Small bites: River Arts District Fall Studio Stroll benefits MANNA

LOOK FOR THE BARRELS: Throughout the River Arts District, barrels will be set up to accept donations for the Feed the Body and Soul food drive during the Fall Studio Stroll. Guests are encouraged to donate nonperishable food items, which will be distributed to those in need by MANNA FoodBank. Photo courtesy of RADA Library

“We have always had a very strong relationship with artists in Asheville,” says Kara Irani, director of marketing at MANNA FoodBank. “I think they are in a unique position to understand some of the harder economic challenges that people living in the Asheville area face.”

Last year, the River Arts District Artists group hosted its inaugural food drive during its Fall Studio Stroll. By the end of the two-day event, the drive had brought in 721 pounds of canned goods for MANNA. This year’s effort — dubbed Feed the Body and Soul — has the organization teaming up again with the food bank as well as Ingles.

“We’re taking it up a notch,” says Claire Changery, RADA stroll coordinator. The goal for this year’s drive is half a ton — or 1,000 pounds — of food, which translates to roughly 770 meals. Because many who attend the stroll are visiting from other areas, RADA is also accepting cash contributions. Both Irani and Changery note that for every one dollar donated, MANNA is able to leverage three meals for the community.

With a focus on providing nutritious items, Irani says, “MANNA usually looks for what we call ‘foods to encourage.’” This includes green tea, low-sodium vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, unsalted nuts, no-sugar-added fruits, shelf-stable milk, whole-grain pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, canola and olive oil, peanut butter, low-sodium soups, beans (both canned and dry), low-sugar cereal, granola bars and popcorn.

Changery sees the food drive as a great way for the community to come together and give back before the holidays. She’s also confident that the Feed the Body and Soul initiative will reach its goal, setting a new bar for next year’s event.

Feed the Body and Soul takes place 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 12-13. Over a dozen donation stations will be set up throughout 22 participating buildings in the River Arts District. Financial contributions will be collected at the information tent at the five-point intersection of Roberts, Lyman and Depot streets. For a map of the River Arts District, visit For other details, contact Shelley Schenker at For a video on the event, visit

Highlands Food & Wine Festival

Highlands Food & Wine Festival hosts its 10th annual gathering this month in the Jackson County community. Over the course of four days, the festival will feature cuisine, wine, small-batch spirits and live music at a variety of ticketed events. Local chefs Jeremiah Jackson of Farm to Fender, Justin Burdett of Local Provisions, Dano Holcombe of Root Down, Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani and Charles Hudson of Sunburst Chef & Farmer will participate. The roster of events includes multiple wine dinners at local restaurants, an opening-night Grand Tasting, a food-truck rally, an oyster roast and more. Weekend passes are sold out, but tickets to individual events are still available.

The Highlands Food & Wine Festival runs Thursday, Nov. 10-Sunday, Nov. 13. Individual event ticket prices range from $50-$100. All events are for ages 21 and older except Truckin’. For tickets and details, visit

Addison Farms Vineyard launches wine club

Addison Farms Vineyard is launching a wine club, as well as introducing online sales of its bottles. The launch party for the club takes place Saturday, Nov. 12. Those who sign up for membership at the event will receive discounts on wine and merchandise. Light appetizers will be served, and Sugar & Snow Gelato will be on-site offering fall flavors for sale. Storyteller and musician Vono Freeman will perform. “Not only are we excited about our ability to deliver wine to Addison Farms Vineyard customers directly, but more importantly, we are looking forward to building relationships with our wine club members and offering them additional perks and special experiences at our family vineyard,” says owner Jeff Frisbee in a press release.

The launch party runs 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at Addison Farms Vineyard, 4005 New Leicester Highway, Leicester. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public. For details, visit

Caribbean Soul Food Supper

The West Asheville Tailgate Market will team up with chef Suzy Salwa Phillips and Leicester’s Seasoned 2 the Bone for a family-style, Caribbean and soul food fusion supper at Gypsy Queen’s Patton Avenue eatery on Sunday, Nov. 13. All proceeds will support the growth of the market.

The Caribbean Soul Food Supper happens at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, at Gypsy Queen, 807 Patton Ave. Tickets are $40 and are available at For details, contact the tailgate market’s executive director, Quinn Asteak, at

Baba Nahm Mediterranean grab-and-go coming soon

Baba Nahm, a new Mediterranean eatery, will open soon in the Grove Arcade. Specialties will include falafel and spit-roasted lamb and chicken. According to a press release, the restaurant is designed as a grab-and-go, but will offer shareable tables for patrons who prefer a sit-down meal. Baba Nahm will occupy the spot that housed chef Hector Diaz‘s Latin restaurant, Chorizo, for nearly a decade before it closed after losing its lease in August. More details on Baba Nahm to come.



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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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