Tasting Bazaar at Pack Square: "Pay-What-You-Can" Sunday Pass

Pay-What-You-Can
Single Day Pass - Sunday

*ALL AGES*

Buy Tickets

PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN

MINIMUM DONATION : $25

SUNDAY, SEPT. 10
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

PACK SQUARE PARK
DOWNTOWN, ASHEVILLE, NC

THE SKINNY

Features of the Tasting Bazaar at Pack Square:

  • 40+ rotating bites and sips each day.
  • Main Stage featuring talks, music, panel discussions, performance, games, and more.
  • Artisan Makers’ Market featuring locally made goods and products + Food Truck Rodeo.
  • Special Sunday Performance from the Asheville Ballet.

 


 

NOTE:

Please note this pay-what-you-can offering is designed to include folks with limited budgets who wouldn’t be able to participate otherwise.

Please consider that our cost per attendee is greater than the value of the $125 per day ticket. We rely on our generous donors and sponsors to help us offer the tickets at a more affordable cost. Please pay what you can and, if you are able to pay more please know you will be supporting our value of inclusivity.

Starting donation starts at $25. Suggested donation is $75 per ticket. If you are able to pay more, please do so in support of our mission, all ticket sales go to paying industry leading honorariums to our culinary and beverage presenters.

A note on pricing transparency: we want these events to be as accessible as possible and so have a flexible pricing policy, if you need additional assistance in attending one of our events, reach out to us at community@chowchowasheville.com we would love to do what we can to have you join the celebration! 

MAIN STAGE SPEAKERS

MAIN STAGE SCHEDULE

Anne Grier
Gaining Ground Farm
Anne Grier
Gaining Ground Farm

Anne grew up in southwest Virginia where, in her early years, her family had a large beef farm. When the family quit farming due to economics, she learned, with encouragement from her parents, how to grow a vegetable garden. After attending Brevard College for 2 years, she started learning about organic agriculture by working on different farms in WNC and western Massachusetts.

Anne and her husband, Aaron own a farm located in Leicester, NC on 70 acres of family farm land. The farm is home to a heard of Red Devon cattle, a Jersey milk cow, a flock of chickens, and several acres of vegetable-growing bottom-land. We strive to produce food that is healthier for all of us raised in a manner easier on the environment.

Elizabeth Cox
NCICS / University of North Carolina Asheville, Atmospheric Sciences, Climatology (BA May 2024)
Elizabeth Cox
NCICS / University of North Carolina Asheville, Atmospheric Sciences, Climatology (BA May 2024)

Elizabeth (Liz) Cox is an Atmospheric Sciences senior at UNCA with a Climatology focus. She will graduate with a B.S. in May of 2024. Liz plans to combine her new science skills with her background in events. For example, her recent past work brought funding to three California cities to pilot neighborhood-wide disaster resiliency programs. Liz is interested in helping climate scientists make connections that accelerate innovative ideas, build new partnerships and technologies, improve equity and inclusion, and empower vulnerable communities. She works to support scientifically informed societal decision-making.

Liz began her events journey in the high-end wedding industry, designing receptions in stunning locations like the Biltmore Estate and the Grove Park Inn. As a producer, Liz has curated multi-day immersive events and retreats throughout western North Carolina since 2013. She has orchestrated performances, scientific conferences, and intimate concerts in over 40 US states.

Currently, within NCICS Engagement and Outreach department, Liz is working on several upcoming events.

Liz has called Weaverville, NC home since 2006. She is a mother and enjoys spending time with her family. In her free time, she enjoys live theater, floral design, yoga, and kayaking.

Jenny Dissen
NCICS | NOAA
Jenny Dissen
NCICS | NOAA

Jenny Dissen is the Corporate Relations and Partnerships lead at NCICS, where she facilitates collaborations and partnerships across academia, government, public, private, and other sectors to inspire innovative use and application of environmental data. In this engagement role, she provides strategic support to the NOAA NCEI Information Services and Assessments activities and works closely with the NCICS Director on innovative activities in the use, application and access to NOAA and other environmental data.

She serves as the NCICS engagement lead for the NOAA Big Data Program and as program manager for the U.S. Department of State and NOAA U.S.-India Partnership for Climate Resilience on high resolution climate models and projections, and is part of collaborative research project on climate information for the real-estate sector. Most recently, she also contributed to the State of North Carolina’s climate science report and resiliency plan.

Prior to joining NCICS, Ms. Dissen was with Accenture’s Utilities Practice in energy delivery and business transformation and supported the development of their Climate Change and Sustainability practice in 2008. The latter led to her work as a regional program manager with the William J. Clinton Foundation in their Clinton Climate Initiative in Southeast Asia.

Ms. Dissen has a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering – Environmental Systems Analysis, and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering, both from NC State University. Recent certificates are in Climate Change and Society from the UNC Asheville Masters in Liberal Arts Program and Harvard Business School Executive Education Program on Global Energy Seminars. Currently, she serves on the Electric Power Research Institute Advisory Council, is the co-chair of the American Meteorological Society Committee on Partnerships, and regionally supports the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the Asheville Museum of Science and, the Collider, a climate innovation center.

