Asheville Wine & Food Festival 2013

Asheville Wine & Food Festival 2013

A Sample of Sante’s sweets at the Sweet event for the Asheville Wine & Food Festival

The Asheville Wine & Food Festival for 2013 was this past weekend and this Asheville photographer was so happy to be  a part of  the party.  Plenty of friendly and familiar faces from Blind Pig as well as chef’s and caterers from around Western North Carolina were participating in Asheville’s independent restaurant scene at both the Sweet! and Grand Tasting events.  Deliciousnes abounded throughout the events as  all of Asheville’s culinary fav’s turned out to show & shine at this uniquely mountain showcase of local and independent restaurants, chefs, brews, & vintners.

 Featuring a smorgasbord offering more than 300 wines, creations prepared by some of Asheville’s most celebrated and internationally recognized chefs, and samples of local artisan food products such as Lusty Monk Mustard and Imladris Farm jams, the affair promises to be the largest gathering of its kind in Asheville. – WNC Magazine

Check out these slideshows of photos from the events!

Sweet Tasting Event at the Grove Arcade

Grand Tasting Event at the U.S. Cellular Center

Rhetorical Factory’s New Digs

The launch party for Rhetorical Factory’s first ever storefront was held last night at the Altamont Brewery to celebrate the lease signing on the space at 444 Haywood Rd. with plenty of great RF gear available for sale as well as food by Artisan Catering, music by Screamin’ J’s band.

For the uninitiated, Rhetorical Factory  is the producer for my beloved work shirts, literally my favorite clothes to wear. Whenever I’m asked about my shirts I have instructed people to seek out the studio at Riverview Station in the RAD or Rhetorical Factory on ETSY or to go to The Circle on Haywood Rd. but now I can send them straight to the store for a wider selection of prints and sizes.



Rhetorical Factory’s new flagship store has come up with lots of interesting ways to bring the community in for a browse, check out this ambitious weekly schedule.

  • Mending Mondays – Sliding-scale mending services to keep you wearing the clothes you already love! $5-$20 per item
  • Donation Tuesdays – The day to bring any and all clothing donations for Rhetorical Factory to reinterpret!
  • Kid Wednesdays – Artsy craftsy activities for the kids and kids at heart while the grown-ups shop.
  • Vinyl Thursdays – A pre-published play list for the day that will include “local celebreties and music gurus” as featured consultants for the mix.
  • Throwdown Fridays – Volunteer models, photographers & DJ’s invited to participate in a weekly photo shoot for website listings. Starting in the afternoon and spinning into a full on dance party every week. (That’s right,  every week.)

The store opening  will be in a few weeks, look for more updates and announcements and cool stuff by following RF on facebook , instagram (@rhetoricalfactory) or twitter (@rhetoricalf).

It was an excellent kick off and and a fantastic display of local support and Asheville love for a person who has worked devotedly at her craft. Big goals, require big steps. Congratulations Bethany!

Blind Pig: Yellow Submarine

Blind Pig‘s latest supper club event, Yellow Submarine, was held at the City Bakery this month and showcased the cooking talent and imaginations of Chefs Jason Rowland and Liam Latrell-Rowland [no relation] of the Magnetic Field. The fundraising focus of the evening, Youth Outright.

Guests came out in their finest 60′s swag and there were several moments of spontaneous singing along to the all Beatles soundtrack throughout the evening.  Beautiful bread bearing the flour dusted prints of Blind Pig’s logo, and the Yellow Submarine itself were handmade by City Bakery’s head baker, Jesse Bardyn. The creative cooking team of “the Rowland Brothers”, aided by the awesome staff and crew of Blind Pig delivered seven courses of amazing dishes. Visually, my favorites had to be the Octopus’s Garden plate with it’s squid ink pasta and squid tentacles and the “gateway” Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds opener of mushroom tea, “herb” biscuit lavender sprig and flavored rice paper.

