Welcome to AIR’s blog! Here you will find profiles of chefs, farmers, foodies and friends. Comments on issues and ideas. And recipes and tips. We will try to keep you up to date on the latest Asheville culinary scene news, as well. Got something you’d like to see posted? Contact us.
Asheville Becomes America’s First Green Dining Destination™ - Tourists and Locals Can Now Dine Green Throughout Asheville
Written by Zacchaeus Nifong on February 05, 2013
For the first time ever, one of America’s cities, Asheville, North Carolina, has earned the official designation of being a Green Dining Destination™. This achievement means that locals, tourists, and business people can dine at a plethora of Certified Green Restaurants® throughout Asheville. This accomplishment was driven by the Green Restaurant Association (GRA), Asheville Independent Restaurant Association (AIR), and the Blue Ridge Sustainability Institute (BRSI), who formed a local Coalition to encourage more environmentally sustainable practices within the city’s restaurants.
All of Asheville’s Certified Green Restaurant® have met the GRA's rigorous certification standards by earning at least 100 GreenPoints™ in the categories of food, water, waste, energy, chemicals, and disposables. Additionally, each Certified Green Restaurant® has eliminated use of polystyrene foam, (aka StyroFoam™), and has implemented a full-scale recycling program.
The French Broad Chocolate Lounge
Laughing Seed Cafe,
The Corner Kitchen
The Green Sage
The Green Sage South
Tupelo Honey Café
Tupelo Honey Cafe South
Cedric’s Tavern on the Biltmore Estate
- The first interactive map of Asheville’s Certified Green Restaurants®
- Certified Green Restaurant® listings
- Green Label Transparency Tools showing each Asheville Certified Green Restaurant®’s itemized environmental steps and GreenPoints™
- Downloadable Suggestion Cards to encourage more restaurants to go green
- Education on the environmental impact of the restaurant industry
- Media content about Asheville’s Certified Green Restaurants®
Written by Christine Lowe on November 28, 2012
PROMOTION HAS ENDED
GIVE THE GIFT OF LOCAL FOOD
Asheville Independent Restaurants (AIR) is again offering a special promotion during the month of December for its popular AIR Dining Passport- a coupon booklet representing over $1000 in dining savings at participating AIR member dining establishments. Normally $50, the promotion is extended to include bulk purchases with a minimum of 10 at $45 per book, and with more than 20, the price is dropped to $40 per book. “We introduced this promotion last year this time and it was hugely popular, in fact for the first time since the Passport has been offered we completely sold out,” says Sherrye Coggiola, AIR Board President, “It truly makes a special gift for anyone that enjoys local food.”
Particpating restaurants include:
Artisan Deli & Catering
City Bakery Café
Edna's Of Asheville
French Broad Chocolate Lounge
The Green Sage
Jack of Hearts
Jack of the Wood
Jerusalem Garden Café
Karen Donatelli Café
Lexington Avenue Brewery
The Local Joint,
Sunny Point Café
Tupelo Honey Café
Ultimate Ice Cream
Vinnies Neighborhood Italian
Written by Amy Garcia on October 23, 2012
Written by Amy Garcia on October 23, 2012
Berenjenas La Taberna
by Cúrate Chef Katie Button
Flour, all purpose
Rosemary, fresh and local
Eggplant Preparation - Cut tops and bottoms off each eggplant and peel. Slice eggplant(s) 1/2 inch thick. As you slice the eggplant put into a large container with enough milk to cover. You will likely have to weigh the eggplant down to keep it submerged in the milk. Soak overnight.
Frying - Heat a frying pan with vegetable oil (enough to cover the eggplant slices – don’t crowd the pan) until 350 degrees or when a drop of water splatters. When ready to serve, dredge the eggplant in flour and tap off excess flour. Drop into oil and fry until golden brown (not too dark), you may need turn the eggplant for even browning.
Plating - Salt the eggplant as it comes out of the fryer. Drain on wire rack. Squeeze honey onto the fried eggplant while on the wire rack. Drizzle some honey on each serving plate, and top each piece of eggplant with 2-3 rosemary leaves.
