It turns out it’s not just dogs that come running at the first whiff of bacon in the air. Just over 2,000 Ashvilleans flocked to Highland Brewery Saturday for the artery-clogging-but-delicious second annual BaconFest Asheville. Click through for a full report and slide show.
In response to our recent article (“Handcuffed: Asheville Bartenders Decry ABC Law Restrictions,” July 9 Xpress), General Manager Mark Combs of the local Alcoholic Beverage Control system had a few things to say.
Crowds of people, people and more people — more than 3,000 — made their way to the annual Asheville Wine & Food Festival at the U.S. Cellular Center downtown on Saturday, Aug. 23. At the end of the evening came the highlight of the festival: the final competition in the annual Chefs Challenge, a cooking competition that pits regional chefs against each other in an Iron Chef-style battle.
Thanks to a recent event at Seven Sows Bourbon & Larder, many of us can now say we’ve been to “bourbon school.” Monday night, over 70 thirsty patrons poured into the Bourbon & Larder for Heaven Hill Distilleries’ Old Fashioned University, a night of Southern food and whiskey enlightenment.
Asheville may be Beer City, but that’s not the only libation local residents enjoy. Consider the continuing success of the Asheville Wine & Food Festival. Now in its sixth year, the annual celebration of the region’s winemakers, wine shop owners, chefs and restaurants is expanding its focus on local wines.
The battle was fierce, especially for having taken place in a hotel parking lot. As the smoke wafted across the grounds of the inaugural WNC Battle of the Burger on Sunday, Aug. 10, all nine competitors dug into their trenches to grill up the best they had to offer.
Twice a month from July through October, Foothills Farm & Butchery cranks out a four-course meal for no more than 10 guests at a time, calling the dinner the Butcher’s Table.
Xpress contributor Jonathan Ammons recently spent several days in New Orleans reporting on the annual five-day Tales of the Cocktail international cocktail festival. (Yes, it’s a tough job.) As the event wrapped up on Sunday, July 20, Ammons shared a backward glance at this year’s gathering of the worldwide spirits community.
On a rainy Friday afternoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, Asheville’s own Nicole Anhalt came in from the downpour to stake her claim in this year’s Sidecar by Merlet Cocktail Competition. Hosted annually at the country’s largest cocktail conference, Tales of the Cocktail, seven bartenders from across the country competed for a trip to the Merlet […]
It is estimated that this year 22,000 of the world’s finest craft cocktail nerds — including a healthy contingent from Asheville’s bar scene — have either flown, driven or just drunkenly appeared in town to learn from the nation’s most knowledgeable mixology minds. Along with seminars, tasting rooms and classes, there are also competitions and awards ceremonies.
Farm-to-table agriculture has gone mainstream, but does it work as a sustainable model? Some local farmers and restaurateurs aren’t sure, even as they persist in trying.
North Carolina has always had a peculiar relationship with alcohol. Attorney Derek Allen, who represents many Asheville breweries, says, “We’re operating with these rules that were written post-Prohibition to make buying and consuming alcohol as difficult as possible. It’s just crazy to me!”
Looking Glass Creamery opened its facility in 2009. Jennifer Perkins had been working as the cheese maker at the famed Blackberry Farms in Tennessee. When “it got to a point where we were going to have to move out there full time,” she gave up her work at the respected agritourism destination and start a creamery of her own.
By the time we come down from the clouds that cling to the mountains, and pull into Tryon, the rain is hot on our heels on a Friday afternoon. Not good news for the 73 competition barbecue cookers that have come from as far away as Texas and Missouri to try their hand at yet another trophy, this time at the recent Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival.
It is a crystal-clear day when I take my seat in the dining room at Grove Park Inn’s new Vue 1913, a more casual take on farm-to-table dining than the venue’s previous installment, Horizons. I’ve come here for a chef’s tasting, and the fact that the inn even has a chef’s tasting is a good sign that, despite having a burger on the menu, there might be a little more fine dining going on here than meets the eye.
Beginning Saturday, June 21, Seven Sows Bourbon & Larder will host a weekly late-night eats, drinks and dance party.
“Write about the succulent glories of Tar Heel barbecue at one’s own peril,” advised Rosemary Roberts of the Greensboro News & Record, adding, “It’s much safer to take on the National Rifle Association.” Barbecue is North Carolina’s love, lust and food of choice. Heck, it might as well be our state religion. And if love, religion and food are the three most common causes of rifts, rivalries and wars, barbecue is also a battleground.
For most chefs, a two-hour microburst rainstorm at 8 a.m. does not create any significant hurdles in the workday, but for Michael Twitty, it really does. Twitty is not just a chef of pre-Civil War slave foods; he is an historian and an author, and when he cooks, he does everything as it would have been done by his ancestors
Charlie Hodge is no stranger to the cocktail scene. After helping to open Chestnut and developing its beverage program, he went on to head the bar at Bull & Beggar. His newest venture is a farm-to-bar cocktail joint called Sovereign Remedies, which began demolition last week on its tiny 800-square-foot space at the corner of Walnut and Market streets.
While many were sipping fishbowl-sized margaritas and chowing down on fajitas during Cinco de Mayo, a few of us indulged in a different kind of Mexican food experience. Tom Leiner of Grapevine wine distributors teamed up with Chef Marco Garcia to do a special Mexican-themed coursed dinner and wine pairing at the historic Princess Anne Hotel on Chestnut Street.
Running a wine shop isn’t easy. Margins are often surprisingly tight and it can often seem impossible to compete with the prices in the big grocery chains. A number of local wine shops have closed in the last few years, but Table Wine in South Asheville seems to be thriving.