Small bites: Soul Food Supper

LEADING THE WAY: Members of the Stephens-Lee Teen Leadership program, pictured, will help set up and perform during the upcoming Soul Food Supper, hosted at the Stephens-Lee Recreation Center. Photo by Thomas Calder

Throughout February, Asheville Parks and Recreation is celebrating Black History Month with a series of events. The latest, Soul Food Supper, takes place 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Stephens-Lee Recreation Center.

According to Kim Kennedy, the center’s facility manager, Stephens-Lee Teen Leadership program, the East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association and the Stephens-Lee Alumni Association collaborated to coordinate the free event.

The two associations will provide the food, which will include chicken, macaroni, green beans, collard greens, rice, rolls, black-eyed peas and a variety of desserts. Meanwhile, the teen program will provide entertainment: Female students will perform an African dance, while male students have created a remembrance video for the gathering.

Seating is limited to 100 guests. Tickets can be picked up in advance at the Stephens-Lee Recreation Center during regular business hours: Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tuesdays, 6 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursdays 6 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Fridays, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturdays 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sundays 12:30-4:30 p.m.

The event, notes Kennedy, is part of the student program’s ongoing community outreach. Since the program launched in 2017, participating students have planted edible gardens in the East End neighborhood, delivered food to community members and provided services within the Stephens-Lee Recreation Center.

Tamillia Thompson, the teen program leader, says the supper will honor the past, as well as look ahead to the future. “We want to make sure that the kids understand that we are a community and that when we come together we can make something great.”

The Soul Food Supper runs 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Stephens-Lee Community Center, 30 George Washington Carver Ave. The event is free to attend, but tickets are required. For details and the full list of Black History Month events, visit

Salami and wine

The Chop Shop Butchery will host a salami and wine tasting on Friday, Feb. 21, featuring three types of salami paired with three wines. The program includes a discussion of how salami is made, the styles available and the origins of each style. Additional wine and beverages will be available for purchase. Tickets are $25.

The event runs 5:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at The Chop Shop Butchery, 100 Charlotte St. For tickets, visit×1.

Mac and cheese cook-off

Lookout Brewing Co. will host its inaugural mac and cheese cook-off on Saturday, Feb. 22. According to the event’s Facebook page, all are welcome to compete. Prizes will be awarded for most creative, most nostalgic and best all-around. There is no cost to enter. Participants are asked to bring prepared recipes in a casserole dish.

The cook-off runs 4:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at Lookout Brewing Co., 103 S. Ridgeway Ave., Black Mountain. To learn more, visit×2.

Mardi Gras at Catawba Brewing Co.

Catawba Brewing Co. will host a Mardi Gras party on Sunday, Feb. 23, following the Asheville Mardi Gras Parade. Deli Llammma food truck will serve Cajun food during the event, and the brewery will have King Cake Pastry Stout available for purchase. A live performance by Bayou Diesel is scheduled for the celebration as well.

The party runs 5-8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, at Catawba Brewing Co., 32 Banks Ave. To learn more, visit×9.

Asheville’s Hidden Voices

Asheville Poverty Initiative, a local nonprofit, hosts its inaugural Asheville’s Hidden Voices talent show on Monday, Feb. 24. The all-ages show will feature 10 performers. Tickets are $25, with proceeds benefiting 12 Baskets Cafe, an eatery at West Asheville’s Kairos West Community Center that uses fresh food donated by local restaurants to serve free meals to all. “We hope this is the beginning of an annual event that sheds light on the struggles in our town, but doing so in a way that personalizes and celebrates the gifts of those [who are] economically disadvantaged,” says Shannon Spencer, Asheville Poverty Initiative’s executive director.

The show begins at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, at The Grey Eagle, 185 Clingman Ave. To purchase tickets, visit×3.

Mardi Gras crawfish boil

The Cut Cocktail Lounge will celebrate Mardi Gras with a crawfish boil. According to the event’s Facebook page, the boil will feature crawfish, sausage, shrimp, potatoes and corn with a side of cornbread. Plates are $10. Following the boil, the lounge will host a masquerade, including a mask-decorating table and $2 slices of king cake. Live music will be performed by Bird in Hand.

The boil runs 5-9 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 25, at The Cut Cocktail Lounge, 610 W. Main St., Sylva. The masquerade will follow at 9 p.m. To learn more, visit×4.

Say hello to Farewell

Farewell coffee and wine bar recently opened in the South Slope district. Along with an espresso bar, the eatery offers a rotating, seasonal food menu and natural wines. Several of the menu items are sourced from local farms and businesses, including J Bread, Urban Peasant and Farm & Sparrow. Current highlights include sweet porridge, trout toast and a winter salad. “Our philosophy is to keep it simple, nothing over the top,” says co-founder Maxwell Puterbaugh.

Farewell is at 11 Southside Ave. Hours vary. To learn more, visit×6.

Grata Pizzeria

Grata Pizzeria is set to open inside UpCountry Brewing Co. It replaces The Döner – German Street Food, which left the space in November. The pizzeria uses locally sourced, made-from-scratch ingredients. Though the grand opening won’t take place until April 4, the pizzeria will offer bites on weekends in February and March as it finalizes its menu.

Grata Pizzeria is inside UpCountry Brewing Co., 1042 Haywood Road. To learn more, 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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