Laura Legnick
Author: Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate | Cultivating Resilience, LLC | Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming
Laura Legnick
Author: Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate | Cultivating Resilience, LLC | Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming

Laura Lengnick has worked for a just transformation of U.S. food and farming for more than 30 years. Her research in soil health and sustainable farming systems was nationally recognized with a USDA Secretary’s Honor Award in 2002 and she served as a lead author of the 2013 USDA report, Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptation.  The second edition of her award-winning book, Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate (2022), explores climate change, resilience and the future of food through the adaptation stories of some of America’s best sustainable, organic, regenerative and climate-smart farmers and ranchers. Laura owns Cultivating Resilience, LLC, and serves as the Director of Agriculture at the Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming in Cold Spring, NY.  She resides in Asheville, NC

Laura Stevens
North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies at North Carolina State University (NCISC) | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)
Laura Stevens
North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies at North Carolina State University (NCISC) | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)

Laura Stevens is a research scientist with the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies at North Carolina State University. She analyzes changes in both past and future climate in order to support the National Climate Assessment and other products under the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Laura has served as an author on multiple publications, including the Fourth and Fifth National Climate Assessments, NOAA’s State Climate Summaries, and the North Carolina Climate Science Report. She holds a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Reading and a master’s degree in atmospheric science from the University of Leeds in the UK.

THE TALENT

40+ rotating sips and bites each day from the region’s most talented chefs, restaurants, beverage programs, food producers, and more. Follow us on Instagram for ongoing new talent announcements!

Anne Grier
Gaining Ground Farm
Anne Grier
Gaining Ground Farm

Anne grew up in southwest Virginia where, in her early years, her family had a large beef farm. When the family quit farming due to economics, she learned, with encouragement from her parents, how to grow a vegetable garden. After attending Brevard College for 2 years, she started learning about organic agriculture by working on different farms in WNC and western Massachusetts.

Anne and her husband, Aaron own a farm located in Leicester, NC on 70 acres of family farm land. The farm is home to a heard of Red Devon cattle, a Jersey milk cow, a flock of chickens, and several acres of vegetable-growing bottom-land. We strive to produce food that is healthier for all of us raised in a manner easier on the environment.

Benjamin Hester
The Odd
Benjamin Hester
The Odd

See Chef Ben. Chef Ben likes to cook food. Cook Ben, Cook! Ben likes to feed people. People like to eat Ben’s food. Eat People, Eat.

Beth Kellerhals
Good Gravy Bakes
Beth Kellerhals
Good Gravy Bakes
Christian Barroso
Guajiro Cuban Comfort Food
Christian Barroso
Guajiro Cuban Comfort Food

A second generation Cuban-American, Chris spent his childhood listening to his Grandmother’s stories about growing up on her father’s farm. Chris and “Nana” have cooked countless everyday authentic Cuban meals together. Together, Chris and Chef Joel have brought their Cuban taste to Asheville.

Jess & Craw
beeswax & butter
Jess & Craw
beeswax & butter

beeswax and butter is rooted in Asheville. Jess and Craw regularly renew our commitment to communities, bodies, and planet by supporting local producers. Our fruits, herbs, dairy, eggs, and flour come from regional farmers, most of whom share time with us at tailgate markets.

Daniel Coker
Biltmore Estate
Daniel Coker
Biltmore Estate

Born in Robbinsville, NC, Chef Daniel has 15 years of culinary experience, the last 10 of which he gained with Cedric’s Tavern. He began his Biltmore career at Cedric’s in 2013 as Cook II; rising swiftly through the ranks, he earned three promotions in seven years, and was named Executive Chef in 2021. Proud to support George Vanderbilt’s vision of a working, self-sustaining estate, and appreciative of its field to table program, he enjoys crafting fresh, estate-raised produce, grains, and proteins into exceptional cuisine.

Davis Taylor
Rhubarb
Davis Taylor
Rhubarb

Chef de Cuisine Davis Taylor leads the kitchen at Rhubarb, working alongside Executive Chef/Owner John Fleer to bring seasonally and locally focused, vegetable-forward menus to Asheville, NC. An Alabama native, Taylor credits his passion for cooking to a variety of inspirational mentors throughout his adolescence, from baking pound cake and pot roast with his grandmother to dining and socializing weekly at Jubilee Seafood in Montgomery, AL with late Chef/Owner Bud Skinner. While earning a degree in economics and philosophy at Auburn University, he cooked in various kitchens along the Gulf Coast, solidifying his interest in a full-time career as a chef. Craving a change of pace, he moved to west to work at VailResorts, in Colorado and Wyoming before landing a position at Ataula, a Spanish restaurant by Chef Jose Chesa in Portland, OR. In 2016, he earned a degree in Culinary Arts at the Oregon Culinary Institute. Shortly thereafter, Taylor moved to Asheville in 2016 and joined the Rhubarb team as a line cook. He quickly rose through the ranks, from Sous Chef to Executive Sous Chef to his present position as Chef de Cuisine. In this role, he emulates friend and mentor John Fleer’s cooking style, philosophy, and leadership approach to develop menus and lead the team with a strong emphasis on respect for both the people and the products in the kitchen. Driven by intentionality and creating a “sense of place” in his cooking, Taylor hopes to foster joy, comfort, and nourishment through food, while helping guests identify historical foodways and their connection to cultural truths. At Rhubarb, he’s proud to positively impact the community by supporting sustainable, regenerative agriculture and serving food at its uncomplicated best.

