What’s new in food: Dining Out for Life returns

THE GOOD FIGHT: Over 60 restaurants have pledged 20% of all sales on Thursday, April 27, to help support WNCAP in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Photo courtesy WNCAP

On Thursday, April 27, over 60 restaurants will participate in this year’s Dining Out for Life. 

“Now in its 21st year, Dining Out for Life has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in the fight against HIV/AIDS in our region,” says Bellamy Crawford, development director at Western North Carolina AIDS Project. “It is the oldest ‘dining out’ fundraiser and the largest fundraiser for HIV/AIDS in our region.”

Bone & Broth, Jettie Rae’s Oyster House and Tastee Diner are among the dozens of participating restaurants that have pledged 20% of sales from breakfast, lunch and/or dinner on the day of the event. Guests who dine out at these establishments are also encouraged to make a donation, either through a QR code or by check. 

“This fundraiser has allowed WNCAP to provide HIV prevention and care to thousands of people and their families across our 18-county service area,” says Crawford. “The event supports our organization’s ability to provide emergency financial assistance to prevent homelessness for our clients, as well as care coordination for complex health conditions many clients experience. It helps fund client transportation to medical appointments, food box deliveries, peer support programming, HIV and hepatitis C testing and condom distribution.”

With a total fundraising goal of $100,000, WNCAP, in partnership with the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association,  hopes to dramatically impact the effectiveness of the organization’s services, as well as help fight the persistent HIV-related stigma contributing to barriers to care.

“We of course want to raise money to be able to continue providing our lifesaving services to those in our community who need them, but the event is also an important way to educate our community about the fact that HIV still exists, and for many who are newly diagnosed, their experience is marked by considerable isolation and loneliness, especially in rural areas, where there is often a shortage of medical professionals able to address the needs of our clients,” explains Crawford.

“The Asheville restaurant community has been so generous over the decades; we can’t thank them enough for all they do to support HIV prevention and care,” adds Peggy Weil, WNCAP’s chief operating officer. “We know they have many great charitable options in our community, and we appreciate that these restaurants and Asheville Independent Restaurant Association continue to choose to support WNCAP.”

Visit avl.mx/clx for a full list of participating restaurants, additional information and donation opportunities.

12 Bones Brewing birthday blowout

Raise a glass and help 12 Bones Brewing say cheers to four years during a three-day anniversary blowout beginning Thursday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m.

The festivities kick off with a five-course dinner pairing food and beer ($70 per person). 12 Bones Smokehouse chef Joe Lewis has planned a menu ranging from smoked shrimp with glazed carrots, tempura asparagus and Korean barbecue to pork “wings” with roasted sweet potato and malt vinegar agrodolce. 12 Bones Brewing head brewer Brandon Audette will pair these dishes with five unique anniversary beers brewed in collaboration with six local/regional breweries. “We chose these specific breweries to collaborate with based on their storied histories [and] consistently fabulous beer, [and for] igniting our creative spirit, but mainly for being good friends and fabulous humans,” says Audette in a news release.

One beer in particular, the citrus wheat ale with coriander and orange zest, is a 12 Bones staff collaboration. “As we started talking about beer releases for the anniversary, collaborations with other breweries felt like a no-brainer, but we also thought a staff collaboration would be a great way to foster unity among our brewery and restaurant employees and acknowledge our awesome people who show up and do great work every day,” says brewery operations manager Leah Rainis.

All five new beers will be released on draft and in cans on Friday, April 28. The extended party culminates on Saturday, April 29, with an outdoor picnic from noon-5 p.m. and live music from 1-8 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person and include three 8-ounce beers, a complimentary anniversary glass and a barbecue plate piled high with ribs, kabobs, sausage, potato salad, slaw and cornbread, as well as dessert.

12 Bones Brewing is at 2350 Hendersonville Road, Arden. Visit avl.mx/clv for tickets and additional information.

Honoring Cherokee heritage

The Barbara McRae Cherokee Heritage Apple Orchard hosts its grand opening on Arbor Day, Friday, April 28, 4-6 p.m.

Some of the first apple varieties developed in North America were grown by Cherokee farmers, and since 2020, Barbara McRae and Nikwasi Initiative Executive Director Elaine Eisenbraun have sought to honor this Cherokee heritage through the development of the orchard. Now the orchard is ready to welcome the public and share the agricultural history of 18th- and 19th-century Cherokee farmers.

“This orchard is established near the Noquisiyi (Nikwasi) Mound and is likely on land that had once been farmed by Cherokee women,” explains Eisenbraun. “Bringing back the apple trees is like restoring a small fragment of the Cherokee agronomic lifestyle that residents enjoyed.”

