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. […]

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