Small bites: The Affair in White returns

IN WHITE: Renowned vocalist Kat Williams, left, poses with Barbara Bell, former president of Loving Food Resources, at last year's Affair in White fundraising gala. Photo by Pat Barcas

On Saturday, Aug. 11, the the Renaissance Asheville Hotel will host the fifth annual Affair in White. The fundraising gala will benefit Loving Food Resources, a local nonprofit that works to address food insecurity for residents of Western North Carolina living with HIV/AIDS, as well as those in home hospice care.

Founded in 1991, the nonprofit’s mission continues to grow, says its executive director, Ellen Anastus. In 2017, Loving Food Resources distributed 111 tons of food and personal care products, as well as 21 tons of fresh produce to clients throughout North Carolina’s 18 westernmost counties. Meanwhile, volunteers served 6,260 hours, totaling 4,715 client visits.

The Affair in White, to be emceed by WLOS news anchor Darcel Grimes, will feature hors d’oeuvres, drinks and music. Tickets are $55 per person in advance/$65 at the door or $100 for a pair in advance/$120 for a pair at the door.

Menu highlights include a grilled cheese station; carved pork loin stuffed with caramelized onion, blue cheese, arugula and pork belly; roasted beet salad with grapefruit, candied pecans and goat cheese; smoked pulled chicken sliders with Alabama white barbecue sauce; housemade chive and crab rangoon with orange-pineapple glaze and ponzu sauce; lemon blueberry whoopie pies and s’mores magic bars.

“It’s our biggest fundraiser,” says Anastus. “It helps us to continue to operate as a food pantry, which is really important.”

Affair in White runs 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at Renaissance Asheville Hotel, 31 Woodfin St. For tickets, visit

Summer at the Old Dairy Barn Harvest

Burial Beer Co., Table and Gaining Ground Farm are teaming up for a five-course beer pairing dinner. Menu highlights include charcuterie, whole snapper and braised beef. Each course will be paired with a customized beer. “This summer harvest dinner is a celebration of local terroir,” says Kelly Vormelker, Table’s marketing manager. “This is a rare opportunity to try exclusive releases from Burial and to hear from the makers, chefs and farmers themselves.”

Summer at the Old Dairy Barn Harvest begins at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, at The Dairy Barn at Yesterday’s Spaces at Gaining Ground Farm, 305 Sluder Branch Road, Leicester. Tickets are $65 per person. Price does not include tax and gratuity. For reservations, email or call 828-254-8980.

Taco & Tequila Throwdown returns

Local restaurants will again compete for the title of Asheville’s Best Taco at the third annual Taco & Tequila Throwdown. Local beer and flights of tequila will also be available for purchase at the event. General admission is $10. VIP tickets are $35 and include a taco from each vendor and a flight of tequila or beer. Participating restaurants include Polanco Restaurant, Sonora Cocina Mexicana, Blue Dream Curry House, Chupacabra Latin Cafe, AVL Tacos & Taps and The Grey Eagle Taqueria. Additional restaurants are expected to join. Vegetarian options will be available.

The third annual Taco & Tequila Throwdown runs noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at The Grey Eagle Taqueria, 185 Clingman Ave. For tickets, visit

The 41st annual Sourwood Festival

Over 200 vendors will participate in the 41st annual Sourwood Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 11-12. Barbecue, sausages, corn on the cob, vegetarian fare, custom-crafted ice cream, funnel cakes and jellies are among the food options that will be available. Along with grub, the gathering will feature local arts and crafts, music, dancing, honey and bee demos, and children’s activities.

The 41st annual Sourwood Festival runs 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug.  11, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, at Black Mountain-Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce, 201 E. State St., Black Mountain. Admission is free. For more, visit

Ice Cream Social to benefit the POP Project

On Tuesday, Aug. 12, The Hop Ice Cream Café will host the Rethink Ink Book Sale fundraiser. The event will feature a range of hardcover and paperback books, with all proceeds from the sale, along with 50 percent of ice cream sales benefiting the POP Project, a nonprofit that works to spread literacy through greater access to books.

Rethink Ink Book Sale runs 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, at The Hope Ice Cream Café , 640 Merrimon Ave. For more information, visit

Cider and cheese pairing

The WNC Cheese Trail will join TreeRock Social Cider House for a hard cider and cheese pairing on Tuesday, Aug. 14. The event will feature fresh and aged goat and cow cheeses alongside national and international ciders.

The pairing runs 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, at TreeRock Social Cider House, 760 Biltmore Ave. Tickets are $20. To purchase, visit

Grape Geek dinner series continues

The Grape Geek dinner series returns to La Fête at Bouchon. The third in a series of six dinners, the evening gathering offers diners the chance “to discover new wine without prejudgment,” says Bouchon owner Michel Baudouin. In the spirit of discovery, wine and food menus are not shared before the five-course meal. Seating is limited to 30.

The next Grape Geek dinner is at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, at La Fête at Bouchon, 62 N. Lexington Ave. Tickets are $75, not including tax and gratuity. To reserve a seat, email

Irani recognized in Time Magazine

Chai Pani chef and owner Meherwan Irani was recently included in Time magazine’s list of “31 People Who Are Changing the South.” Irani is noted for expanding “the scope of Indian food in the South with innovative takes on snacks and street food[.]” His role at Buxton Hall Barbecue, alongside pitmaster Elliott Moss, is also mentioned in the write-up, along with his involvement with Brown in the South, a series of collaborative dinners benefiting the Southern Foodways Alliance featuring chefs of Indian descent who live and cook in the South.

For 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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