Small bites: Food Connection’s Hunger Relief Concert returns to The Grey Eagle

FEEDING THE SOUL: Lyric will be among the performers at this year's Hunger Relief Concert. Photo by Stephan Pruitt of Dig Local

The Hunger Relief Concert, presented by Wicked Weed Brewing, makes its third annual appearance at The Grey Eagle on Saturday, March 4, with proceeds benefiting the nonprofit Food Connection.

“This event is all about celebrating community,” says Food Connection founder Flori Pate. Since its launch in December of 2014, the organization has delivered 35,000 fresh meals to groups that work to feed the hungry.

Community, emphasizes Pate, is the driving force behind the nonprofit’s success. Local restaurants and caterers contact Food Connection when they have an excess of untouched food that would otherwise be thrown away. With help from Asheville Taxi, these offerings get picked up and delivered to organizations throughout the city. “We try to ease hunger and reduce food waste in Asheville by providing a service that connects places with too much food to places without enough,” she says.

Tickets for the show are $12 in advance, $14 at the door; entry for kids 5 and older are $5; children 5 and younger are admitted free. All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Food Connection. “This is our one very large fundraiser of the year,” says Pate. The money, she adds, helps cover the nonprofit’s annual transportation costs.

The evening’s performers will include Ashely Heath and Her Heathens, Lyric and Jr. Hames and the Late Guitar. A $5 raffle and silent auction, which will also benefit Food Connection, will also be part of the mix.

“Asheville is known to be a food destination town,” says Pate. “People travel from all over the world to come and eat here. The fact that we’ve filled a niche that connects that same food … to people in our area who might not necessarily know where their next meal is coming from is the essence of Food Connection.”

The Hunger Relief Concert is at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 4, at The Grey Eagle, 185 Clingman Ave. Tickets are available at For more information on the event, visit

Conscious Brews

Highland Brewing will host its third annual Conscious Brews on Sunday, March 5, in conjunction with Brain Injury Awareness Month. The free event will feature food from Ceci’s Culinary Tour, improv comedy, a live auction and live music. For every beer purchased that day, a dollar will be donated to the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina.

The third annual Conscious Brews runs noon-6 p.m. Sunday, March 5, at Highland Brewing, 12 Old Charlotte Highway. For more information, visit

Asheville Wing War 2017

Luella’s Bar-B-Que, Salvage Station, Chop House Asheville and other local food spots will be competing in this year’s sixth annual Asheville Wing War. A production of All American Food Fights, the event will pit restaurant against restaurant to determine who makes the best wings in a variety of categories. Beer from Pisgah Brewing Co. and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. will be for sale at the event. Entertainment will include performances from The Digs and Goldie and the Screamers.

The Asheville Wing War runs 2-5 p.m. Sunday, March 5, at the Asheville Crown Plaza Expo Center, 1 Resort Drive. The event benefits Sleep Tight Kids, a nonprofit that donates newly purchased bedtime-related items for children in need. VIP tickets have sold out. General admission tickets cost $8. Wings will be for sale for $1 a wing. For tickets, visit

Cutting Chai available online

Chai Pani debuted its 10-episode documentary series, Cutting Chai, at the Atlanta Film Festival in March 2016. The first three episodes are now available on the restaurant’s YouTube channel, “Chai Pani Channel,” as well as on the documentary’s official website, Episodes 4-6 will be available online Tuesday, March 14; the final three episodes will be released on Tuesday, April 11.

For more information visit

Dine To Be Kind

On Tuesday, March 7, more than 40 local restaurants will donate 15 percent of their food and drink sales to Asheville Humane Society during the nonprofit’s 14th annual Dine To Be Kind fundraiser. An additional six restaurants — Avenue M, Native Kitchen & Social Pub, Roux at Hilton Biltmore Park, Smoky Park Supper Club and Sunny Point Cafe — will donate 25 percent of their sales. Doc Chey’s Noodle House, IHOP (all locations) and Mayfel’s will also participate in the fundraiser, albeit a day earlier, on Monday March 6.

For information on participating restaurants, visit

Grand reopening: Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian

On Monday, Feb. 20, Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian closed temporarily for renovations. The restaurant will hold its grand reopening Monday, March 6. To celebrate, Vinnie’s will offer $5 martinis, 10 percent off all meals (not including alcohol) and free panna cotta dessert through Sunday, March 12.

Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian is at 641 Merrion Ave. Hours are 5-9:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5-10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. For more information, visit

Wine pairing dinner at Vue

Butter-roasted diver scallop, spring pea soup, smoked Hickory Nut Gap pork tamale and grilled Wagyu ribeye are among the items featured in the five-course menu for the Stag’s Leap Wine Pairing Dinner at Vue 1913 on Tuesday, March 7. Omni Grove Park Inn’s executive chef Jake Schmidt and Vue 1913 chef de cuisine Marcus Day will prepare the meal. The five featured wines will include a 2015 Aveta sauvignon blanc, 2014 Karia chardonnay, 2013 Hands of Time red wine, 2013 Artemis cabernet sauvignon and 2012 Cask 23 cabernet sauvignon. At the event, Thom Horsey, a 35-year veteran of the wine industry, will share insights on and offer new ways to think about wine.

Stag’s Leap Wine Pairing Dinner runs 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, at Vue 1913 at the Omni Grove Park Inn, 290 Macon Ave. Tickets are $150 per person and include dinner, paired wines, taxes and gratuity. For more information, 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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