Small bites: A La Mode Macaron opens on Merrimon Avenue

ALL THINGS MACARON: A La Mode Macaron offers an ever-changing rotation of weekly flavors, including vegan options. A highlight of the menu is macaron ice cream sandwiches, plus there are macaron lollipops and cupcakes. Photo courtesy of A La Mode Macaron
ALL THINGS MACARON: A La Mode Macaron offers an ever-changing rotation of weekly flavors, including vegan options. A highlight of the menu is macaron ice cream sandwiches, plus there are macaron lollipops and cupcakes. Photo courtesy of A La Mode Macaron

When Autumn Fuller was 7 years old, a fire broke out in her family’s home. Overheated cooking oil sparked flames that consumed the property. While no one was injured in the blaze, Fuller says the event left her traumatized. As a result, the former bookkeeper-turned-baker avoided the kitchen throughout her childhood and much of her early adult life. “My husband did all the cooking,” she says.

But in 2014, when her son, Bo, was born, things changed. “I was watching a lot of Food Network and thought, ‘It doesn’t look that scary,’” she says. “And eventually it got me out of my shell to where I was making caramel and boiling sugars on the stovetop. My husband was like, ‘Who are you?’”

On Wednesday, June 6, Fuller plans to open A La Mode Macaron — her first storefront — on Merrimon Avenue. As its name suggests, the eatery will specialize in the European meringue-based cookie dessert (not to be confused with coconut-based macaroons) with an ever-changing rotation of weekly flavors, including vegan options. A highlight of the menu is macaron ice cream sandwiches, plus there are macaron lollipops and cupcakes.

“On top of that we do character macarons,” Fuller says, noting specialities including Winnie the Pooh, unicorns and teddy bears.

Fuller and her family arrived in Asheville earlier this year by way of Sarasota, Fla. The baker says she is still navigating the local food scene but notes the positive reception from people within the culinary community.

When it comes to Asheville as a whole, Fuller says her hope is fairly simple. “Just like any ice cream parlor, I want to create a fun and enjoyable environment that families want to bring their kids back to again.”

A La Mode Macaron is at 640 Merrimon Ave. It will open Wednesday, June 6. The store’s tentative hours are noon-8 p.m., seven days a week.  For more information, visit avl.mx/4zy.

VegOut returns

The third annual VegOut returns to Pisgah Brewing Co. on Saturday, June 9, with live music, food and family-focused activities. The gathering, presented by Native Kitchen and Social Pub, benefits Bounty & Soul, a nonprofit that seeks to create healthier communities through accessibility to fresh produce, nutrition literacy, and health and wellness counseling. Featured bands include The Paper Crowns, Chalwa and The Campfire Reverends, and Farm to Fender food truck will be on hand serving food. A bounce house, face painting and the LEAF Community Arts Easel Rider will be on-site to entertain the younger attendees.

VegOut runs 1-6 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at Pisgah Brewing Co., 150 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain. Tickets are $10. For details, visit avl.mx/501.

Wildcrafted Cocktails

No Taste Like Home will host a workshop, Wildcrafted Cocktails, on Saturday, June 9, in Barnardsville. Instructor Becky Beyer will lead participants in a foraging session where they will identify and gather botanicals for cocktail mixers and elixirs. “This class is a great intro for anyone interested in learning more about wild foods in our area, or wanting to find new ways to incorporate plants you already know and love into your everyday life,” says Rebekah Jopling, managing director at No Taste Like Home. “As with all our tours and classes, our hope is that everyone leaves feeling a little more connected to the natural world we share and inspired to learn even more.”

Wildcrafted Cocktails runs 1-4 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at Hawk & Hawthorne Bed and Breakfast, 133 North Fork Road, Barnardsville. Tickets are $75 per person. To purchase, visit avl.mx/503.

Spring garden party

On Sunday, June 10, Green Life Inn at Mimosa in Tryon will host a spring garden party featuring barbecue, mimosas, wine, coffee, tea and bee-themed desserts. The party will also feature lawn games and an auction, with all proceeds from the event to benefit The Free Clinics, a community-based, volunteer-driven organization that offers health care for uninsured, low-income people in Henderson and neighboring counties.

The spring garden party runs 12:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 10, at Green Life Inn at Mimosa, 65 Mimosa Inn Drive, Tryon. Tickets are $35 for adults, $25 for children. To purchase, visit avl.mx/4zz.

Edible and Medicinal Wild Food

Villagers will host a two-hour workshop on edible and medicinal wild foods led by herbalist Danielle Eavenson. Participants will be instructed on how to identify, harvest and use edible and medicinal plants. According to the event’s Facebook page, students will “learn about the abundant nutrition available in wild foods as we explore tinctures, vinegars, salves, poultices and tea.”

Edible and Medicinal Wild Food runs 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 10, at Villagers, 278 Haywood Road. Tickets are $20-$30 per person on a sliding scale. To purchase, visit avl.mx/502.

Firestorm closes its café

After 10 years, Firestorm Books & Coffee recently announced that it will no longer offer its full-service cafe. However, guests will still find food and drink options inside the bookstore. A self-serve station will feature $1 drip coffee and tea (for those who bring their own mug or consume their beverage while on-site). Other options will include dried mango and chocolate minis from Equal Exchange, muffins from West End Bakery and locally made cookies and brownies. “Like all decisions, this was a trade-off,” the store posted on its website. “We’ve chosen to focus on books and community events over lattes and sandwiches because that’s what we think our community needs, and that’s where our passions are strongest.”

Firestorm Books & Coffee is at 610 Haywood Road. For more information, visit avl.mx/500.

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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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