Gourmand owners Katie Grabach and Peyton Barrell want to bring Paris’ popular cave à manger dining experience to Asheville’s historic S&W Market.
The couple, who are relocating their charcuterie and wine business from New Orleans, first experienced the concept — which is part wine-and-cheese market, part grab-and-go counter offering small plates — during a trip to France.
“It was perfect,” says Grabach. “We’d go grab a glass of wine and a piece of cheese on our way to dinner, then we’d go to a similar place after dinner and enjoy more wine and maybe more cheese, too.”
Grabach and Barrell are excited to share their culinary passions with locals and visitors alike, and they want to ensure that their space in the market is approachable. “We don’t want to intimidate,” says Barrell. “We want to educate. We have a desire to engage with customers and start every transaction with a simple conversation. Consumer interaction is very important to us.”
The two are also working with a number of local vendors, including OWL Bakery, plēb urban winery and several area farmers. For now, eager fans can get a taste of Gourmand during weekend pop-ups outside plēb — Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. until the food runs out.
Gourmand is slated to open in early March.
S&W Market is at 56 Patton Ave. For more information, visit avl.mx/ceo.
A pizza partnership
River Arts District’s All Souls Pizza, which has been open for almost 10 years, is welcoming a new owner. Trevor Payne, the chef and owner of Tall John’s in Montford, is partnering with Brendan Reusing, All Souls Pizza founding chef and owner.
With the new partnership comes updates to the restaurant’s interior as well as its menu. “We’ve been putting a lot of energy into our pizza dough and refining our recipe,” says Payne in a press release.
“The River Arts District has evolved considerably, and we want to continue to evolve with it,” adds Reusing in the same press release. “We love this neighborhood.”
All Souls Pizza is at 175 Clingman Ave. For more information, visit avl.mx/cen.
The city of Asheville, in partnership with Buncombe County, is asking residents to drop off leftover food via its Food Scrap Drop-Off program. The initiative, which offers multiple drop-off locations for all Asheville and Buncombe County residents, will turn the scraps into compost, keeping it out of landfills.
For more information and to register for the free program, visit avl.mx/akn.
A celebration with soul
On Thursday, Feb. 23, the East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association and alumni of Stephens-Lee High School will host Soul Food Supper. The free event, which runs from 6-8 p.m. at the Stephens-Lee Community Center, is a celebration of African American cuisine. The gathering will also serve to honor what would have been the 100-year anniversary of Stephens-Lee High School, which closed in 1965.
The Stephens-Lee Community Center is at 30 George Washington Carver Ave. Advance registration is requested. Call 828-350-2058 or visit avl.mx/cek for more information.
Downtown Weaverville’s Honey & the Hive will host a pop-up pairing event with Red Fiddle Vittles, Noble Cider and Shanti Elixirs on Friday, Feb. 24, from 6-9 p.m. Locally made cheese and honey-themed small bites will be paired with meads from Noble Cider and jun from Shanti Elixirs. Honey and bee-related merchandise as well as beekeeping supplies will be for sale, and staff and honey experts will be on hand to share information and answer questions.
Honey & the Hive is at 23 Merrimon Ave., Weaverville. For more information, visit avl.mx/cel.
Seeds to sow
The Farm Connection, which reopened for the 2023 season on Feb. 11, is offering a new vegetable garden plant CSA. The curated tray of plants and seeds will be sent out monthly through October. Gardening tips and instructions are included. The sign-up deadline is Sunday, March 12.
For more information, visit avl.mx/cem.
Earlier this month, Asheville Beauty Academy launched Late Night Tacos, a Friday and Saturday night pop-up from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. in the bar’s upstairs space, The Parlor. Chef Sunil Patel blends his Indian heritage and passion for Mexican cuisine into a fusion menu of tacos, beans and rice, as well as homemade salsas and sauces. Vegetarian and vegan options are available.
The Parlor at Asheville Beauty Academy is at 28 Broadway. For more information, visit avl.mx/b90.
Thirty years of growing
The Organic Growers School will hold its 30th annual Spring Conference Friday-Sunday, Feb. 24-26. More than 1,500 participants across the U.S. and Canada are expected to attend. Workshops will cover a variety of topics, including, but not limited to, farming, sustainable living, backyard poultry and fermentation.
The weekend will begin with pre-conference workshops on Friday and will continue with classes at Mars Hill University. Also featured will be an exhibit hall of local vendors, an annual seed and plant exchange, and a raffle. Food trucks will also be serving meals at the event.
Online registration is now closed; walk-in registration is available during the conference; however, sliding-scale pricing will not be offered on-site. For more information, visit avl.mx/8xd.
The Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, a nonprofit organization made up of 130 locally owned, independent restaurants, made two recent announcements — the return of Taste of Asheville and the naming of Meghan Rogers as its new executive director.
Taste of Asheville 2023, a celebration of AIR’s 20-year anniversary, will feature samples from around 60 AIR member restaurants and beverage vendors. The event takes place Thursday, March 9, 6-9 p.m., in the Mission Health/A-B Tech Conference Center, 16 Fernihurst Drive, on the A-B Tech campus. Asheville’s Firecracker Jazz Band will play as guests stroll around the event at their own pace. There will be a chance to participate in a silent auction to benefit AIR educational and professional programming, with the prize being a full dinner for eight prepared by local chefs and AIR co-founders Michel Baudouin and Eric Scheffer.
“I am excited to join the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association,” says Rogers, who replaces Jane Anderson. “The impact that AIR has on the local restaurant community and the community as a whole is significant. I look forward to continuing their strong program of work in education, collaboration, and advocacy.”
Tickets for Taste of Asheville are $75. For more information, visit avl.mx/asi.
Editor’s note: This article was updated on Feb. 21.