FOLLOW THE RED BRICK ROAD: Karen and Jeff Lazzaro display a pair of bricks that will be added to Double D's readable patio in late September.

Small bites: Double D’s Coffee and Desserts launches ‘readable patio project’

Double D’s Coffee and Desserts invites the community to be a part of its latest renovation project. Also in this week’s food news, Sunny Point Café hosts a benefit dinner for FEAST, Farm to Fender celebrates its grand opening and Seasonal School of Culinary Arts announces a week of classes with local celebrity chefs and authors.

BOWLED OVER: Cúrate and Nightbell chef and co-owner Katie Button says that being able to customize her dinnerware was a major factor in choosing to work with Alex Matisse and his Marshall-based East Fork Pottery.  "We can talk about the type of food we have and the types of colors and textures and things we're looking for in the restaurant, and he makes it happen," says Button.

Home plates: Asheville restaurant­s set the table with locally crafted ceramics

Restaurateurs have long supported neighborhood artisans by enlisting them to create their signage and décor. But the ceramic vessels that hold Asheville’s locally sourced works of culinary art have largely remained standard-issue, industrially produced dinnerware. While many chefs would undoubtedly prefer to present their fare on unique, handcrafted dishes, there are plenty of reasons — […]

TOUGH COMPETITION: At last year's event, chef Joe Mitchell of Chestnut restaurant worked on prying open the jaws of a cooked lamb's head — the competition's secret ingredient.

Small bites: Getting wacky at Whacked

FRS Asheville’s Whacked brings together local chefs, school food service directors and Green Opportunities Kitchen Ready trainees for an off-the-wall culinary contest; fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz offers food preservation workshops at Rhubarb and the Asheville Food Park; chef Katie Button’s new cookbook is already topping online lists; chef Eric Scheffer hosts an Argentinian feast at Hickory Nut Gap Farm and Asheville gets a new restaurant ordering website.

Root Down, which serves creole, Southern and soul food, was the overall winner of the Asheville Food Truck Showdown in both 2014 and 2015. The 2016 event will feature 15 local food trucks vying for the prize.

Third annual Asheville Food Truck Showdown set for April 2

A flotilla of food trucks will converge on the Masonic Temple downtown on Saturday, April 2, for the third annual Asheville Food Truck Showdown. This year promises the largest contest yet, with 15 food trucks revving up for the event, which serves as a kickoff to Asheville’s food truck season. A wide range of cuisines will be brought to the table […]

Last year, the James Beard Foundation's "Best chef in the Southeast" award went to Ashley Christensen of Poole's Downtown Diner in Raleigh. This year, Asheville chefs John Fleer, Maherwan Irani and Katie Button are in the running for the region, which includes Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia in addition to our state. Image from jamesbeard.org

Trio of Asheville chefs make semifinals for ‘Best Chef in the Southeast’

Founded in honor of cookbook author, educator and American cuisine enthusiast James Beard, the James Beard Foundation’s mission is “to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage…” And three Asheville chefs — John Fleer of Rhubarb, Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani and MG Road and Katie Button of Nightbell and Curate — also have […]

SWEET SUCCESS: Karen Donatelli paid her culinary dues apprenticing under a classical French pastry chef in a predominantly male kitchen. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

A man’s world? Three successful women chefs share their experience­s

It’s hardly breaking news that the food industry is a male-dominated field. What’s interesting is that the tides are reportedly changing: The number of women entering culinary schools is rising steadily, more and more women are working in the industry, and a female executive chef is far from the jaw-dropping news it was 20 years ago. But even as the modifier “female” before the word “chef” becomes more annoying than warranted, it’s still the case that women are a minority in the industry and are less likely than men to fill leadership positions in the kitchen.