While the native trees aren’t yet mature enough to bear fruit, guests are invited to visit the trees and learn about them from the Nikwasi team and members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Music, speakers educating on ancient foodways and culture, apple treats, including a caramel apple dipping station, apple pie bites and more, will also be included during this free experience.

“We hope that people walk away knowing about a whole new aspect of Cherokee heritage and a sense of what it was like to sustain a rich population prior to the arrival of explorers,” says Eisenbraun. “We also hope people will better understand the Cherokee people who live here today and still study and practice traditional ways. In addition, it would be great if people leave understanding that they have visited the first and only Native American heritage apple orchard. That is huge and a wonderful highlight for Macon County, Cherokee people and Western North Carolina.

The Barbara McRae Cherokee Heritage Apple Orchard is at 573 E. Main St., Franklin. Visit avl.mx/b1v for additional information. 

Hood Huggers International celebrates 20 years

For 20 years, Hood Huggers International has dedicated itself to rebuilding Affrilachia (a term coined by author Frank X Walker to honor the Black Appalachian experience) through arts, environmental stewardship and the launching of social enterprises. To mark the anniversary, this award-winning organization will host a daylong, free-to-attend celebration on Saturday, April 29, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Peace Gardens & Market.

In a news release, Hood Huggers founder and CEO DeWayne Barton reflects, “Twenty years is a significant milestone, especially when you’ve been operating from the grassroots level. We’ve been able to weather challenges and are proud to have done so in order to create opportunities for individuals and organizations throughout the city and the country, and even globally. These include the CAP Model, Green Opportunities, Hood Tours, the development of the Burton Street Neighborhood Plan, and now, we are working toward opening The Blue Note Junction, an adaptable model for communities around the nation. This will take our work from over the past 20 years to the next level in terms of its positive impact.”

The festive event will feature entertainment for all ages, including a puppet show, bounce house and basketball tournament for children, as well as live music and performances for all. Food trucks and vendors, including Cooking with Comedy, The Hop, Daddy D’s On Wheels and Mr. Anderson’s Hot Dogs, will be on site, and a number of different plants and artisan crafts.

Peace Gardens & Market is at 47 Bryant St. Visit avl.mx/clw for additional information about Hood Huggers International.

Taste It, Don’t Waste It! returns

April is Food Waste Reduction Month, and nearly one-quarter of Buncombe County’s commercial and residential landfill waste each year and an estimated 57,500 tons of food, nearly one-quarter of commercial and landfill contents, is thrown away.

To help raise awareness about the pressing need for food waste reduction, Food Waste Solutions WNC will host its second annual Taste It, Don’t Waste It: Asheville Chefs Challenge — an in-person competitive culinary event highlighting creative ways to utilize food scraps. The event will be hosted in partnership with Devil’s Foot Beverage Co. on Sunday, April 30, 2-4 p.m., at The Mule.

Participating chefs will create dishes from foods that might otherwise be thrown away, and then guests will sample the offerings before voting to determine a winner. Last year’s champion, Steven Goff of Tastee Diner, will return to compete against Clarence Robinson of Cooking with Comedy, Don Paleno, executive chef, owner and head pickler at DJ’s Pickles, and Keith Novell, an Asheville private chef and culinary consultant specializing in Southeast Asian cuisine.

Guests are also invited to enjoy live music, a look at Devil’s Foot Beverage’s waste-reducing Full Fruit Life program, demonstrations from local food-waste-reducing organizations and opportunities for raffle prizes. The Mule’s full bar will have beverages available for purchase.

Admission is free, but guests are encouraged to consider a donation of $10-$20. The Mule is at 131 Sweeten Creek Road. Visit avl.mx/970 for additional information.

The Meadow reopens

The Meadow, Highland Brewing Co.’s expansive outdoor space, reopens Friday, April 28, with a weekend of live music, volleyball tournaments and, of course, outdoor beer sipping.

“We are kicking off ‘Meadow Season’ with an absolutely incredible weekend,” says Marissa Burns, Highland’s events and programming manager. “The most exciting additions to the Meadow this year are two additional sand volleyball courts —making five total — and the completion of the back nine of our 18-hole disc golf course.”

New and returning vendors will help commemorate the first weekly Meadow Market on Sunday, April 30. Guests can expect jewelry, arts, woven crafts, pet goodies, candles, oils and much more.

The Meadow is directly behind Highland Brewing at 12 Old Charlotte Highway #200. Visit avl.mx/8ze for additional information.


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One thought on “What’s new in food: Dining Out for Life returns

  1. think critically

    I humbly suggest they change the name of the event from Dining Out For Life to Dining Out to fight HIV/AIDS. Besides giving more clarity to the event, it seems more appropriate, since most people will be eating dead animals.

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