pie customers begin calling to ask about as soon as pumpkins start bronzing the fields.

FEAST TEAM: Kelly Shea, Jeremy Seifert, Jamie Ager, Dan Rattigan and Kevin Fletcher. Photo by Grant G. Edwards, partner, creative director of Socialoriate

Preserving our place on the planet: A food-community discussion on GMO and organics

At the farm-to-table Feast hosted on Monday, Sept. 29th, a hundred guests, including local farmers, bakers, chefs, restaurant and market owners, food activists and stakeholders in the local food economy, gathered at The Hub in West Asheville. Feast, inspired and organized by Rebecca Friedman, owner of Farmer’s Daughter Catering, was an invite-only occasion designed to […]