Small bites: WNC Regional Cookbook & Food Writing Festival

A SPOONFUL OF SUGAR: Local cookbook writers will share their insights on Saturday, Nov. 12, at Barnes & Noble. Photo by Thomas Calder

“It’s very exciting that Western North Carolina is home to so many rich foodways, as well as so many talented and prolific cookbook writers,” says Jodi Rhoden, founder of Short Street Cakes and author of Cake Ladies: Celebrating a Southern Tradition.

Rhoden joins 11 other local chefs, restaurateurs and cookbook writers for Barnes & Noble’s WNC Regional Cookbook & Food Writing Festival on Saturday, Nov. 19. Participants include Katie Button, owner of Cúrate and author of Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen; Carolyn and Jason Roy, owners of Biscuithead and authors of Biscuithead: New Southern Biscuits, Breakfasts, and Brunch; Anne-Fitten Glenn, author of Asheville Beer: An Intoxicating HistoryAngela Koh, owner of 12 Bones Smokehouse and author of 12 Bones Smokehouse: A Mountain BBQ CookbookDebby Maugans and Christine Sykes Low, authors of Farm & Chef AshevilleAshley English, author of QuenchA Year of Pies and Homemade Gatherings; Barbara Swell, author of The 1st American Cookie Lady, The Lost Art of Pie and Old-Time Farmhouse Cooking and Kitty and Lucian Maynard, authors of Campstar Chefs.

The two-hour event will include a panel discussion. “It should be a pretty intimate look into some of their writing processes,” says Nicole Lowery, community business development manager at Barnes & Noble. “It’s also going to have a heavy focus on their personal history of cooking and favorite family recipes.”

Free samples derived from recipes in the cookbooks will be offered to guests as well. While the full menu of samples has not been finalized, confirmed items include ribs and apple crisp courtesy of 12 Bones, a pound cake courtesy of Short Street Cakes and duck confit topped with bourbon figs along with smoky pimento on a biscuit cracker courtesy of Biscuithead.

“To me, the big thing about it is that it’s all local, regional people,” says Button. “When I was looking at the list of participants, I don’t think I even realized how many regional cookbook authors we had. … I think, more than anything, it’s going to be real informative for people, and, hopefully, it will inspire some great holiday gift[s]. … If you’re going to buy a cookbook this season, I don’t think there’s any better way to do it than to share a piece of Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains with everybody.”

The WNC Regional Cookbook & Food Writing Festival runs 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov 19, at Barnes & Noble, Asheville Mall, 3 S. Tunnel Road. For more information, visit

Weekend workshops at Fifth Season Gardening Co.

On Saturday, Nov. 19, Kathleen Fleming of Majestic Unicorn is leading a workshop titled “Badass Broths.” The three-hour course will include a tasting, as well as a tutorial on broth-making. According to the class description, participants will walk away with “a belly full of delicious, healing and seriously nourishing broths,” in addition to Fleming’s DIY immunity resources booklet and a 16-ounce glass jar of simple chicken broth. Other topics discussed that day will include the difference between broths and stocks, as well as a brief history of the broth-making process. On Sunday, Nov. 20, Lindsey Menendez of Copper Cauldron Cheese Co. will lead a cheesemaking workshop. The five-hour class will focus on mozzarella and ricotta, and participants will learn the chemistry behind the cheesemaking process. Attendees will leave the workshop with their homemade cheeses and a booklet that includes a milk guide, equipment list, recipes and troubleshooting Q&As.

Badass Broths runs 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. The Artisan Home Cheesemaking workshop runs 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20. Both events take place at Fifth Season Gardening Co., 4 S. Tunnel Road, Suite 450. Tickets for Badass Broths are $36 and can be purchased at Tickets for The Artisan Home Cheesemaking workshop are $69-$75 and can be purchased at

Farm Heritage Trail’s holiday event

Three local Leicester farms will participate in the Farm Heritage Trail’s holiday event on Sunday, Nov. 20. Franny’s Farm will offer free chicken chili along with tours of the farm. Guests who have preordered heritage turkeys from the farm can pick up their birds; sweet potatoes, greens, herbs and other speciality items from the garden will be for sale. Lauren Holte of Misty Mountain Bakeshop will be at the farm as well with yeast rolls and desserts for sale. Guests who drive over to Sandy Hollar Farm can buy cut Christmas trees, wreaths and handcrafted ornaments with free hot chocolate, and a short distance away, Addison Farms Vineyard will host a wine tasting, with 10 percent discounts on bottles.

The free holiday event takes place Sunday, Nov. 20. Franny’s Farm is at 22 Franny’s Farm Road. Event hours, 1-6 p.m. Preorder a heritage turkey by calling 708-5587 or by emailing Sandy Hollar Farm is at 63 Sandy Hollar Lane. Event hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Addison Farms Vineyard is at 4005 New Leicester Way. Event hours are 1-5 p.m. For details on any of the events, email Ariel Zijp at

Holiday tailgate market and winter market dates

Asheville City Market will hold its holiday market, 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Asheville Masonic Temple, 80 Broadway. Black Mountain Tailgate Market will hold its holiday market, 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, Nov. 19, at 130 Montreat Road, Black Mountain, before closing for the winter. French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market closes Nov. 23. North Asheville Tailgate Market closes Saturday, Nov. 19; it will hold its Holiday Bazaar Saturday Nov. 26 and Dec. 3, 10 and 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at UNCA parking lot P-28. River Arts District Farmers Market closes Wednesday, Nov. 23, with its holiday market held that day, 2-5:30 p.m. at 175 Clingman Ave. West Asheville Tailgate Market closes Tuesday, Nov. 22; its holiday market will run Tuesdays, Nov. 29, Dec. 6, 13, and 20, 2:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. at The Mothlight, 701 Haywood Road. Yancey County Farmers Market holiday market runs 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays until Dec. 17 in the main room at the Burnsville Town Center.

For more information, visit the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s listings at


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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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