Elizabeth Cox
NCICS / University of North Carolina Asheville, Atmospheric Sciences, Climatology (BA May 2024)
Elizabeth Cox
NCICS / University of North Carolina Asheville, Atmospheric Sciences, Climatology (BA May 2024)

Elizabeth (Liz) Cox is an Atmospheric Sciences senior at UNCA with a Climatology focus. She will graduate with a B.S. in May of 2024. Liz plans to combine her new science skills with her background in events. For example, her recent past work brought funding to three California cities to pilot neighborhood-wide disaster resiliency programs. Liz is interested in helping climate scientists make connections that accelerate innovative ideas, build new partnerships and technologies, improve equity and inclusion, and empower vulnerable communities. She works to support scientifically informed societal decision-making.

Liz began her events journey in the high-end wedding industry, designing receptions in stunning locations like the Biltmore Estate and the Grove Park Inn. As a producer, Liz has curated multi-day immersive events and retreats throughout western North Carolina since 2013. She has orchestrated performances, scientific conferences, and intimate concerts in over 40 US states.

Currently, within NCICS Engagement and Outreach department, Liz is working on several upcoming events.

Liz has called Weaverville, NC home since 2006. She is a mother and enjoys spending time with her family. In her free time, she enjoys live theater, floral design, yoga, and kayaking.

Erica Beneke + Matt Farr
Red Fiddle Vittles
Erica Beneke + Matt Farr
Red Fiddle Vittles

Red Fiddle Vittles creates fine food inspired by Appalachian ingredients, farms, and traditions. Red Fiddle operates a gourmet grocery and catering business in South Asheville featuring products and ingredients from dozens of local farms, foragers, and makers.

Gab Bonfiglio
Leveller Brewing
Gab Bonfiglio
Leveller Brewing

Gab chose to work in the brewing industry for its potential to demonstrate how businesses build connections, redistribute resources, and reckon with change in their communities. She entered the beer world through Lamplighter Brewing in Cambridge, MA, where she tended bar and built a multi-faceted community engagement program while co-leading Boston’s Pink Boots Society chapter. In Asheville, she worked in New Belgium’s Liquid Center before joining Andrew and Sally to open Leveller. Gab is a Certified Cicerone®, offering accessible beer education online through AirBnB and in person at Leveller events.

Graham House
Luminosa
Graham House
Luminosa

Graham House is the Executive Chef at Luminosa, an upscale eatery driven by Italian classics, hyperlocal ingredients, and dishes crafted in a wood-burning oven and grill. A proud native of Western North Carolina, Graham is a seasoned chef who brings a wealth of experience and a deep-rooted connection and appreciation for the local community to his role as the culinary leader at the highly anticipated Flat Iron Hotel.

Jake Whitman
The Pure & Proper
Jake Whitman
The Pure & Proper

Jake Whitman is the Managing Chef and Partner of The Pure & Proper in Black Mountain, NC. Born in South Florida and later growing up in the Asheville area, Jake quickly connected to food when cooking alongside his grandmother. As a first generation American growing up in Miami, combined with her Russian-Jewish culture, Jake’s grandmother cultivated many unique recipes and quality family-time that helped shape his future in professional kitchens.

Jake’s official start in the restaurant industry was washing dishes at Magnolia’s in downtown Asheville. Absorbing everything he could from that position, he went on to attend ABTech’s Culinary program. While in school, Jake worked as a line cook at Que Sera in Black Mountain where he and his wife, Ali, met. He eventually went back to Asheville to work at several staples such as Zambra and The Admiral, further shaping his skills and experiences as a chef.

Fast-forward to today and Jake now has two of his own restaurants, Loott House in Swannanoa and The Pure & Proper in Black Mountain. Jake’s mission is to cultivate a healthy and creative work environment in his restaurants to inspire growth and education among his chefs.

James O'Hern
Biltmore
James O'Hern
Biltmore

Born in Orlando, FL began and at the age of 24 moved to Seattle to begin my career as a cook while learning from great chefs Like Jim Drohman of Le Pichet and Matt Jenke at Lecosho while growing personal connections with farmers in the Pacific Northwest. At 30 I became the Chef de Cuisine of Café Presse In Seattle and remained there for seven years until I moved here to Asheville with hopes to start up my own farm here in the future. At the Biltmore I am privileged to have the inspiration of a farm directly associated with the cuisine here at the restaurant and the products I get to work with on a daily basis.

Jamie Davis (he/him)
The Hackney Distillery
Jamie Davis (he/him)
The Hackney Distillery

Executive Chef Jamie Davis is from Jacksonville, NC but grew up with a Dad in the marines so he moved around a lot before resettling back in his home state. He started working in his first restaurant at 16 years old as a dishwasher and worked his way up through the ranks to manager by the time he was 18. He joined the army and served and cooked for troops in Iraq before attending culinary school in Savannah, Georgia. Jamie’s style is grounded in his classical training as he builds depth of flavor into his stocks and sauces over days and sometimes weeks of development. Moving around the South as he was growing up, he developed a love of all food cultures within the South thus his menu style is Southern Eclectic! He works to make sure that the local seasonal ingredients from our Farms/Food Heroes shine and speak for themselves on the plate.

Jenny Dissen
NCICS | NOAA
Jenny Dissen
NCICS | NOAA

Jenny Dissen is the Corporate Relations and Partnerships lead at NCICS, where she facilitates collaborations and partnerships across academia, government, public, private, and other sectors to inspire innovative use and application of environmental data. In this engagement role, she provides strategic support to the NOAA NCEI Information Services and Assessments activities and works closely with the NCICS Director on innovative activities in the use, application and access to NOAA and other environmental data.