Much like last year’s Offal Experience dinner at the City Bakery, which definitely pushed the boundaries for a lot of diners, they’re going to be talking about this one for quite a while. Of course all of the pictures from the event are featured on Blind Pig’s Facebook page. You can find them here: Yellow Submarine

Yellow Submarine
Beautiful flowers courtesy of Urban Farmgirl.

CA$hevillans 2nd Hit – ZaPow!

Asheville Grown‘s Cash Mob or “The CA$hevillians” made another daring hit last night, this time at ZaPow Illustration and Art Gallery. There were Asheville Go Local cards for the first 10 mobbers to arrive and a mandate for economic stimulus on a local level to spend (at least) $20. Once the Cash Mob had assembled we headed down Battery Park in mass to show some Asheville Love for this very cool local gallery that showcases Asheville’s illustrative art talent. There was no shortage of eye candy and plenty of items that fit the Cash Mob budget from stickers to cards, t-shirts to skateboard decks. There is also a children’s bookshop in the gallery called Spellbound Bookswhich was an immediate draw for me and several other moms in the group.

Co-owners Lauren & Matt Johnson kept the cash register ringing and beer flowing while a lovely Gypsy Swing trio played in the back.  Cash mobbers took their time shopping and meeting the artists who came out for the event.
Personally, I just love having a “license to shop” with this group and I’m glad to have been brought by the mob into ZaPow, it’s been on my list of places to check out since they opened over a year ago.
These kind of events don’t just happen though, it takes a lot of coordinated effort in the background to make something “spontaneous” like this happen on a Thursday evening.  So if you want to be in on the next cash mob, or have a local business you want to suggest that would benefit from this kind of event, or you think you can lend a hand volunteering then you should get with the Asheville Grown Business Alliance and help them spread the local love!!

The Return of Fire & Chocolate

This month marks my anniversary of a whole year of photography with the Blind Pig Supper Club!!  Can’t believe all of the amazing food, locations and people I’ve experienced in that time.  So it was with great joy that I went to the latest Blind Pig dinner this weekend, this is the one where I came in. Fire & Chocolate: Horn of Africa.  Now I know what you’re thinking, chocolate doesn’t come from Africa, and you’d be right. But in the culinary world I am learning there is always room for fusion, and that’s what we were treated to on Saturday evening, a fusion of Ethiopian food with chocolate overtones created by the genius minds of Master Chef, Mark Rosenstein and Jael & Dan Rattigan of French Broad Chocolates.  As usual, the food was nothing short of extraordinary!  And the fireworks were back as well.  Mark’s passion for chemistry in and out of the kitchen led him into the world of pyrotechnic concoction several years ago. What a show he put on!!  Flash bombs, sparks showers and fire wheels were just a few of the fiery special effects he put together.  Adding to that for the evening’s entertainment we had music throughout the night from Adama Dembele, Asheville’s own master djembe drummer from the Ivory Coast, fire dancing by Marianne Fisher Smith and fire juggling from 40 Fingers and a Missing Tooth.

The evening was dedicated to and made possible by participants of the Green Opportunities Go Kitchen Ready Program, who were not only the charitable recipients of the dinner’s proceeds but also were key in the preparation of all the courses with a staff of about 6.  The dinner began with a brief tour of their facility at the William Randolph School where appetizers and tea were served before the bus ride to our secret location for the evening’s meal.

It’s a lot to take in, but you don’t have to take my word for it.  All the pictures are up on Blind Pig’s facebook page for you to drool over personally. Fire & Chocolate: Horn of Africa Album. AND if you want to watch the pictures dance funny Blind Pig compiled a montage of photos which you can watch here: Fire and Chocolate. Since you’re already on a Blind Pig kick you might have fun searching my blog to check out posts and photos from previous events. Just type Blind Pig into the search bar where it says: ‘Dare You To Search This Blog’ and you’ll be on your way. You might well be able to waste an entire morning doing nothing but wishing you were at one of these special suppers.

