Mela’s got heart: Mela Indian Restaurant will donate 15 percent of all receipts on Wednesday, April 26, to benefit the building of the Seth Olson Playground at Isaac Dickson Elementary School in Asheville. The playground is for younger children, and is being named in honor of a kindergarten teacher who passed away last fall. Anoop Krishnan, Mela’s owner, has two children at the school. See news about the playground at www.experiencetheplayground.com. Mela is located at 70 Lexington Ave. in downtown Asheville; for more information, call 225-8880.
Screening and snacks: The Marketplace restaurant in Asheville will host a fund-raiser for filmmaker Lilach Dekel on Thursday, April 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will feature a screening of Dekel’s work in progress, Food for Thought: A Family’s Journey through the American Food Trail, a documentary that follows a family in their exploration of “the sprawling mechanism that stocks our supermarket shelves and fills our kitchen.” The event is sponsored by the Asheville Slow Food Convivium, and Jim Cochran of Swanton Berries Farms will moderate. Admission is $5 per person, which includes wine and hors d’oeuvres; additional donations are welcome. Seating is limited; call 252-4162 for reservations.
Market season is here: The season for outdoor farmers markets is swiftly approaching. Think of those fresh tomatoes, that delicious okra, those fragrant herbs … yum! “Tailgate markets play a key role, in that farmers can grow a fantastic variety of interesting foods, pick them at the peak of ripeness and sell them with no middle man,” says Peter Marks of the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. Customers, he adds, can find great value in tailgate markets while knowing that they are directly benefiting the farmers and our local economy. For a complete list of farmers markets in WNC, visit www.AppalachianGrown.org.
Through the grapevine: The Hobnob restaurant is coordinating a five-course wine dinner accompanied by wines presented by the Weinhaus. The restaurant’s chef and owner, Marc Dambax, previously owned Market East Bistro in Charleston, S.C., and has received extensive training in France. Cost is $55, all inclusive. This event begins at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 15. The Hobnob is located at 226 W. Main St. in Brevard. For reservations or more information, call Hobnob at 966-4662 or the Weinhaus at 254-6453.