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 […]

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 […]

Actress and writer Kelli Cozlin, right, has been teaming up with Lexington Avenue Brewery chef Michael Fisera, left, to produce a beer dinner experience like no other  in town. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Play with your food: Kelli Cozlin wants to bring more dinner theater to Asheville

Kelli Cozlin is cooking up a new feast for the senses. The actress and writer is hoping to add dinner theater to Asheville’s lively food and entertainment mix. And based on years of experience acting in and producing shows across the country, she thinks it’s sure to be a recipe for success. “I feel like […]

WEB COMMUNITY: Jeff Miller, owner of Luella's Bar-B-Que, volunteered to help with the development of Behind the Apron, a new online resource for the local restaurant industry. Photo by Dylan Ireland

Behind the Apron: Asheville Independent Restaurants launches a new online industry resource

In Asheville, many restaurateurs realize that cooperation trumps competition. The local culinary scene is well-known for its collaborative spirit, and behindtheapron.com, a new business-to-business website recently unveiled by Asheville Independent Restaurants, aims to enhance and expand that synergy. Unlike AIR’s current website, which is mostly consumer-based, Behind the Apron was created to be a resource for the organization’s 120-plus member restaurants. […]

SIMPLE CELEBRATIONS: Apple stack cakes made with locally accessible ingredients like sorghum, buttermilk and dried apples were among simple but delicious dishes traditionally served on Appalachian holiday tables. Photo by Tim Robison

Preserving tradition: Appalachian Food Storybank collects tales of mountain meals

Lester and Marietta Crayton of Asheville have been married for 70 years and grew up on farmland that is now the Oakley community in East Asheville. Marietta recalls going barefoot all summer and that when fall came, she gathered chestnuts to sell to the grocery man so she could buy shoes in Mars Hill for school. The Appalachian Food Storybank has been collecting stories like these since 2011. (photo by Tim Robison)

TOP TASTING: Larken Egleston, regional brand ambassador for Rémy Cointreau, will visit Top of the Monk on Wednesday, Nov. 19, to host a showcase of Woodford Reserve's finest bourbons. Photo courtesy of Top of the Monk

Top of the Monk event to spotlight bourbon and the Manhattan

No plans for hump day? How about Whiskey Wednesday at Thirsty Monk? On Wednesday, Nov. 19, the regional brand ambassador for Rémy Cointreau, Larken Egleston, will be making his way to Asheville to host a showcase of Woodford Reserve’s finest bourbons at Top of the Monk, the speakeasy above Thirsty Monk. Woodford, based in Versailles, […]

CHILI CHAMPS: From left to right, 2013 chili champion Jerry Hubbard,   who placed third in this year's Chili and Cornbread Cook-off , is pictured with second-place chili winner Colleen Harris and this year's double winner, Robert Duncan. Photo by Jackie Kitchen

Swannanoa cook-off names chili, cornbread champ

Swannanoa native Robert Duncan nabbed both of the top prizes in Swannanoa United Methodist Church’s second annual Chili and Cornbread  Cook-off on Saturday, Nov. 8, according to a press release from event organizers. Colleen Harris of  Black Mountain won second prize in the chili category and third prize went to Jerry Hubbard  of  Hendersonville, who won last […]

NUTRITION ON WHEELS: Olufemi Lewis at the wheel of the Ujamaa Freedom Market, the rolling produce store she operates with partner Calvin Allen. Ujamaa recently received a grant from Whole Foods Market's Whole Cities Foundation. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Ujamaa Freedom Market wins grant from Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market Asheville announced on Thursday, Nov. 6, that local worker-owned mobile produce vendor Ujamaa Freedom Market was among 12 nonprofit organizations in the Southeast tapped to receive grants from Whole Foods Market’s Whole Cities Foundation. The grants were funded by money raised during the company’s quarterly 5% Day community giving event on Aug. 19. Ujamaa […]