Small bites: A FEAST at Sunny Point Café

KEEP IT LOCAL: Last year’s inaugural FEAST in the Sunny Point Garden Benefit Dinner featured dishes such as fresh spring rolls (pictured) and house-made pork chorizo tacos. This year’s event will also highlight farm-fresh, locally sourced meat and produce. Photo by Alice io Oglesby
KEEP IT LOCAL: Last year’s inaugural FEAST in the Sunny Point Garden Benefit Dinner featured dishes such as fresh spring rolls (pictured) and house-made pork chorizo tacos. This year’s event will also highlight farm-fresh, locally sourced meat and produce. Photo by Alice io Oglesby

Yes, Asheville has acclaimed restaurants and award-winning chefs, but when it comes to Foodtopia’s affordability, Kate Justen, director of Youth Programs for Bountiful Cities, considers it a tale of two cities. “The people who live here can’t afford to buy the food that’s really good for us,” she says.

Part of the nonprofit’s remedy for this disparity is its FEAST program, which stands for Fresh, Easy, Affordable, Sustainable and Tasty. On Monday, Aug. 6, the organization will team up with Sunny Point Café and Riverbend Malt House for the second consecutive FEAST in the Sunny Point Garden Benefit Dinner.

As with last year’s event, Sunny Point Café will provide the farm-fresh sides and signature desserts, and Riverbend Malt House will supply the locally raised pork. The menu will include such items as jerk pork kabobs with peach salsa; garden veggie focaccia pizza; pork empanadas with goat cheese crema and avocado crema; and blueberry lemon slab pies. Several breweries have been contacted about participating in the fundraiser; at press time, Archetype Brewing was the only one confirmed.

FEAST offers courses in classrooms and through after-school programs throughout Buncombe County, providing students with skills and knowledge that can help bring the Asheville dining experience home. Through the program, participants are taught how to grow and prepare their own food and are directed to locations where their families can buy discounted produce. FEAST also highlights and encourages participation in school and community gardens. This insight, Justen notes, “allows students to eat really yummy food and not have to pay the restaurant farm-to-table prices, which can be hard for a lot of people.”

Along with raising much-needed funds for the FEAST program, Riverbend Malt House sales manager Brent Manning says the benefit dinner does a wonderful job of capturing the shared mission “of promoting locally sourced, sustainable ingredients throughout Western North Carolina.”

For Justen, the dinner (much like the FEAST program itself), is also a great way to reintroduce folks to produce they may have dismissed years ago. “I think people get kind of trapped in that mindset of ‘I don’t like this thing,’” she says. “It’s not, ‘I don’t like tomatoes,’” she explains. “It’s ‘I don’t like tomatoes this way, but I love them this way.’”

FEAST in the Sunny Point Garden runs 5:30-8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6, at Sunny Point Café, 626 Haywood Road. Tickets are $50 each and are available at avl.mx/54u.

Green Opportunities seeks community input

With the recent exit of chef instructor Gene Ettison to pursue entrepreneurial and community-building ventures, Green Opportunities, a nonprofit that trains, supports and connects individuals from marginalized communities to sustainable employment, is looking to select the next head chef instructor for its Kitchen Ready training program and Southside Kitchen social enterprise. On Wednesday, Aug. 1, the nonprofit will host a community gathering to seek input from residents about the ideal candidate.

The community meeting runs 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, at Green Opportunities, 133 Livingston St. For more information, visit avl.mx/54w.

Roastery tour at Pisgah Coffee Roasters

On Thursday, Aug. 2, Pisgah Coffee Roasters will host its inaugural roastery tour, where guests can learn about growing, harvesting and processing coffee beans, the roasting and packaging process, and the story behind Pisgah Coffee Roasters. “We hope to host these [tours] monthly once we get them going,” says manager Ashlynne Ray.

The free tour begins at noon, Thursday, Aug. 2, at Pisgah Coffee Roasters, 6283 Asheville Highway, Pisgah Forest. For more, visit pisgahroasters.com.

Sweet Fermented Night Out

Dry fruit wines, farmhouse ciders and sweet fermented desserts will be served at the Sweet Fermented Night Out on Thursday, Aug. 9. Hosted by Wine Sage & Gourmet, the event will also feature beverages from Botanist and Barrel as well as sweet and savory treats from Fermenti.

Sweet Fermented Night Out begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, at Wine Sage & Gourmet, 416 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Tickets are $25. To purchase, call 828-595-2236.

Famous Toastery of Asheville

Last month, Famous Toastery of Asheville opened on South Tunnel Road. Originally formed in 2005 in Huntersville by friends Brian Burchill and Robert Maynard, the restaurant was franchised in 2013. The eatery describes itself as the “gourmet better-breakfast concept and answer to the boring brunch segment.” Menu highlights include biscuits and gravy, stuffed French toast, melts, wraps, salads and desserts.

Famous Toastery of Asheville is at 4 S. Tunnel Road. Hours are 7 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. For more, visit avl.mx/54z.

Uber Eats in Asheville

Uber recently launched Uber Eats in Asheville. The app provides food delivery services to any desired location within city limits. Blue Dream Curry House, Twisted Laurel, Gan Shan Station and The Hop Ice Cream Café are among the 43 local restaurants and eateries participating so far. Users can place and track orders and tip drivers through the service.

For more information, visit ubereats.com.

New ownership for Webo’s BBQ

A.J. Gregson and Autumn Pittman, owners of Mojo Kitchen & Lounge, recently purchased Webo’s BBQ from founders Wendell and Bonnie Kurtz. The East Asheville barbecue spot first opened in 2011. “Our goal is not to reinvent the wheel, but to improve on the concept already there,” says Pittman, noting plans to add new sides, daily specials and seasonal options to the menu. The couple plan to eventually rebrand, she adds, but will continue to operate the space as a barbecue restaurant. “We are excited to take it to the next level and bring new energy to the space,” she says.

Webo’s BBQ is at 800 Fairview Road, suite C8. The restaurant is open Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. with plans to add Saturday and evening hours. For more, visit webosbbq.com

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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist. For his weekly #tuesdayhistory tidbits on Asheville, follow him on Instagram @tcalder.

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