Small bites: The Golden Garden Party returns to Fairview

INTERNATIONAL IMPACT: For over a decade local residents have come together to raise funds for The Prem Rawat Foundation's Food for People program, which provides clean water and nutritious meals to disadvantaged children in India, Nepal and Ghana. The organization's executive editor, Jake Frankel, left, stands with the gathering's original co-host, Ron Clearfield. Photo courtesy of Frankel

When it comes to Asheville, local is king, but that doesn’t mean city and county residents refrain from supporting causes beyond the mountains of Western North Carolina. On Saturday, June 1, locals will come together for the 12th annual Golden Garden Party. The yearly fundraiser benefits The Prem Rawat Foundation’s Food for People program, which provides clean water and nutritious meals to disadvantaged children in India, Nepal and Ghana.

“This event is very grassroots,” says Jake Frankel, the foundation’s executive editor. “It’s not organized by the charity itself, but by supporters of the charity.”

This year’s gathering includes dinner provided by Mela Indian Restaurant and Hickory Nut Gap Farm, as well as live musical performances by Armadilla, Isabel Castellvi, Madelyn Ilana and Sendero. In addition, there will be a raffle offering a number of local prizes. There is a $30 recommended donation.

Over its initial 11 years, the Golden Garden Party has raised more than $50,000 for the Food for People program, providing 2.5 million meals, along with agricultural training. The organization’s emphasis on the latter, notes Frankel, is what sets it apart from many other international feeding programs. “This is locally grown foods prepared in ways that the local people really enjoy,” he says, of the program’s three locations.

The same is true for the upcoming Golden Garden Party. With an ample supply of local bites and music, Frankel says he hopes folks will leave the event “with a belly full of delicious food and hopefully with their hearts full because they’ll go to bed knowing that they helped feed malnourished children.”

The Golden Garden Party runs 2-6 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at 32 Pine Hill Road, Fairview. For more information, visit

Kitchen Ready Showcase Dinner

Green Opportunities’ Kitchen Ready program will celebrate the culinary achievements of its most recent graduating class with its latest showcase dinner. According to the event’s Facebook page, the evening will feature soul food dishes, including seasonal timbale made with cheese grits, collard greens, sweet potatoes, roasted red bell pepper, goat cheese and pickled vegetables; apples and sausage; and pear and serviceberry cobbler. The dinner is first-come, first-served. The suggested donation is $10.

Dinner will be served at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 31, at the Arthur R. Edington Education and Career Center, 133 Livingston St. For more information, visit

Flat Rock Ice Cream Social

The annual Flat Rock Ice Cream Social returns Saturday, June 1, featuring free ice cream from Baabals Ice Cream Shoppe in Fletcher, live music, face painting, baby goats, tours, a firetruck bounce house and a book sale. Hot dogs and drinks will be for sale. Pets are prohibited.

The social runs noon-4 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at Village Hall, 110 Village Center Drive, Flat Rock. For more information, visit

Great Rosé Tasting

On Saturday, June 1, Metro Wines will offer guests samples of rosé wines from around the world. Featured bottles include Underwood Rosé Bubbles (Oregon); Rezabal Txakoli Rosé (Spain); Tinto Rey (California); Le Quattro Terre (Italy); Elicio (France); and Backsberg Pinotage Rosé (South Africa). All featured wines will be available for purchase that day.

The Great Rosé Tasting runs 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at Metro Wines, 169 Charlotte St. For more information, visit

Scones, biscotti and cocktail snacks workshop

Mountain Kitchen will host a pair of bread-making workshops on Sunday, June 2. The first course runs 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. with a focus on scone-making; students will also learn to bake blueberry crumb cake and a hazelnut biscotti. Tickets are $65. The second class, which runs 4-7 p.m., offers instruction on how to make a variety of crackers and breads ideal for cocktail parties. The first workshop will include take-home samples; the second workshop will end with a happy hour featuring samples of all the baked goods. BYOB. Tickets are $70.

The two courses are offered Sunday, June 2, at Mountain Kitchen, 332 E. Sondley Drive. For more information, visit and

YMCA family cooking classes

Throughout June, Lauren Furgiuele, nutrition director of operations and clinical integration for the YMCA of Western North Carolina, will lead a series of family cooking classes. The first event will take place at the YMCA’s Black Mountain location on Tuesday, June 4. Participants will learn to make zucchini noodles with fresh tomato basil sauce, cherry salsa and energy bites. “Families should consider attending because getting children involved in the cooking process at a younger age makes them more likely to try new foods and eat healthier,” Furgiuele says. Group tickets are $55 for YMCA members and $75 for nonmembers, with a maximum of three members per family.

The class runs 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, at the Black Mountain YMCA, 25 Jane Jacobs Road. To purchase tickets and for additional workshop dates, visit

Serviceberry season

On Tuesday, June 4, the Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council, in partnership with the city of Asheville’s Office of Sustainability, will celebrate the arrival of serviceberry season with the unveiling of an Asheville Edibles Map denoting public locations where the berries can be found. In addition, a free serviceberry workshop will be offered that day that will provide tips on identifying the berry, along with harvesting and cooking techniques. Reservations are required.

The workshop runs 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, at the Senior Opportunity Center, 36 Grove St. To RSVP, 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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