What’s new in food: Blind Pig Supper Club to host Father’s Day barbecue

SMOKIN’: Pitmaster Alexis Lepore of Barbs-B-Q in Lockhart, Texas, will join local chefs Mike Moore, Ryan Kline, Sam Etheridge and Luis Martinez in a barbecue hoedown for the Blind Pig Supper Club Father’s Day event. Courtesy of Blind Pig Supper Club

The Blind Pig Supper Club kicks off its 2024 season of special events Sunday, June 16, 5:30-8:30 p.m., with the barbecuecentric Southeast Southwest six-course Father’s Day tasting menu. Thanks to special guest chef Alexis Leporeit could be subtitled Three Men and a Barbs.

The three men are chefs Mike Moore, who founded Blind Pig in 2011, Ryan Kline of Jargon and Sam Etheridge of the now-closed North Asheville eatery, Ambrozia. Barbs is Lepore, who with partners and friends Chuck Carnichart and Haley Conlin, is owner and pitmaster of one of the Lone Star State’s hottest new destinations for brisket and ribs, Barbs-B-Q.

A July article in Texas Monthly states that “never has a new barbecue joint in Texas been more highly anticipated than Barbs-B-Q in Lockhart,” a small town near Austin that’s widely acknowledged as a barbecue mecca. Another story in Garden & Gun says Barbs-B-Q might be “one of the most important restaurants in Texas: a woman-owned-and-operated, South Texas-inspired barbecue joint.”

Moore says he’s had an eye on Barbs-B-Q and Lepore on Instagram for some time. “I have been following what they do and their success from afar, and it’s so great to bring chef Alexis to Asheville,” he says. “What’s been so cool with Blind Pig is the fact we can bring together people we have never met, old friends, people from different places and different backgrounds to make food that tells their stories.”

The menu will feature smoked meats and other signature flavors of traditional Mexican barbacoa as a nod to Lepore’s Mexican heritage. Local chef Luis Martinez, a native of Oaxaca, Mexico, will be a guest at the event and will provide 8 pounds of special heirloom maize for Lepore to use in her dish. When the dish is served, Martinez will talk to diners about his Tequio Foods project, which partners with small-scale growers in Mexico. 

Chefs for Blind Pig events work together to ensure that the courses don’t duplicate and mesh well with each other, Moore explains. “In the beginning, we had chefs serving brains, and it got a little too out there for some guests,” he says. “There will be beef and pork — no brains — with a lot of barbecue techniques, so it’s entertaining to watch.”

The seated dinner will take place at Hi-Wire Brewing’s Biltmore Village taproom. A special beer pairing is available, as well as other Hi-Wire beers on tap, wine and cocktails. A DJ will spin tunes, and proceeds from the event will support Hope Pantry, a small food pantry affiliated with the church Moore’s great-grandfather built in Elm City. 

Hi-Wire Brewing is at 2 Huntsman Place. Tickets for the dinner are $90 per person and are available at avl.mx/dri.

Oz-themed event benefits BeLoved

Follow the yellow brick road — metaphorically speaking — on Saturday, June 15, to BeLoved Asheville’s third annual Raise Another Home auction and gala at the Mission Health/A-B Tech Conference Center. Aimed at raising funds to build 12 microhomes for the housing insecure in BeLoved Village, this year’s theme is There’s No Place Like Home, paying homage to the 85th anniversary of the movie The Wizard of Oz.

There will be no wicked witches or flying monkeys but plenty of fun and food for attendees, with dishes from Chestnut and Corner Kitchen restaurants, local craft beer and wine, live jazz and some Oz-inspired surprises. Guests can peruse and bid on silent auction items, then raise a hand in the air for live auction goodies like a trip to Costa Rica.

A VIP package for $100 includes early entry from 5-6 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres, a sneak peek at auction items, a free raffle drawing and a commemorative gift; general admission admits ticket holders from 6-9 p.m. and are $50.

Mission Health/A-B Tech Conference Center is at 16 Fernihurst Drive. For more information and to buy tickets, visit avl.mx/dr6.

Regina’s marks 1-year anniversary

Regina’s Westside is going big for its first birthday party on Saturday, June 15, celebrating with a popup dinner from 5-10 p.m. by chef Kat Fitzgerald. Among the classic and elevated diner dishes on the menu are sticky ribs with pineapple rice, Peruvian chicken thighs, meatloaf and halibut with lovage cream. Co-owner Lisa Wagner says there will be slices of supersized birthday cake for all diners and photo ops with an 8-foot-tall cast iron skillet.

