GREEN THUMB: Activist and farmer Karen Washington grew her first tomato in 1985. She's been involved in the food and farm scene ever since.

Small bites: Karen Washington uses food to connect the dots

The 2014 James Beard Leadership Award-winner Karen Washington will lead a workshop in anticipation of the Organic Growers School spring conference. Also, Food Connection hosts Chefs in Action; Curragh Chase pop-up dinner at Summit Coffee; White Labs Kitchen & Tap debuts fermentation series; Hickory Nut Gap Farm hosts whole hog butchery class; and James Beard Award semifinalists are announced.

A CUT ABOVE: Many Asheville hotel restaurants try to cater to the expectations of local residents as well as visitors. Pictured is The Blackbird chef Mike Reppert.

Not just for tourists: Asheville’s hotel restaurant­s bring their A game

Thanks to Asheville’s reputation as a food destination, many area hotels have stepped up their restaurant game in recent years with models that bring in the talents of well-known Western North Carolina chefs and highlight locally grown ingredients. And these hot spots aren’t just trying to woo tourists — there’s also a move toward catering to a local customer base. […]

A SALES PITCH TO END HOMELESSNESS: Real estate agent Ryan McCullough seeks to end homelessness in Buncombe County with his foundation, REACH. The organization is in partnership with Homeward Bound of WNC and will celebrate its launch party at Wicked Weed Brewing's Funkatorium on Friday, Jan. 26.

Small bites: REACH seeks to end homelessne­ss with launch party at Funkatoriu­m

Wicked Weed Brewing’s Funkatorium hosts the Real Estate Agents Combating Homelessness fund launch party. Also: The town of Fletcher hosts its 17th annual Chili Cook-Off; the Organic Growers School talks food sovereignty and agriculture in Cuba; Blue Spiral 1 hosts its first art dinner pairing; Your Vegan Mentor demonstrates homemade soups; and author Julia Turshen celebrates her latest cookbook at Nightbell.

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