I’ve pulled together a brief photo essay of my favorites from the evening:

CLicKs Radiant Art inspired by Fire & Chocolate

Bike Night in Swannanoa

Bike Night at Asheville Harley-Davidson

Last Friday evening found me in Swannanoa at Harley Davidson of Asheville‘s season finale Bike Night event. (I miss these kind of events from my VW shop days in the 80s.) So many beautiful, shiny bikes, barbecue, rock and roll from the Glam-pas and because it was the season finale they had a performance by Unifire Dance Troupe!

Bike Night

The Tangerine Ball 2012

The AAAC put on a simply fantastic Color Ball at the Orange Peel Saturday night, their largest celebration and fundraiser of the year. Leading into the evening were multiple pre-parties happening all over downtown Asheville. I was lucky enough to make it to the Hotel Indigo‘s 10th floor for the Beautiful and the Damned Party as well as to the French Broad Chocolate Factory for the Chocolate and Moonshine Party.  Then it was off to the Orange Peel to see everyone turn out in their tangeriniest.

The winners from the Neoclassical Designers Salon at 5 Walnut were announced just after the opening of the ball and a brief showing of all of the designers entries. Thrilled to say my friend Amy Holdveldt of Amy vs Fabric came home with the winning design.  Asheville Face & Body Painting did live painting of two models to represent the Phoenix and the Flapper painting which was the grand prize of the silent auction. And throughout the evening there were artists painting live and creating art inspired by performances and vignettes by Dr. Sketchy’s Asheville Burlesque. Truly Fantastic! Beautiful, playful, funny, and great music to boot from the Low Down Sires!  And the best part was all of the fun folks who came out to celebrate and support the Arts Council. The dance floor was a whirlwind riot of fun and everyone was caught up in the swirl!

As usual I’ve put up way too many pictures on my Facebook Fan Page which you should definitely go and look at here: Tangerine Ball

Here are a few of my special favorites from the night. Enjoy!
[Related Article: The Turquoise Ball]

He Brings Me Flowers

A quick photo ode to my sweet man, Cass, who works all week 8-6 as the general manager of U-Save Car Rental and then bartends for events on evenings and weekends with Blue Ridge Bartenders.

He worked a wedding from 5 pm until 3 am this weekend and then brought home left over flowers so the girls and I could wake up to this! Stunning! The kids had a blast making bouquets, filling vases, wearing them in their hair, throwing them in the yard to see whose would go the farthest and the house smells glorious.

LAAFF 2012

Hey folks!  Here’s shots from this years Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Fair. Honestly, I wish I could have stayed longer and taken more but had an event schedule for that evening and had to be satisfied with a fun but brief pass through the festivities.  More pictures up on my Facebook page: LAAFF 2012

AND if you loved LAAFF this year consider making a donation to keep the LAAFFs coming. Click here to donate directly to Arts2People, the non-profit that organizes LAAFF every year. It takes a community to keep the fun times rolling.

LAAFF Parade with the Empire Strikes Brass
Mountain Express‘s Purple Volcano
Lexington Ave. Parklet Project
Shattering Rape Myths with Our Voice
Pendulum Power
Salsa in the rain.
The Crowd
Asheville Greenwork’s Bag Monster
Moog Lab

in[human] at Coop Gallery

I went to the opening of the in[human] show at Coop on Carolina Lane to support my friend Makasi Siriwayo aka Seeko, who is showing there this month along with Travis Metford and Kristin Gregg.  My first time in the gallery, I was impressed with the creativity on display as well as the beauty of the space itself.  Chad and Jeannie Adair have done a beautiful job designing this space.

Makasi’s work of combining fanciful character grotesques that seem to writhe across their canvases with beautiful color and textures was generously showcased.  Travis Metford’s highly graphic style explodes with color and the puzzle blocks box is definitely a coveted piece for me.   I was also intrigued with Asheville newcomer, Kristin Gregg’s cityscapes as well as several of her pieces which are printed on metal. I have been curious about using this method myself and it was cool to see the results up close.

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