Service hours for breakfast and lunch are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily with a set menu that includes biscuits, waffles, shrimp and grits, pork loin hash, wedge salad, a hot honey fried chicken sandwich and fresh-baked cakes. Fitzgerald also offers specials like breakfast carbonara and meat-and-threes served on retro cafeteria trays. The restaurant plans to add dinner service in the coming year.

“We did a run of dinner hours Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights last winter to see how it was received and what types of dishes our customers were looking for,” adds Wagner. “We plan to restart that again soon.”

Meanwhile, the outdoor patio is open and welcoming humans and pets.

Regina’s Westside is at 1400 Patton Ave. Follow Regina’s on Instagram at avl.mx/drl or Facebook at avl.mx/drm for details, or contact the restaurant at info@reginaswestside.com or 828-505-3099 to reserve seats for the party. 

South Slope hosts cider festival

On Saturday, June 22, on the South Slope, beer steps back and relinquishes the spotlight to cider at the Carolina CiderFest. The event, presented by the N.C. Cider Association and Shay & Co., will feature tastings of hard cider, mead, apple wine and seltzers plus food, live music, arts and crafts and workshops.

General admission tickets are $45 and include a commemorative glass and unlimited tastings from nearly two dozen beverage businesses from 12:30-4 p.m. The $85 VIP tickets allow early entry at 11:30 a.m., access to a VIP area with snacks and tastes of limited-edition ciders and meads.

Food vendors will include Good Hot Fish, Paperhouse Pizza, Bear’s Smokehouse and South Slope Cheese.

On CiderFest Eve (Friday, June 21), Noble Cider will host the Carolina CiderFest Pre-Party from 6-9 p.m. at its cidery at 356 New Leicester Highway. An afterparty is planned for Saturday, June 21, 4-8 p.m. at Urban Orchard Cider Co., 24 Buxton Ave.

For a complete list of vendors, additional details and tickets, visit avl.mx/d2p.

Event magically transforms Jargon

Do you believe in magic? There’s more than meets the eye at Jargon’s Dinner and Magic Show with magician Doc Docherty. The third event in the ongoing series will take place Saturday, June 22, in the West Asheville restaurant’s snazzy, private Argot Room. Doors open at 5 p.m. for a cocktail hour, and the three-course dinner by chef Ryan Kline begins at 6 p.m. Then prepare to be amazed, amused and astounded at the sleight of hand, hocus pocus, trickery and audience participation antics from the skilled magician who has performed at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles and the Chicago Magic Room.

Tickets for the dinner and show are $105 per person and do not include alcohol, tax or gratuity.

Jargon’s Argot Room is at 717 Haywood Road. For reservations, visit avl.mx/dr7.

Organic oatmeal sold at tailgate markets

What’s in a name? When John Baldwin informally introduced his superfood oatmeal mix at the 2023 Toe Down music and arts festival in Green Mountain, he called it Plant Power Porridge. Alliteration is all well and good, observed his partner Missi Ziegler, but the branding was confusing.

“Every time we made it for someone, we had to explain what it was,” she recalls. “I suggested renaming it something that was more descriptive and rhymed.” And thus, Big Deal Oatmeal was launched in July 2023.

This spring, Baldwin and Ziegler began selling the product at the Enka-Candler and West Asheville Asheville tailgate markets, and it debuted on June 1 at the Asheville City market downtown. After some recipe testing, Big Deal has settled on a mix of oats with five seeds, five nuts, five fruits and a dash of Spicewalla’s cinnamon, pumpkin spice and cardamom, as well as ground roasted vanilla bean. The conventional recipe features organic, gluten-free oats; all ingredients in the organic version are organic.

The mix can be prepared several ways. “John and I use the kettle at home, but for the samples at the market we do the overnight oats method,” says Ziegler.

With each bag purchased, customers get a BDO-based treat baked by Baldwin from recipes featured on the business’s website. “The superfood bliss balls are really good and a great energy boost,” Ziegler testifies.

Big Deal Oatmeal is at the West Asheville Tailgate Market Tuesdays, 3:30-6:30 p.m.; the Enka-Candler Tailgate Market Thursdays, 3-6 p.m. and the Asheville City Market Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon. Find it online at avl.mx/drf.


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About Kay West
Kay West began her writing career in NYC, then was a freelance journalist in Nashville for more than 30 years, including contributing writer for the Nashville Scene, Nashville correspondent for People magazine, author of five books and mother of two happily launched grown-up kids. In 2019 she moved to Asheville and continued writing (minus Red Carpet coverage) with a focus on food, farming and hospitality. She is a die-hard NY Yankees fan.

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