What’s new in food: Taste It, Don’t Waste It during Food Waste Reduction Month

NO SCRAPS: The inaugural Taste It, Don’t Waste It! chef challengers, clockwise from top-left: Clarence Robinson, Eric Morris, John Rice and Steven Goff. Photos courtesy of the chefs

April is Food Waste Reduction Month in Asheville and Buncombe County. According to city data, every year, local residents waste an estimated 57.5 tons of food, comprising a quarter of Buncombe County’s commercial and residential landfill. In an effort to reduce overall waste, volunteer-based Food Waste Solutions WNC has partnered with Wicked Weed Brewing to host an awareness-building cook-off event to cap off the month’s educational and communal celebrations.

Four local chefs, Clarence Robinson (Cooking With Comedy and soon-to-open Areta’s Soul Food), Steven Goff (Tastee Diner), Eric Morris (Cultura) and John Rice (Wicked Weed Brewpub), will compete in a friendly competition to prepare the best dish made from foods that would typically be discarded. Guests attending the free event will be provided samples of the offerings and vote one chef as the first Taste It, Don’t Waste It! champion.

“This is the first year we’re launching what we hope will be an annual celebration of chefs and community members committed to food waste reduction,” says Kiera Bulan, sustainability coordinator for the city of Asheville. “The goals of this event are to lift up and celebrate our local chef heroes using their platforms to promote innovative food use and celebrate food waste reduction.”

In addition to the Sunday, May 1, event, Food Waste Solutions will conclude its second annual Food Waste Challenge. Held on Instagram, participants perform select food waste challenges for chances to win a prize package from local purveyors East Fork and Ware.

“We are hopeful that Food Waste Reduction Month activities inspire people to make changes in their own kitchens to reduce the organic materials we’re sending to the landfill,” says Bulan. “Food waste reduction and the online challenge is an accessible way to take action, make personal life changes and have fun being creative.”

The Taste It, Don’t Waste It! Asheville Chefs Challenge takes place on Sunday, 2-4 p.m., at Wicked Weed West, 145 Jacob Holm Way, Candler. For additional information and waste reduction tips, visit avl.mx/bh5.

Raise a Home Auction Gala

BeLoved Asheville will hold its Raise a Home Auction Gala at the A-B Tech Mission Health Event Center on Saturday, April 30, 6 p.m. (5 p.m. for VIP ticket holders). The event benefits the BeLoved Village project, which will build 12 microhomes in East Asheville for those struggling with housing insecurity.

“The BeLoved Village project is an innovative and cost-effective solution to the housing crisis created by impacted people where social connections and equity lead to better health, more opportunities and long-term stability,” says BeLoved Asheville Co-Director Amy Cantrell.

Live jazz band Jason DeCristofaro & Friends will accompany a night featuring silent and live auctions. Event participants will also enjoy chef stations provided by Chestnut, Corner Kitchen, Chef Michael’s Catering and 50/fifty. VIP guests are granted access to an exclusive VIP hour featuring hors d’oeuvres from Céline and Company, Cecilia’s Kitchen, Every Day Gourment and more.

“We hope that everyone leaves the event feeling very connected in community,” says Cantrell.

The A-B Tech Mission Health Event Center is at 16 Fernihurst Drive. Event tickets are $50; VIP tickets cost $100. For additional information, visit avl.mx/bha.

Asheville Jewish Food & Heritage Festival

After a two-year hiatus, the HardLox Jewish Food & Heritage Festival returns to downtown Asheville, Sunday, May 1, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., at Pack Square.

Hosted by Congregation Beth HaTephila and the city of Asheville, the free festival welcomes all community members to enjoy homemade Jewish foods, Israeli dancing, crafts, klezmer music and more.

“We are living in a time when it is important for Jews to be seen and recognized for our contributions to making communities strong,” says Congregation Beth HaTephila’s Executive Director Buffy Skolnick. “There is a long-standing history of Jews quite literally building the businesses that have grown into the downtown Asheville that brings in tourists to support our commerce.”

Fifteen active organizations currently exist within the Asheville Jewish community. Learn more about the past and present of Asheville’s Jewish roots while enjoying matzo ball soup, corned beef on rye, potato knish and lox bagels at Pack Square on Pack Square.

