It’s no longer a secret: Asheville is a must-visit culinary destination. With a rich history of foodways that are deeply connected to the mountains of Western North Carolina, Asheville and the surrounding area have boasted award-winning chefs and restaurants for years.
The Asheville Wine & Food Festival was born from a desire to celebrate and showcase our area’s chefs, wineries, farmers, and food producers. Through the support of organizations such as Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, Blue Ridge Food Ventures, Warren Wilson College, Organic Growers School, Seasonal School for Culinary Arts, and the Asheville-Buncombe Technical College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program, it’s easy to find an ever-increasing number of organic farms and talented chefs. And our region’s wealth of wineries have made viticulture a permanent part of the state’s economy.
The Festival is proud to maintain a charitable component by contributing proceeds and collaborating with area nonprofits that support and promote sustainable and ecologically-sound food production and education. The inaugural event in 2009 was a fund-raiser for RiverLink, which works to preserve our area’s waterways. Funds from the 2010 festival were awarded to MANNA FoodBank and Slow Food Asheville. In 2011, the Festival will share proceeds with F.E.A.S.T., a hands-on cooking program that focuses on seasonal, local ingredients and education. Children are taught how to plant, harvest, cook, eat, and enjoy food that is fresh, easy to prepare, affordable, and sustainable. The program is being implemented in public housing centers, public and private schools, and the YMCA and YWCA. F.E.A.S.T. is a program of Slow Food Asheville.
About the Grand Tasting
Founded in 2009, the inaugural event attracted attendees from all over the southeast who sampled wine and food while enjoying live entertainment on the banks of the French Broad River. In 2010, the WNC Chefs Challenge was introduced.
These weekly competitions allowed diners to judge the competitors’ dishes, and decide which teams advanced to the Finale. The ultimate cook-off took place during the Asheville Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting, which was attended by more than 2,000 foodies.
This year, the Grand Tasting will be held at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center on Saturday, August 13, 2011. More than 100 wineries, distributors, food vendors, and restaurants will participate, and 3,000 are expected to attend and delight in the offerings. The second annual WNC Chefs Challenge Finale will take place live at this year’s Festival, along with entertainment, workshops, and more.
Western North Carolina Agricultural Center, 1301 Fanning Bridge Road in Fletcher
12:00pm-5:00pm (VIP Access)
1:00pm-5:00pm (General Admission)
$65 (VIP Access) - Buy Ticket
$40 (General Admission) - Buy Ticket
On Friday, August 12, 2011 from 7:30 - 9:30pm, on the eve of the Grand Tasting, join us for a fun and unique culinary adventure into the decedent world of desserts.
Hosted in the historic Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville, guests will enjoy sampling an array of locally-sourced desserts as well as champagnes, specialty cocktails, spirits, dessert wines and more. Many of the Arcade shops will remain open for some after-hour shopping while also enjoying elegant live music.
Some Asheville restaurants will be offering discounts for Sweet ticket holders so that you can have dinner with them, and then have dessert with us. A listing of these participating restaurants will be released soon.
Grove Arcade, 1 Page Avenue in Asheville
$35 - Buy Ticket
(combination tickets including entry to the Grand Tasting also available)
FESTIVAL WEEKEND TICKETS:
$75 Combination ticket for Sweet and VIP Grand Tasting
$65 Combination ticket for Sweet and Grand Tasting General Admission