Small bites: Chef Brian Canipelli branches out

JOINING FORCES: Chef Brian Canipelli, center, joined Burial Beer Co. as its food director in 2018. Also pictured, from left, are Doug Reiser, Jess Reiser and Tim Gormley of Burial. Photo by Thomas Calder

A new partnership has formed at Burial Beer Co. On July 11, the Asheville craft brewery launched its new kitchen, simply known as Burial, under the direction of James Beard Award-nominated chef and Cucina 24 owner Brian Canipelli. The new addition replaces Salt & Smoke, which closed not long after owners Shannon and Josiah McGaughey opened Vivian in the River Arts District.

Like Cucina 24, Canipelli says the menu at Burial will be seasonal. “As things come in, that’s the way I like to make dishes,” he explains. But unlike Cucina 24, his latest project will not be based on Italian food traditions. Burgers and sandwiches are among the kitchen’s staples, with brunch options served on Sunday. Prices are in the $6-$12 range. Over time, Canipelli notes, he intends to experiment with and find inspiration from beer byproducts.

In addition to the new operation at Burial’s South Slope taproom, Canipelli will also act as food director at the brewery’s second location at 16 Shady Oak Drive just outside Biltmore Village. The Forestry Camp restaurant and bar is scheduled to open this fall. Menu plans are still in the works, but according to co-owner Jess Reiser, the venue will offer a variety of seasonal boards and family-style options. Along with food, the Forestry Camp will focus on international beer, wines and amaro, and its coffee program will highlight roasters from across the country.

For Canipelli, the chance to work with a group of like-minded people is what drew him to the new venture. Both he and the folks at Burial, he points out, share an interest in and respect for deeply rooted traditions. “The older I get, as far as cooking goes, the more I rely on things that are classics,” he says. “I like to take the knowledge that I’ve accrued and the things that interest me and the ingredients that I get in and apply them to classic ideas.”

Burial Beer Co. is at 40 Collier Ave. The kitchen is open 4-9 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 2-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday and noon-3 p.m. Sunday. For more, visit

NC Fine Wine Society Dinner

Posana’s NC Fine Wine Society Dinner on Thursday, July 19, will feature a six-course meal paired with six North Carolina wines. The dinner’s mission is to introduce diners to fine wines made in-state. Menu highlights include confit seafood ravioli, grilled ahi tuna and sous vide heritage pork shoulder. The evening’s wines, judged by advanced sommeliers from the Court of Master Sommeliers, include Point Lookout Vineyards Riesling 2016, Raffaldini Vineyards Vermentino Superiore 2016, Midnight Magdalena Vineyards Merlot NV, Parker-Binns Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2015, Jones Von Drehle Petit Verdot 2014 and Surry Cellars Blue Ridge Bubbles 2016.

The NC Fine Wine Society Dinner runs 6:30-9:15 p.m. Thursday, July 19, at Posana, 1 Biltmore Ave. Tickets are $100 each. Seating is limited. For details and tickets, call 828-505-3969.

Spruce Pine BBQ & Bluegrass Festival

The seventh annual Spruce Pine BBQ & Bluegrass Festival returns Friday and Saturday, July 20-21, with food and craft vendors, live music, championship mountain clogging teams and an antique tractor and farm equipment show. Pets, coolers and outside drinks are prohibited. A portion of the event’s proceeds will go toward the hiking/biking path from Riverside Park in Spruce Pine to the Blue Ridge Parkway along the historic Overmountain Victory Trail.

The festival runs 4-10 p.m. Friday, July 20, and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at Riverside Park, 305 Tappan St., Spruce Pine. Single-day general admission is $5. Children 12 and younger enter for free. A $1 beer wristband is required for adults 21 and older who wish to consume alcohol. For more, visit

Sunday Soiree Friendship Dinner

Folkmoot, the nonprofit dedicated to celebrating cultures from around the globe, has teamed up with Blind Pig Supper Club for an evening of locally grown, internationally themed delicacies. Along with the evening’s meal, four youth cultural groups will perform, including Lillian Chase, Dvdaya Swimmer, The Urban Arts Institute and the Tuscola High School Jazz Band.

The Sunday Soiree Friendship Dinner begins at 5 p.m. Sunday, July 22, at the Folkmoot Friendship Center, 112 Virginia Ave., Waynesville. Tickets are $65 for adults, $30 for kids. To purchase, visit or call 828-452-2997.

TreeRock Social’s Cookie-Chill-Off

TreeRock Social Cider House is hosting its inaugural Cookie-Chill-Off on Sunday, July 22. The event will benefit Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Project. The bake-off will feature a multitude of desserts, including cookies and brownies, along with ice cream from Luscious Liquor Ice Cream. Prizes will be awarded in several categories, including gluten-free and children ages 7-12. The entry fee is $10 per item. Tasting/judging tickets are $5 per person. Outdoor games will be available throughout the day. The gathering is dog-friendly.

The Cookie-Chill-Off runs 2-5 p.m. Sunday, July 22 at TreeRock Social Cider House, 760 Biltmore Ave. To register, email

Award of Excellence for the Blackbird Restaurant

Wine Spectator recently recognized The Blackbird Restaurant with an Award of Excellence. Noted for its selection of Californian, French and Spanish wines, The Blackbird Restaurant will be included in Wine Spectator’s Aug. 31 issue.

The Blackbird is at 47 Biltmore Ave. To view its wine list, visit


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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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