Small bites

Notes from the Asheville food scene

Author Ashley English aims to inspire at upcoming Malaprop’s event

Author Ashley English returns to Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café in Asheville to present her latest book, Handmade Gatherings: Recipes and Crafts for Seasonal Celebrations and Potluck Parties on Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m. English will present some of her recipes and discuss hosting collaborative food events with family, friends and community. Collaborative food events were the inspiration behind Handmade Gatherings.

“My husband, Glenn, and I love to entertain, and do so often, typically in the form of potlucks. We also cook with a seasonal focus,” said English via email. “Uniting those loves of seasonal cooking and collaborative entertaining in book form just made sense, and so Handmade Gatherings was born,” she continued. In her book, English features 16 events — four for each season — that took teamwork and effort from friends and family to pull off. In customary potluck fashion, the author includes recipes, decoration designs and hosting strategies throughout. The goal of the Malaprop’s event, according to English, is to inspire: “I just want people to come away from the event inspired and excited and catalyzed to go on and host these kinds of collaborative events themselves,” she said.

English’s Handmade Gatherings will publish in early April and can be purchased along with her other work at More information about the event can be found at

 Sunday brunch and dinner at The Market Place Restaurant

The Market Place Restaurant has launched Sunday brunch and dinner service featuring a seasonal, locally sourced menu with a wide price range to appeal to a variety of customers. Brunch is offered 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and will be accompanied by live music in the lounge and bar area. Also included is the opportunity to watch the best that Sunday sports has to offer, especially during football season, when the restaurant will display NFL Sunday Ticket on multiple TVs to watch games from around the league.

In the evenings, the bar will open at 5 p.m., followed by Sunday dinner at 5:30 p.m. Starting in May, the restaurant will serve dinner seven days a week and brunch on both Saturdays and Sundays. The extensive brunch menu, consisting of banana bread French toast, cold-smoked Sunburst trout and more, is listed at

 Fleer’s Canyon Kitchen launches new season

Executive Chef John Fleer, the owner of Rhubarb in downtown Asheville, has announced the season opening for Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley in Cashiers. Fleer and his team started their sixth season at Canyon Kitchen this month and will be hosting guests for culinary events every weekend until the middle of May.

Fleer is known for taking local, organic ingredients found in Lonesome Valley’s community garden and transforming them into high-quality cuisine for guests to enjoy in the Blue Ridge Mountain setting. Alongside his work at Rhubarb and Canyon Kitchen, Fleer is a three-time finalist for the James Beard Best Chef in the Southeast Award and was named to the Rising Stars of the 21st Century by the James Beard Foundation.

For more information about Fleer, Canyon Kitchen and the upcoming season, visit the Lonesome Valley website:

Chef Katie Button: Another James Beard nominee from Asheville

Also nominated by the James Beard Foundation is Katie Button, executive chef for Cúrate and the new Nightbell club in Asheville. Button was named as a James Beard Rising Star Semi-Finalist in 2012-13 and is a finalist once again this year. In 2012, Button held a Spanish Holiday Table for the foundation, which featured a recipe of baby beet salad with Marcona almonds, pickled oranges, Idiazabal cheese and blood orange vinaigrette.

Button will be preparing another dish for the James Beard Award ceremony in May, but in the meantime, check out Cúrate and Nightbell to see what the hype is all about:;

Thai To Go

A new Thai food restaurant, Thai To Go, has opened in Asheville after a successful run in Brevard several years ago. Thai To Go specializes in bringing Thailand’s cuisine to the Asheville community in an authentic manner that suits busy lifestyles. Thai To Go also has indoor and outdoor seating for those wanting to stop by, enjoy the food and relax.

Thai To Go is open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., for lunch and 5-8 p.m. for dinner. It’s open on Saturdays, too, from 4-8 p.m. for dinner. Thai To Go is closed on Sundays.

Thai To Go is at 18 Sardis Road. For more information, call 667-8505.


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