She serves as the NCICS engagement lead for the NOAA Big Data Program and as program manager for the U.S. Department of State and NOAA U.S.-India Partnership for Climate Resilience on high resolution climate models and projections, and is part of collaborative research project on climate information for the real-estate sector. Most recently, she also contributed to the State of North Carolina’s climate science report and resiliency plan.

Prior to joining NCICS, Ms. Dissen was with Accenture’s Utilities Practice in energy delivery and business transformation and supported the development of their Climate Change and Sustainability practice in 2008. The latter led to her work as a regional program manager with the William J. Clinton Foundation in their Clinton Climate Initiative in Southeast Asia.

Ms. Dissen has a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering – Environmental Systems Analysis, and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering, both from NC State University. Recent certificates are in Climate Change and Society from the UNC Asheville Masters in Liberal Arts Program and Harvard Business School Executive Education Program on Global Energy Seminars. Currently, she serves on the Electric Power Research Institute Advisory Council, is the co-chair of the American Meteorological Society Committee on Partnerships, and regionally supports the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the Asheville Museum of Science and, the Collider, a climate innovation center.

John Wilson
Tupelo Honey
John Wilson
Tupelo Honey

Executive Chef at Tupelo Honey’s Mothership location in Downtown Asheville.

Laura Legnick
Author: Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate | Cultivating Resilience, LLC | Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming
Laura Legnick
Author: Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate | Cultivating Resilience, LLC | Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming

Laura Lengnick has worked for a just transformation of U.S. food and farming for more than 30 years. Her research in soil health and sustainable farming systems was nationally recognized with a USDA Secretary’s Honor Award in 2002 and she served as a lead author of the 2013 USDA report, Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptation.  The second edition of her award-winning book, Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate (2022), explores climate change, resilience and the future of food through the adaptation stories of some of America’s best sustainable, organic, regenerative and climate-smart farmers and ranchers. Laura owns Cultivating Resilience, LLC, and serves as the Director of Agriculture at the Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming in Cold Spring, NY.  She resides in Asheville, NC

Laura Stevens
North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies at North Carolina State University (NCISC) | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)
Laura Stevens
North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies at North Carolina State University (NCISC) | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)

Laura Stevens is a research scientist with the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies at North Carolina State University. She analyzes changes in both past and future climate in order to support the National Climate Assessment and other products under the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Laura has served as an author on multiple publications, including the Fourth and Fifth National Climate Assessments, NOAA’s State Climate Summaries, and the North Carolina Climate Science Report. She holds a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Reading and a master’s degree in atmospheric science from the University of Leeds in the UK.

Lynn Wells (she/her)
Our State Magazine | Thyme Well Spent Personal Chef Service
Lynn Wells (she/her)
Our State Magazine | Thyme Well Spent Personal Chef Service

As a North Carolina native, Lynn brings over 20 years of experience in cooking locally grown food mixed with lots of Southern hospitality for private clients. With a B.S. in Nutrition Management and as a former Registered Dietitian, Lynn incorporates natural, whole foods and ingredients enhanced by her knowledge for the art of cooking. As recipe developer for Our State Magazine, Lynn creates recipes using the best ingredients and keeps recipes simple so the flavors from the main ingredient are the star.

In addition to owning Thyme Well Spent Personal Chef Service since 2014, Lynn is a food stylist for cookbook authors, magazines, and corporations. She also enjoys writing food stories and partnering with Cone Health teaching cancer patients, caregivers, and employees how nutrition and whole foods factors into their overall wellness when cooking at home.

Noble Cider
Noble Cider

From a humble fruit comes a Noble Cider. We started with a simple mission and very little cash! With great apples from Lewis Creek Farm we were able to become Asheville’s first hard cider company. Now we make a variety of things…mead, spritzers, wine, and cider of course!

Ramona Young
Kente Kitchen Market
Ramona Young
Kente Kitchen Market

Founder of the Kente Kitchen. A foodie with a mission to feed all kids, eliminate food insecurity, and provide food access to all living in Buncombe County. If you have traveled to Africa or if you have never traveled to Africa, The Kente Kitchen Market, specializing in West African Cuisine, is an opportunity for you to experience something that you will find nowhere around town. All dishes are made with fresh ingredients and can be modified to accommodate vegan and vegetarian diets.

Reyaña Radcliff (she/her)
Your Braisen Chef
Reyaña Radcliff (she/her)
Your Braisen Chef

Chef Reyaña Radcliff grew up in New Orleans where famously unique cuisine was everywhere. Her Dad and Grandmother both taught her traditional Creole & Cajun dishes, as well as basic cooking methods at an early age. Her Mom opened her eyes to the wonders of well-made everyday comfort foods. By the age of fifteen, Reyaña went to her high school counselor and proclaimed that she wanted to be a chef! Realizing that if she wanted to be the best, she would have to have the best training, education, and experience. So, she decided to attend the best university – Johnson and Wales University, also known as the Harvard of Culinary Arts. After earning an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts, Reyaña went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Food Service Management. During her time in school, she worked at several prominent resorts, and spent a semester catering at the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. Once done with school, she stayed in Charlotte, North Carolina working in country clubs at every station, eventually becoming a Hotel Sous Chef, prior to ultimately earning the prestigious title of Executive Chef.

When everything about everyday life on the planet changed in 2020, Reyaña used her fine dining experiences to start her own catering company, Your Braisen Chef, LLC. Like so many others, she made the best of a difficult situation and gained freedom in being able to create her own epicurean triumphs, all while including her daughter Tiarra and teaching her how to become a businesswoman. Today, Chef Reyaña enjoys catering for special occasions, doing culinary demonstrations at industry events, and teaching cooking classes in person and virtually through social media. She has been featured on the podcast Patchwork (Episode 17), Baddies with Business (Episode 88) a guest chef at The BayHaven Food & Wine Festival, Crave Charlotte Food & Wine Festival, a featured Chef at Sliced Cooking Competition as well as the NCRLA 2022 Chef Showdown, and at various teaching arenas. She also acts as a consultant for up-and-coming restaurant groups and manufacturers, and avidly donates food to local charities.

Robin Stevens
Noble Cider
Robin Stevens
Noble Cider

We use only the best ingredients

We know where our ingredients come from. We know the farmers that grow them. We name each apple before we press it into juice. (Just kidding on that last one.)

What makes us different?

Not only do we use premium ingredients, we grow some of our own. In partnership with Lewis Creek Farms, Noble is grafting and growing true cider apple varieties. Founded in the new ‘Craft Brew Mecca’ of Asheville and North Carolina’s apple country, Noble brings together a rich local history of agriculture with this region’s exciting craft beverage industry.

Santiago Guzzetti
ILDA restaurant
Santiago Guzzetti
ILDA restaurant

Rustic Italian-Appalachian cuisine with inventive craft cocktails and rare wines in the heart of downtown Sylva. Ilda is the artisan passion project of Chef Santiago Guzzetti, Sommelier Crystal Pace and Spirits Director, Antoine Hodge. Nestled in the Smokey Mountains of Western North Carolina, the trio felt called to build a home that is rich in culture, craft and community. Santiago’s heritage in Italian cuisine and Crystal’s ties to her hometown of Appalachia create a cuisine that is unique, but also honors and respects history. This union of Italian and Southern Appalachian cuisine is the foundation where they will recreate the comfort you found at your grandmother’s kitchen table.

Sean McMullin
The Flat Iron Hotel / Luminosa
Sean McMullin
The Flat Iron Hotel / Luminosa

Sean McMullen is the Chef de Cuisine of Luminosa, an upscale eatery driven by Italian classics, hyperlocal ingredients, and dishes crafted in a wood-burning oven and grill. Bringing over 18 years of culinary expertise to the team, Sean is known throughout the region for his longstanding connections with local farmers and a strong commitment to utilizing seasonal ingredients in his cooking. Passionate about reducing food waste, a value that was instilled in him during his time as Chef de Cuisine at Wisteria, Sean’s dedication to Appalachian cuisine and preservation techniques includes canning, pickling, fermentation, and dehydration. Aside from his extensive training in whole animal butchery and acidulated foods, Sean draws inspiration from his travels across Europe while also embracing the Italian ethos of seasonality.

At Luminosa, located within The Flat Iron Hotel, Sean is excited to play a role in the
revitalization of a historic landmark, working closely with local farmers and producers to create seasonally inspired cuisine that celebrates the unique flavors and traditions of Appalachia.

During his time in the High Country, he was an active partner with organizations like the Hunger Health Coalition and engaged in local fundraising efforts with groups like Oasis Recovery Center, which put an emphasis on the importance of giving back to the community. Sean believes that cooking is an act of love, and his culinary creations reflect this philosophy, bringing people together through memorable dining experiences.
Outside of the kitchen, Sean finds solace and inspiration in nature and enjoys hiking, foraging, and snowboarding.

Sujitra "May" Chubthaisong (she/her)
Thai Pearl Restaurant
Sujitra "May" Chubthaisong (she/her)
Thai Pearl Restaurant

 

 

Raised in the mountains of rural Thailand, Chef May brings her award-winning Thai Cuisine to the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Victoria Roenigk
The Biltmore Company
Victoria Roenigk
The Biltmore Company

Village Social Executive Chef Vicki earned culinary arts and pastry arts degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Hired at Biltmore in 2014 as Pastry Cook for Deerpark Restaurant and Lioncrest, she joined the team opening Village Social one year later, playing a key role in the establishment of a successful kitchen in a new restaurant. Named Pastry Demi Chef in 2017, Sous Chef and Pastry Chef in 2018, and Executive Chef in 2021, Chef Vicki takes great pride in creating flavorful, familiar food with a local twist

EVENT SPONSORS

Private Family Foundation
Community Engagement
Private Family Foundation
Community Engagement

This generous donor provided support for all of our community access programming to allow more people from any financial situation to join in the celebration!

Shay & Company
Festival Production
Shay & Company
Festival Production

Shay Brown: Shay Brown makes magic happen. She is an expert planner and community connector who creates meaningful experiences for hosts and guests across the Southeast. With over 20 years of experience, Shay and her team plans dozens of events, festivals, and weddings every year, as well as managing several boutique venues. Shay is also the Festival Director for Chow Chow, GRINDfest, and CiderFest NC where she is responsible for full-scale event production and managing the team of Directors for Culinary, Beverage, Makers, and Volunteers.

Prior to starting her company, Shay had a career as a lobbyist, where she developed a love for working with people and honing her skills in relationship development and building connections. She made it a priority to deeply understand each client’s vision, their likes and dislikes, and tailored events to reflect their unique character. She believes that each moment should illuminate the authentic personality of the client, not the desire of the planner and that is what sets Shay and her team apart from others.

Shay has surrounded herself with an amazing, talented, and professional staff that delivers each element of the planning process with the same quality and detail that Shay has cultivated over more than two decades in the industry.

Shay is very passionate about a lot of things in life like hiking, cooking, books, and spending time with neighbors and friends in the Asheville community. Most of all, though, she is in love with her family and fur babies Hazel, Eastwood,  Tinsel, Max, Onyx, and Addy.

Diageo
Presenting Content Sponsor: Collaborating Theme
Diageo
Presenting Content Sponsor: Collaborating Theme

With over 200 brands and sales in more than 180 countries, we offer something for every taste and celebration.

Our portfolio spans the spectrum of tastes and occasions, moving at pace with the latest trends. From much-loved, established brands to the latest innovations, we provide products, tastes and experiences for people to enjoy as part of celebrations big or small.

Diamond Brand Gear
Presenting Content Sponsor: Innovating Theme | Glamping Ground at the Tasting Bazaar
Diamond Brand Gear
Presenting Content Sponsor: Innovating Theme | Glamping Ground at the Tasting Bazaar

We are dedicated to one thing at Diamond Brand: practicing, preserving, and elevating the art of tent making. Since relocating to Asheville in 1942, we’ve been manufacturing and hiring locally, because we believe in reviving the craft of sewing. See what our customers have to say about our gear.

Go Mini's Moving & Portable Storage
Go Mini's Moving & Portable Storage

GO MINI’S® | THE PORTABLE STORAGE CONTAINER EXPERTS

Founded in 2002, Go Mini’s® has become one of the fastest-growing portable storage and moving companies in North America with locations in 39 states in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In 2012, our company converted into a franchise model and now has 79 franchise locations within the United States. Our company is proud to have been recognized by Franchise Business Review as a Top Franchise in 2017. Entrepreneur Magazine also ranked us 16th on their list of 2017’s Top New Franchises.

Go Mini’s® is an active member of the International Franchising Association, where members strive to continually improve their business through networking, partnerships, and shared advice. We offer both local moving services and temporary portable storage container solutions for your convenience. Get in touch with us for more information about us and our portable storage containers. We also have careers and franchise opportunities available.

Got to be NC
Presenting Content Sponsor: Cultivating Theme
Got to be NC
Presenting Content Sponsor: Cultivating Theme

Got to Be NC is an initiative on behalf of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services to promote North Carolina agricultural products and goods. Our mission is to promote and expand markets for North Carolina agricultural products both domestically and internationally in support of our state’s $95+ billion plus food, fiber and forestry industries.

In 2005, the Goodness Grows in NC program was rebranded as Got to Be NC. From then to now, our work with North Carolina growers and agricultural organizations continues to raise the awareness and availability of North Carolina products to consumers both locally and around the world.

Sysco
Presenting Content Sponsor: Preserving Theme
Sysco
Presenting Content Sponsor: Preserving Theme

Sustainability is an integral part of our Recipe for Growth business strategy. We know that to achieve our business goals we must also achieve our sustainability goals. As the global leader in foodservice, we are committed to growing responsibly and purposefully while leading our industry to more sustainable future. Our latest report shares updates on the actions we are taking today to secure a sustainable future for all.

Check out our progress in Sysco’s 2022 Sustainability Report. Translated versions are available under ‘Resources’ at the bottom of the page.

Learn more about our 2025 Goals and climate goal.

The Restoration Hotel Collection, Asheville
Lodging Partner | Venue Sponsor
The Restoration Hotel Collection, Asheville
Lodging Partner | Venue Sponsor
Union Transfer & Storage
Union Transfer & Storage

Union Transfer & Storage is a full-service moving and storage business that values quality and trust. We understand that moving and storing are highly personal, and we guarantee integrity with the delivery and care of our clients’ belongings.

Our team approaches every project with innovative and mindful solutions so that everyone receives uncompromising logistical support and a personal touch, regardless of the size and scope of our collaboration.

Atelier Maison & Co.
Atelier Maison & Co.
Cheney Brothers
Cheney Brothers

Mission Statement

Improve and innovate our products and services

Never content to rest on our laurels, we strive to continuously improve and innovate our products and services. This commitment to excellence has served our customers well for more than 90 years, and continues to serve as our standard for success.

Our Promise

We insist upon top quality products from nationally recognized manufacturers. Our broad inventory consists of more than 64,000 stocked items, from gourmet to everyday. Never content to rest on our laurels, we strive to continuously improve and innovate our products and services. This commitment to excellence has served our customers well for more than 90 years, and continues to serve as our standard for success.

We understand that our customers rely on accurate and prompt deliveries. Our technological systems ensure that every order reaches customers on time and in optimal condition. Our state-of-the-art warehousing systems process every order with precision. A fleet of modern, temperature-controlled delivery trucks is equipped with satellite positioning technology to provide customers with faster, more efficient deliveries. These advances inspire customer confidence and satisfaction, which has been our goal since 1925.

– Byron Russell, Chairman & CEO

Duke's Mayo
Duke's Mayo

It was at Camp Sevier in 1917 that the Duke’s Mayonnaise legacy began. Eugenia Duke of Greenville, SC, made sandwiches in her home kitchen to sell to army canteens during WWI.  Eugenia’s sandwiches (and the mayo that gave them their special flavor) were so unforgettably delicious that years after they’d left the camp, soldiers wrote to Eugenia begging for her sandwich recipes and jars of her delectable spread.  She began bottling it as a product on its own in 1923.

Over the past 100 years, Duke’s has continued to cultivate and celebrate its commitment to family recipes and bold, southern flavors.

In addition to the flagship mayonnaise, which is still made according to Eugenia’s original recipe in Greenville, SC, Duke’s offers light, olive oil, and flavored mayonnaise, tartar sauce, sandwich relish and regionally-inspired Duke’s Southern Sauces, mustards, and dressings.

Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville
Lodging Partner
Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville
Lodging Partner
US Foods
US Foods

US Foods® is one of America’s great food companies and a leading foodservice distributor, partnering with approximately 300,000 restaurants and foodservice operators to help their businesses succeed. With nearly 28,000 employees and more than 70 locations, we provide our customers with a broad and innovative food offering and a comprehensive suite of e-commerce, technology, and business solutions.

Beer to Bags
Beer to Bags
Giving single-use malt bags a longer life as brewery merch.
Tired of throwing away your spent malt bags? Looking for the best brewery merch? You’re not alone. We’ve got a unique solution that allows you to boast of your upcycling and output a profitable, customized beer tote. Born out of Raleigh-based consumer upcycling company Reborn Closet, Beer to Bags is the answer to an unnecessary problem of waste in the brewing industry. Products made of Polypropylene, like malt bags, degrade slowly in landfills and can take 20-30 years to decompose.

The way the bags are manufactured make them difficult to recycle, often with multiple liners and layers of polypropylene. Some breweries have joined forces to get to enough volume of grain bags to sell to a downstream recycler who will feed the bags into an extruder, melt it at extremely high heats and form it into pellets.

There are a few unfortunate problems with this. Whether any recycler wants more plastic at this point and whether the logistics and financials can work out to make sense is not a guaranteed solution. It also reinforces the idea that products are only usable once, and recycling processes use intensive energy and resources.

Enter upcycling. When possible, upcycling is better than recycling because rather than using more energy and resources to break down a product into a lesser material, it preserves the original value of the material in a higher value form. Our example – we’re taking packaging worth a few cents and turning it into a product of $20+ retail value.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

To improve the health and well-being of our customers and communities – we won’t stop until health care is better for all.

Since 1933, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) has been committed to making health care easier to navigate, more affordable and more accessible to all. Through our history, we’ve grown to better serve our members and meet North Carolina’s biggest health challenges.

We invest in our local communities to support the overall health of all North Carolinians. We’ve secured millions of dollars for charitable causes, volunteered more than 129,000 hours and supported countless other causes dedicated to fighting hunger, homelessness and family hardship.

Negron Family Foundation
Negron Family Foundation
Organic Growers School
Organic Growers School

Organic Growers School is the premier provider of practical and affordable organic education in the Southern Appalachians. After 30 years, we continue to build a vibrant food & farming community by boosting the success of organic home growers and farmers.

Quility
Quility
Shanti Elixirs
Shanti Elixirs

Shanti Volpe is the owner of Shanti Elixirs, a company inspired by the honeybees + dedicated to nurturing the intimate connection between the health of our bodies + the wellbeing of our planet. Shanti + her hive accomplish this by crafting Jun, a sparkling probiotic beverage made with raw honey.

Smoking J’s Fiery Foods is a family owned and operated farm business located in Western North Carolina’s beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain town of Candler which is just a few short miles west of Asheville. Asheville is a city rich with naturally grown, artfully produced and lovingly prepared cuisine and so much more.

We take great pride in offering a diverse line of original hand crafted specialty food products and great emphasis is placed on environmentally friendly farming practices as well as natural and preservative free sauces.

Currently our product line includes seasonally fresh peppers, pepper mash, dried peppers and a wide variety of hot sauce, bbq sauce, salsa and blended dry rubs, and we are adding new products all the time.

All of our products are prepared in small batches and closely monitored to insure a high level of taste consistency and character. We work with businesses both large and small so we look forward to hearing from you and how we can assist you with all of your chile pepper needs!

Spicewalla Brand
Product Sponsor
Spicewalla Brand
Product Sponsor

Our Spices Are…

FRESH

We source directly from quality suppliers in small quantities, anywhere from twenty-five to one hundred pounds in a delivery. This method of buying and receiving smaller shipments ensures the freshness of the product not only for our benefit, but for the benefit of our customers. This is also why we roast, grind, and pack our spices in small batches.

CHEF DRIVEN
As a spice company founded by a James Beard Award-winning chef, it is our pursuit of superior flavour and taste that drives us. We carry that “taste-making” approach into selecting our spices and creating our Signature Blends & Rubs.

VAST + DIVERSE
From our takes on the classics like Garam Masala and Herbs de Provence, to our Signature Blends like Cowboy Grilling Rub and Chai Masala, professional and home chefs alike can find every spice they need. With over 100 different herbs and spices in our stock, and more than 30 original specialty blends, Spicewalla can fulfill all your spice needs.

ASK Law
ASK Law
Atlas Branding

Atlas is a branding and creative agency based in Asheville. Their studio designs impactful experiences for food and beverage, lifestyle brands, and inviting places everywhere.

They have collaborated with many friends of Chow Chow over the years—Posana, Table, All Day Darling, High Five Coffee, eldr, Dynamite Roasting, Ginger’s Revenge Brewing, and many more.

Biltmore Winery
Biltmore Winery
Cintas
Cintas

Our diverse team is passion-driven to help, and to elevate. We’re inspired by your team, your business, and your customers. We apply that inspiration to delivering the right solutions, products, and services to help you run better than ever. We start every day by asking how we can have an even greater impact: safer, cleaner, more efficient, better designed, more sustainable and inclusive. Our sensibilities and principles are rooted in always seeking to do better for you, for our partners, and for our planet.

We’re with you, for a better workday.

Crate & Barrel Asheville
Main Stage
Crate & Barrel Asheville
Main Stage

Visit the Crate and Barrel Asheville, North Carolina Outlet to find amazing deals on furniture, entertaining, kitchen accessories and holiday decor. The Asheville-area Crate and Barrel is a destination for anyone looking for high-quality home furnishings on a budget. If you’re shopping for a housewarming or wedding present at the outlet store, ask an associate for advice about some of the most popular products to give as gifts. Make sure to stop in often, as daily shipments help update the selection of furniture and decor regularly. In addition to clearance items, guests can shop a smaller assortment of items currently offered in Crate and Barrel stores. This outlet in Asheville, NC also carries products from our sister store CB2, as well as Crate&kids.

Please note that furniture is first come, first serve and associates are not able to special order furniture from another location. To pick up your larger purchases from a Crate and Barrel outlet store, ask about a customer pickup door or where the closest Crate and Barrel warehouse is.

Devil's Foot Beverage Company
Devil's Foot Beverage Company

Devil’s Foot Beverage uses organic roots and fruits to brew farm-to-can craft sodas out of Asheville, NC. Blending regional honey and organic cane sugar and using farm-fresh ingredients from local and certified organic farms allows these sodas to contain half the sugar as corporate brands.

Gowin Fairview Enterprises
Gowin Fairview Enterprises
Indigo Road Hospitality Group
Indigo Road Hospitality Group

OUR WHY

To foster an environment where everyone feels safe, cared for and inspired, so that they may experience fulfillment and joy.

CORE VALUES

We put our teammates first, because we believe that attracting, hiring, and nurturing the right people is the best way to serve our guests and achieve the goals of all stakeholders. We consistently earn positive raves, win repeat business, and develop bonds of loyalty with our guests because our teammates are positively motivated, enthusiastic, confident, proud, and at peace with the choice to work on our team.

Mountain Valley Spring Water
Product Sponsor
Mountain Valley Spring Water
Product Sponsor
ALL NATURAL GOODNESS

We pride ourselves on truth, integrity, and pure American spring water. Rising naturally from a spring in the Ouachitas, The Mountain Valley spring water filters through granite-based aquifers collecting all the pure, healthy, goodness from the land. Our water is sodium-free with a naturally detoxifying pH and rich blend of calcium, magnesium and potassium.

PURE SOURCE SINCE 1871

Mountain Valley is the same multiple award-winning clean, pure, premium American spring water it’s always been. Bottled right at the source, in The Ouachita Mountains, U.S.A since 1871

New Belgium Brewing
New Belgium Brewing

NEW BELGIUM’S APPROACH

  • Rather than driving for maximum short-term profits at any cost, the Human Powered Business model supports healthy profit balanced with prioritized benefits for our people and planet – generating economic prosperity for all coworkers and supporting the needs of our communities and customers.

  • We have plenty of room to grow and improve – but that’s why we built into our business model the incentive to act in a way that promotes fairness, transparency, inclusivity, individuality, healthy families, real work-life balance, environmental stewardship, and an unwavering commitment to craft across every aspect of our business.

  • The result? We’re among the biggest and fastest-growing craft breweries in America. New Belgium didn’t lay off a single coworker as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We enjoy incredibly low turnover and high engagement among our workforce. Our team comes to work every day invested in the quality of our product and the success of our company, because the company invests in the quality and success of their life everywhere we can.

Salvage Station
Venue Sponsor
Salvage Station
Venue Sponsor

SALVAGE STATION’S VAST PROPERTY ALONG THE FRENCH BROAD RIVER IS LESS THAN A HALF MILE FROM DOWNTOWN ASHEVILLE.

Upon arriving, you will immediately notice the eclectic and laid-back vibe of this salvage yard turned music venue. The venue boasts a massive outdoor stage and an indoor stage for more intimate shows.

Thirsty? We’ve got something for everyone! There are several full bars with an extensive tap list of local beers, wines by the glass or bottle, liquor for those looking for a great cocktail, plus craft non-alcoholic options.

Listening to your favorite band play right next to the French Broad River will immediately make you understand why Salvage Station is always voted the best outdoor music venue in Western North Carolina.

The Foundry Hotel
Venue Sponsor | Lodging Partner
The Foundry Hotel
Venue Sponsor | Lodging Partner

The Foundry Hotel Asheville

51 South Market Street
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 552-8545

VerTerra Dinnerware
VerTerra Dinnerware

VERTERRA IS THE ORIGINATOR AND LEADER IN PALM LEAF PLATES.

VERTERRA DINNERWARE FROM FALLEN LEAVES™ WAS CREATED BY CEO MICHAEL DWORK IN 2006. THE COLLECTION IS STYLISH + SLEEK AND THE FIRST OF ITS KIND LINE IN THE U.S.  ARTFULLY DESIGNED, OUR DINNERWARE HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED BY THE SMITHSONIAN AND AWARDED NUMEROUS TIMES BY THE NATURAL PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION, THE NY RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION AND THE INTERNATIONAL HOTEL MOTEL ASSOCIATION, THIS IS THE MOST AWARDED DISPOSABLE ON THE MARKET!