Food news to go: News of the Asheville food scene in small bites

Duane Fernandes has returned to Horizons at the Grove Park Inn after departing just four months ago to helm the food program of a South Carolina resort. Why the quick return? It’s as much about the new food-and-beverage program at the GPI than anything else, he says. “There’s a lot in the works,” says Fernandes. “It’s very, very exciting.” We’ll have more details in next week’s Xpress.

Also, check out the spread on the Admiral in Garden & Gun here. Here’s an excerpt:

The Admiral is a bit more slouchy than crunchy. It’s hip, too, but not in a way that’s unwelcoming. Line cooks, working the galley kitchen, sport tattoos and wear porkpie hats. Regulars, in plaid shirts and skullcaps, take seats at the black laminate bar to listen to the Rolling Stones thud through the speakers while drinking white wine and devouring plates of fried frog legs, served buffalo wing style. Pilgrims, from already gentrified corners of wherever, arrive early to ogle the netherworld interior, lit by neon beer signs and bordello-red table lamps.

Sounds about right.

And, for more in national recognition of Asheville’s food scene, check out the Cooking Channel’s Road Trip with G. Garvin. Garvin and his crew recently visited Asheville, where they went behind the scenes at Cucina 24, also stopping by the Chop Shop Butchery, Blue Water Seafood, a local, unspecified farmers market and Green Man Brewery. Apparently, Garvin makes some food with all of the stuff he found in Asheville, so it sounds like it could have practical applications for the average Ashevillean. The show debuts on the Cooking Channel on Tuesday, June 26, at 9 p.m., again on June 27 at 1 a.m.

In news about the ever-growing restaurant scene in downtown Asheville, The Blackbird Restaurant is opening a location in the new Aloft hotel at 51 Biltmore Ave., says owner Roz Taubman in an email to Xpress. That’s two new restaurants from experienced restaurateurs opening almost directly across from each other on Biltmore. (Did you miss news of the other? Look here.) Taubman promises to let us know us know when there are more updates. For more about the Blackbird, visit

Champa Sushi and Thai, located at 3 Biltmore Ave., will close for much of the month of June for renovations, reopening with a new interior and menu.

Speaking of closings, Harris Teeter on Hendersonville Road will close on Sunday, June 17. A Lowe’s Food grocery store will open a couple of weeks later. Until Harris Teeter closes, the store is offering discounts on various food items, all the way up to half-off for frozen foods — but keep in mind that as of last night (Wednesday, June 7) the discounted goods had been picked somewhat clean, especially the produce and frozen goods (but we still got a good haul). Harris Teeter is located at 378 Hendersonville Road.


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