Serve 2 slices per person
In 2007, Katie Button, Cornell University graduate with a master's degree from L'Ecole Centrale in Paris, France, was about to start a prestigious PhD program in Neuroscience between the NIH in Bethesda, MD and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Instead she decided to drop out of the PhD program in pursuit of passion, life, and happiness. Food had always been an important part of her childhood. Her mother, Elizabeth Button, developed and ran her own catering business. So it wasn't too far of a reach that she decided to get into the restaurant industry. In order to support herself and pay the rent on her apartment in Washington DC, she sought out a job at a restaurant called Cafe Atlántico/Minibar in Washington DC one of José Andrés' amazing restaurants. Katie describes it as fate that brought her to the doorstep of a José Andrés restaurant. It was there that she fell in love with restaurants, food, cooking, and Félix Meana, a service manager from elBulli, Ferran Adrià´s famous restaurant in Spain. Félix introduced Katie to Spain, elBulli, and applications for liquid nitrogen outside of the lab.
Katie initially spent 3 months working as the first American server in the history of elBulli. It was there that she made the decision that she really wanted to be on the other side, with her hands in the dishes, creating, so she set out to prove herself. After some time working with Johnny Iuzzini at Jean Georges in New York and then at the Bazaar by José Andrés in Los Angeles, she finally made it. With only a couple of years professional cooking experience, Katie entered a 7 month stage at the best restaurant in the world. That experience changed her life. In January 2010, immediately after finishing her internship at elBulli, she moved to Asheville, North Carolina to focus all of her attention on opening her own restaurant with Félix, her mother Elizabeth Button, and father Ted Button. They have since developed the parent company Heirloom Hospitality Group and opened their first restaurant Cúrate, bar de tapas www.curatetapasbar.com. Katie is the Executive Chef/co-owner of this traditional tapas bar that opened March 2011.
Since the opening of Cúrate, Katie has been recognized as a semi-finalist for the prestigious 2012 James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year Award. She has been selected by Master Chef by José Andrés as his nominee for the “Top New Artist of the Next Generation” for the Robb Report Culinary Masters Competition in Los Angeles September 2012. She was also nominated as a candidate for Food & Wine People’s Best New Chef of the Southeast 2012 and won the Mountain Xpress 2011 and 2012 awards for Top Chef in Western North Carolina. Katie is honored to prepare dinner at the James Beard House in New York City November 2012. The fall of 2012 she is presenting at two prestigious culinary schools, Johnson and Wales in Charlotte NC and the International Culinary Center in NYC. Katie appears in the documentary “Cooking In Progress” a film about the closing of elBulli and the book “The Sorcerer’s Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran Adrià’s elBulli” by Lisa Abend, which highlights Katie’s background, passion, and the trials of working in the elBulli kitchen. Cúrate has received mentions in many publications including GQ Magazine, Afar, Departures, Southern Living, Food Arts, Charleston Magazine, The Charlotte Observer, Local Palate, Robb Report, and The Asheville Citizen Times.
Katie continues her culinary education taking a few weeks each year to travel, learn and seek inspiration from renowned chefs all over the world. Most recently she completed one such experience at a restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark, called Noma, currently ranked the number one restaurant in the world. Katie currently divides most of her time between her restaurant, Cúrate, in Asheville, NC and participating in culinary events across the nation.
Written by Amy Garcia on May 16, 2012
Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
6:30pm - 9:30pm
Packs Tavern's Century Room
will be a foodie and beer extravaganza-featuring Belgian and
Belgian-style beers selected by Bruisin' Ales, matched with creations by some of Asheville's best chefs.
Blue Water Seafood
Chef Chasity "Chas" Edwards
St. Feullien Saison
Chef Michel Baudouin
Sierra Nevada Ovila Quad
New Belgium Trippel
Chef Greg Kilpatrick
Omer Belgian Golden
Jack of The Wood
Chef Jason Brian
Sierra Nevada Ovila Dubbel
Jeff Miller - Pit Boss
New Belgium Belgo IPA
Chef James Balchak
Bacchus Sour Ale
Chef Anthony Cerato
Order your tickets now!