Have you ever dreamt of a place where the soil was lush and fertile? Where the sounds and sights of nature wrap you up in it’s peaceful beauty, and then upon further exploration you find that this magical realm’s people are even more beautiful than it’s landscape. A place where the inspiring beauty of the residents is then exceeded by their charm, warmth, and talent. And this talent is frequently directed towards producing some of the best feasting fare and whistle wetters you have ever had. We had thought that scenario could only be realized in a novel or a myth, then we discovered Asheville.
Dodie Stephens of ashevilletravel, or more properly known as the Public Relations Manager for the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, arranged for a Culinary Blogger Bash through their local FoodtopianSociety. She invited Alison of Humble Gourmand, Tami of Running with Tweezers, and Jaden of Steamy Kitchen to experience the culinary wonders of Asheville, North Carolina.
Jaden, being the sexy food goddess that she is, cast off her family from the trip and arranged for a few other lucky bloggers to be thrown into the mix. Helen of Tartelette, Brian of The Food Geek, and of course, lucky us (I finally got to be included on one of Diane’s trips! I promised to be on my best behavior) now had arrangements to explore Asheville, North Carolina.
Dodie had beautifully arranged for a culinary packed few days, however this utopia wasn’t limited to our excursions. She had arranged for us to stay at the incredible Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa. It was here, in their 4-Diamond restaurant Horizons, that for one evening our whole group was treated to a meal that was one of the best of either my or Diane’s life.
Although we arrived a day later than most of the gang and had missed the first day’s feasting and exploring, it felt like you could explore Asheville’s culinary scene for years and still not touch upon everything. It would be easy to rattle on about Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountain’s scenic beauty and local attractions for days, however that is what guidebooks are for. We want to share what completely made us fall in love with Asheville.
What truly was Asheville’s most endearing quality were her people and their love for food and drink. Especially when those crafted belly-goods came from within their own community. Asheville is striving towards becoming that pure ideal where nearly everything is grown, raised, or made locally and with great care and excellence. From the homegrown locals, to the imported residents, Asheville’s food love has garnered an unbelievable range of phenomenally talented people and with a community that supports it, and they are thriving.
We fell in love them them all and their stories and over the next few days we will be sharing the stories of some of the extraordinary people we were lucky enough to meet and hope you will fall in love with them as well.
So over the next week or two, we’ll begin our latest travel series, this time focused on Asheville, North Carolina and her wonderful farmers, artisans, ranchers, food producers and Chefs:
- Steve, Wake Robin Farm Breads – wood burning breads
- Dave, Farm and Sparrow – wood burning pastries
- Jaime Ager, Hickory Nut Gap Farm Meats – grass fed and finished beef, pork
- Belinda & April, Sunny Point Cafe - harvesting from their cafe garden
- Kevin, Grove Park Inn Resort – menu full of ingredients from local farmers
- Jael & Dan Rattigan, French Broad Chocolate Lounge – handmade chocolate highlighting local ingredients
- Cori & family, Spinning Spider Creamery – farmstead goat cheeses
- Local Breweries, French Broad Brewery , Highland Brewery & Brews Cruise
- Biltmore Estates Winery – mixology & wine blending
- Mark Rosenstein, The Market Place – Asheville’s slow food guru
Read our other Asheville stories
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If you like our little travel adventures and haven’t seen the posts on some of our previous gallivanting, check out our other travel essay series: