ASHEVILLE – A locally harvested brunch with Maker’s Mark perks; a Belgium brewery’s invitation to a global beer affair; a food and travel series sets its sights on Asheville.
Brunch on 9
Capella on 9 will host The Utopian Seed Project Pop-Up Brunch from 11 am-2 pm Sept. 24 at 10 Broadway St. in downtown Asheville – a restaurant that offers a prime mountain view from the 9th floor of the AC Hotel by Marriott.
Capella on 9’s executive chef Rakim Gaines will prepare a special menu using crops grown and harvested by The Utopian Seed Project. The benefit brunch is to further support the organization’s mission to educate the community, grow and research crop varieties to support food and farming diversity.
The event will feature live music and Maker’s Mark cocktails and wax dipping station.
The cost is $65 per guest. Purchase tickets at Eventbrite.
Learn more about The Utopian Seed Project’s work at theutopianseedproject.org.
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International hops honor
An Asheville beer haven has been selected to participate in an international beer event and distribute a rare brew few in the world will taste.
Each year, Cantillon Brewery in Brussels, Belgium, brews a small batch of experimental beer and then handpicks which pubs get to share it with their patrons. The Whale Collective in Asheville is among the chosen few.
“It’s known for being the number one brewery in the world since its inception,” said Andrew Ross, co-owner of The Whale.
In 2008, the century-old Cantillon Brewery founded Zwanze Day by bottling a special lambic with rhubarb added, which evolved into a yearly occasion in which brewer Jean Van Roy releases the special brews and brings enthusiasts together around the globe.
It is The Whale’s second year receiving the honor but the first time to offer the Zwanze beer in Asheville. Last year, it was hosted at The Whale’s Charleston, South Carolina, location to commemorate its opening, Ross said.
In the Brussels dialect, “zwanze” means a semi-sarcastic style of humor which illustrates the brewery’s playful approach to the traditional lambics.
The Whale will commemorate the occasion by hosting Yacht Rock Zwanze Day from 11 am-10 pm Sept. 24 at its West Asheville location, 507 Haywood Road.
“We’ll be rotating in six different Cantillon kegs throughout the day,” Ross said. “We’ll be pouring Cantillon beer on the hour every hour leading up to the 3 o’clock cheers, which is a worldwide toast of this Zwanze beer. It’s actually 9 pm Belgium time, which translates to 3 pm our time. The idea is that everyone gets a pour of the beer and raises a glass at the same time for everyone to do the toast across the world.”
The Zwanze beer supply is limited to 110 pours on a first-come-first-served basis.
The Cantillon draft list includes Cuvée Saint Gilloise, Sang Bleu, Vigneronne, Magic Lambic and Saint Lamvinus.
Admission is free but to participate in Cantillon drinking, guests must purchase a commemorative glass for $15 and purchase the drafts of their choice.
To keep the playful vibe flowing, The Whale is inviting guests to dress to the Yacht Rock theme of fashion fit for sailing. DJ Kipper Schauer will play smooth Yacht Rock classics throughout the day and into the sunset. The Whale has many surprises on the horizon.
Also, save the date for The Whale’s fifth annual Oktoberfest celebration on Oct. 1.
For details, visit thewhalecollective.com.
For details about Cantillon, visit cantillon.be.
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Where the Food Comes From
Chip Carter is three seasons into hosting his travel series, Where the Food Comes From, in which he visits farms and producers across the US to learn the origins and creation process of food.
Now, Carter has his eye on Asheville.
“We’re exploring some of the funky culinary scene that’s in Asheville. Some of what we’re doing as these seasons progress, even though we stay central to the farm, we’re following food off the farm and into some next level stuff,” Carter said.
Carter grew up in Southern farm communities but was well acclimated to city living in adulthood. Carter’s return to his rural roots was motivated by a discussion with his then-15-year-old son about how he and his friends had decided not to eat foods with high corn fructose syrup, prompting Carter to look deeper into the ingredients of products.
“I thought it was interesting when all of his friends started talking about being interested in what they were eating and how that was going to impact their lives, their health and everything moving forward. I was like, ‘There’s something here. This is real,’” Carter said. “They’ve watched generations and generations of their grandparents get less healthy, and now they’re figuring out something’s wrong. We’ve got to get back to something that we’ve been missing.”
In 2009, Carter’s syndicated columnist contract ended with the Chicago Tribune, and he moved to Florida to write about farms for a trade publication. He realized there was more to be explored and on a broader platform.
The print journalist transitioned to broadcast and focused on unearthing the old stories behind the food.
“There’s something about the beauty of those small towns and the good hearts of farm communities. They’re all kind of united in a common purpose,” Carter said. “What I found was that the people were the exact same wonderful people that I’d left so many years before but the way that they do what they do has changed dramatically. From the old days of load it up in a truck and take it to the farmers market and try to sell it to the higher bidder to this very complex and complicated, incredibly sophisticated − and what we now know − kind of fragile food chain that we ‘ve all built.
Where the Food Comes From, based in Nashville, debuted in January, and Season 2 is available to watch on cable networks. Season 3 filming is wrapping up, and research for Season 4 is underway.
In North Carolina, he’s visited multiple sweet potato farms, a legendary Christmas tree farmer in Newland, and the Steve Troxler Agricultural Sciences Center research facility in Raleigh. For Season 3, he visited a water buffalo farm in Salisbury that produces gelato and Mozzarella di Buffala − mozzarella cheese made with buffalo milk.
And Carter’s working his way west to spotlight the Appalachian Mountains.
Carter’s recent story scouting led him to Biltmore for the first time in many years and learned about the operations, which include farms and restaurants. And he’s digging into the city’s small farms and farm-to-table connections, too.
“We’re looking at some of the Asheville food scene. Our show is centered on the farm, but we don’t have rules on where that is, so we look at urban agriculture, containerized agriculture, vertical farming and we’re looking at some operations in and around Asheville to come back to,” he said.
Where the Food Comes From broadcasts on the RFD-TV cable channel. Asheville viewers can watch via AT&T (Channel 568 and 1568), Spectrum (Channel 108 and 735 HD), DIRECTV (Channel 345), DIRECTV NOW, DISH (Channel 231) and Sling TV’s Heartland Package. For trailers and details, visit rfdtv.com/where-the-food-comes-from.
Tiana Kennell is the food and dining reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA Today Network. Email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter/Instagram @PrincessOfPage. Please help support this type of journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times.