Small bites: HardLox Jewish Food & Heritage Festival

SPREADING THE LOVE: Marty Stickle prepares bagels and lox at a past HardLox festival. Photo courtesy of Marty Gillen

The HardLox Jewish Food & Heritage Festival will schlep its annual “challahbaloo” of klezmer and knishes to Pack Square on Sunday, Oct. 19. Challahbaloo! is the theme for this year’s festival, now enjoying its 12th anniversary, and as always, guests can expect to find a host of traditional Jewish delicacies for their noshing pleasure.

Some of the goodies will be brought in from far afield for the sake of authenticity — the lox comes from a smokehouse in Atlanta, for example, and the knishes are flown in from Gabila’s in Coney Island. “We try to source here,” says event organizer Marty Gillen, “but there are just a lot of Jewish foods you can’t get here in Asheville.”

But Gillen assures that the majority of the eats are handmade. Around 200 volunteers — most of them from the host temple, Beth HaTephila — work weeks ahead making baked goods and specialties. “Last week we made 35 gallons of chicken soup and 1,100 matzo balls, plus rugelach and mandelbread. We do a lot of that kind of baking ourselves because those are the traditional kinds of things that Jewish mothers make,” says Gillen.

All 12 Jewish organizations in the Asheville area will be represented at the festival, and opportunities to learn about and enjoy Jewish culture will abound. Entertainment will include Israeli dancing, klezmer music, a performance by Billy Jonas and more.

There will be crafts, educational activities and a Kids Zone for the younger set, and during an official ceremony, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer will proclaim Oct. 19 as HardLox Day in the city of Asheville.

“Our goal with HardLox has always been to put the Jewish community out there so people can see [its] dynamics and to share our food and music and heritage with Asheville,” Gillen says.

11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, in Pack Square;


Oakley Farmers Market Harvest Festival

The Oakley Farmers Market will wrap up its third season with its annual Harvest Festival and community dinner on Thursday, Oct. 16. Along with the regular market vendors, there will be raffles, live music by Searra Gisondo, balloon and caricature art, outdoor story time with the Oakley/South Asheville Library librarians, a farm tractor exhibit and a Blessing of the Animals ceremony. The outdoor community dinner will feature barbecue pulled chicken latkes with Cajun coleslaw, sweet potato macaroni and cheese, roasted winter squash, kale and apple salad and unlimited homemade desserts. Donations of $7 per adult plate and $5 per child’s plate are suggested to cover the cost of the food. One raffle ticket comes with each meal. The dinner is available throughout the duration of the festival, while supplies last.

3:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, Oakley Farmers Market, 607 Fairview Road (behind Oakley United Methodist Church);

Non-GMO Day

The West Village Market will host a Non-GMO Day event on Saturday, Oct. 18, featuring educational activities and samples of non-GMO beer, wine and food. Local companies, including Silvermoon Chocolate, No Evil Foods, Blue Ridge Mountain Pastured Turkey, Eden Out, Red Moon Herbs, Sow True Seeds and many more, will provide samples, offer information and do demonstrations. Events will include a continuous showing of the documentary film GMO-OMG and an informative scavenger hunt. Non-GMO-certified items on the store’s shelves will be highlighted.

3-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, West Village Market, 771 Haywood Road;


News at Nightbell

It wasn’t that long ago that Katie Button and Felix Meana’s cocktail lounge and nightclub, Nightbell, added a full dinner menu, and this month it rolled out a new series of tasting dinners — the Tuesday Tasting Menu. The interactive meals will feature prix fixe, five-course tasting menus of new dishes dreamed up by Button especially for the event with optional drink pairings created by Meana. Diners will have a chance to talk with Button and Meana, and are asked to complete comment cards to give feedback about their experience. The last dinner of the first series is on Tuesday, Oct. 21, but additional series have been scheduled in November and December. Tuesday Tasting Menu dinners are $48 per person, with $30 extra for the cocktail pairing or $34 for a wine pairing. Nightbell also has a Halloween Masquerade Gala planned for Friday, Oct. 31, complete with magicians, tarot card readings and a costume contest — and, of course, dinner, drinks and dancing. Seating is limited. Tickets range between $6 and $98 per person, including dinner and drinks.

Tuesday Tasting Menu by reservation Tuesday, Oct. 21; Halloween Masquerade Gala, doors open at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, both at Nightbell, 32 S. Lexington Ave.





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