For more information, visit avl.mx/bhb.

12 Bones Brewing celebrates 3 years

12 Bones Brewing honors its three-year anniversary with a special celebration on Sunday, May 1, noon-7 p.m. Admission to the brewery’s event is free, but a $20 advance ticket will buy you an 8-ounce beer brat plate (topped with peppers and onions and accompanied by sauerkraut and house-made chips) and any beer on draft poured into a commemorative pint glass. Food will be served from 1-4 p.m.

“Every year we have the privilege to make and pour our beers for our customers is a good year,” says 12 Bones Brewing head brewer Brandon Audette. “The past two years haven’t been easy on anyone, but we adjust, innovate and figure out how to keep moving forward. Year three is a big one for us.”

Sixteen beers will be on tap, including the limited-time return of the local favorite Low-Key Lit IPA to complement birthday cake, raffle prizes and food provided by the Ob-Skewered food truck from noon-5 p.m. Scott Stetson supplies live music for the celebration from 1-4 p.m.

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

Cider and cheese pairing at Barn Door Ciderworks

Barn Door Ciderworks, in partnership with the WNC Cheese Trail, will host a four-course cider and cheese pairing event Wednesday, April 27, 6 p.m.

Co-owners Katie Moore and Dan Fowler will guide guests through each pairing of house-made cider and local cheeses.

“Offering pairing events is always a fun and interesting way to share knowledge and educate people,” says Moore in a company press release.

Barn Door Ciderworks is at 23 Lytle Road, Fairview. Tickets cost $22 per person. For additional information, visit avl.mx/bhg.

Spring Herb Festival returns

WNC Agricultural Center will host the 32nd Spring Herb Festival Friday-Sunday, April 29-May 1. The festival will be held by the WNC Herb Marketing Association, a nonprofit organization supporting the growers of herbs and makers of herbal products in the WNC region since 2017. Over 60 WNC and regional herb growers and specialists will present medicinal and culinary herbs, heirloom vegetables, native plants and garden supplements.

“We want people to take away a new awareness of the value and importance of natural products,” says Andrew Reed, executive director of the festival. “Food and natural health practices and products are a big part of our regional economy; the herb industry brings in millions of dollars to the area each year.”

The WNC Agricultural Center is at 765 Boylston Highway. Admission, parking and workshops are free to all. Visit avl.mx/bhi for hours and additional information.

The Med: After Dark

Asheville’s late-night crowd has a new option for late-night grub, and it comes by way of a very familiar local staple. The Med, downtown’s iconic diner dishing creative takes on classic breakfast and lunch dishes since 1969, recently announced a new menu available after dark on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m.

“We’re really excited to offer Asheville a late-night food option that downtown has been missing,” says co-owner Elijah Scott in a press release announcing the addition. “Visitors can expect a high-quality, delicious and satisfying meal after a long night of brewery hopping, concertgoing or just getting off work for the night.”

A select menu of six remixed Med classics and unique creations now await hungry moonlit passersby from the comfort of a drive-thru-style sliding glass window.

Standards like scratch burgers and fried chicken complement new innovations such as the Doner-inspired Gryo Box with shaved lamb, grilled peppers and onions served over a bed of fries with tzatziki, and The City Haul: a smorgasbord of french fries, fried okra, meat, cheese and veggies piled high and topped smothered in red-eye gravy and “smack” sauce.

The Med is at 57 College St. Visit avl.mx/bhk for additional information and updates.

Popular food truck rebrands and expands

In January 2021, Julianne and Bobby Piñata took over operations of the Appalachian Chic food truck. More recently, the couple rebranded the business as Appalachian Chick, debuted a new look and logo and opened a quick-service deli — The Appalachian Chick Express — inside the Kounty Line, 195 Charlotte Highway.

“We had outgrown the original food truck operation and came across the opportunity to lease space in the Kounty Line,” says Bobby. “At that point, we had already decided to rebrand. People tended to call us Appalachian Chick anyway.”

“It swells my heart, especially with me being born and raised in Asheville, to start our own business and serve this community as a team,” adds Julianne.

For food truck hours and locations, visit avl.mx/bhl. The Appalachian Chick Express is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-1 p.m., serving breakfast sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, lunch wraps and more.


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