If you’re a ‘foodie,’ you’ve no-doubt heard about Asheville’s ‘Chow Chow’ culinary festival — promising to please the taste buds like no other — Sept. 12 - 15.

This four-day, food and beverage extravaganza is the brainchild of Asheville culinary royalty, including Curate’s Katie Button, French Broad Chocolate’s Jael Rattigan and Chai Pani’s Meherwan Irani, and it’s designed to shine a light on the Asheville food scene in a bold and dramatic way.

With 45 events covering everything — grand tastings at Pack Square Park to chef demonstrations large and small — elegant brunches to farm dinners — behind-the-scenes tours to up-on-stage art and yoga — all punctuated with celebrity chefs and great music — this is a “Must Taste” event.

“The star of the festival is Asheville,” said Chow Chow’s event director, Angel Holmes.

That being said, Chow Chow has attracted a “Who’s Who” of celebrity chefs, including Kinston, NC’s Vivian Howard, proprietor The Chef and the Farmer, Sept. 13; Nobel Prize-nominee, Chef José Andrés, who will be preparing a large “Paella in the Park” with Asheville chef, Katie Button, Sept. 14; and Raleigh’s Ashley Christensen, honored with the James Beard Award as Outstanding Chef in the U.S.

Like the Southern favorite, vegetable-based condiment that inspired the inaugural event, Chow Chow is perfectly seasoned with something for every culinary taste, but tickets are limited and many Chow Chow events have already sold out.

Here’s a listing of events with tickets still available at the time of this writing. Peruse the list and make your choices quickly. No doubt, some of the Chow Chow events are pricey, but bound to be an experience of a lifetime.

Bon Appetit.

Thursday, Sept. 12

• Mountain Top Soiree: opening party 6 – 9 p.m. Highland Brewing Company; $130. Experience Appalachian ingenuity at a pop up food hall in Highland Brewing’s event space and rooftop bar; music by Amy & Mike and Unspoken Tradition. Enjoy Brewers, distillers, James Beard-nominated chefs and food artisans, cocktail creators and wine stewards. 

Friday, Sept. 13

• Food Truck Rodeo 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Pack Square Park. Choose among menus of the area’s best food trucks. Free admission; pay for food. 

• Hands-on workshops and seminars 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Aloft Hotel, Hotel Arras, and Rhubarb;from $15 to $75. The nearly two dozen talks and tastings are led by some of Asheville and Appalachia’s most beloved chefs and makers.

• Makers Market noon – 5 p.m. Pack Square Park. Highly curated market of local food products and wares. Encounter local artisans and stock up on cutting boards, dishes, glasses, spices, coffee and other edible souvenirs. Free admission.

• Pickled in the Park Grand Tasting  1 – 4 p.m. Pack Square Park; $125. Hear Vivian Howard of The Farmer and the Chef talk share her pickling adventures, up your grilling game and enjoy the making, baking and flavors of spirited Asheville. 

• Follow the Barrel 1 – 3 p.m. Antidote; $65. Retreat to the South Slope’s cocktail lounge at Antidote for a discussion about craft beverages aged and fermented in barrels. 

• Fairview Farm Trot 3 – 7 p.m.at three farms: Looking Glass Creamery, Flying Cloud Farm and Hickory Nut Gap Farm; shuttle pick-up at Aloft Hotel; $80, transportation provided. Visit Fairview, where rich agricultural heritage lives on at family farms and artisan food producers. 

• Cacao, Confections & Cocktails 7 - 10 p.m. French Broad Chocolate Factory; $60. Behind-the-scenes tour of a working chocolate factory — discover how fine cacao is transformed into craft chocolate. Delight in desserts from four notable pastry chefs,paired with wine and cocktails. 

Saturday, Sept. 14

• Sips & Sun Salutations 9 – 11 a.m. Pack Square Park; $50. Outdoor yoga class in Pack Square Park. The yoga practice, led by instructors from Asheville Yoga Festival, will be followed by fresh air breakfast stations. 

• Forage + Feast 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Warren Wilson College; $125. The peaks of southern Appalachia are rich in biodiversity — the woods create fertile growing conditions for some 300 wild edibles.

• Food Truck Rodeo 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Pack Square Park. Free admission; pay for food.

• Makers Market noon – 5 p.m. Pack Square Park. Free admission.

• Pickled in the Park Grand Tasting  1 – 4 p.m. Pack Square Park;$125. Join Nobel Prize-nominee José Andrés and Asheville’s Katie Button as they prepare paella. Meet barbeque bosses and celebrate the making, baking, grilling and distilling, music and art that is Asheville.

• Hands-on workshops and seminars 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Aloft, Hotel Arras, and Rhubarb; $15 to $75. 

• Biltmore’s Bounty  2 – 6 p.m. Biltmore Estate; $125 (does not include admission to Biltmore House). JoinBiltmore’s owners, farmers, and chefs to explore Biltmore’s rarely-seen agricultural side, enjoying refreshments, discover hydroponic greenhouses, a hog field, livestock meadows and vineyards.

• Fire it Up  6 – 9 p.m. Lexington Glassworks; $90. Lexington Glassworks has a 2,000-degree furnace to keep the party roaring. Get blown away by the artistry of handcrafted glass. 

Sunday, Sept. 15

• Food Truck Rodeo from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Pack Square Park. Free admission; pay for food. 

• Plant All Mighty 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Omni Grove Park Inn, Seely Pavilion; $75. Think vegan comfort food and hemp-milk ice cream, locally produced tempeh and plant-based sausage and chorizo and sophisticated dining entrees.

• Makers Market noon – 5 p.m. Pack Square Park. Free admission. 

• Pickled in the Park Grand Tasting  1 – 4 p.m. Pack Square Park; $125; local rate Sunday only, $75 per person.Catch up with local celebrity chefs and brewers, enjoy the making of regional specialties, award-winning beers and handcrafted cocktails.

• Chow Time Closing Party 5 – 8 p.m.Salvage Station; $100. Sunday supper of barbecue, fried chicken and iconic sides, by eight Southern chefs.

Paul Viau is an award-winning creative director, with a 30-year career in advertising and marketing. Originally from Denver, Colorado, he met his wife, Carol, when they worked for rival advertising agencies in Miami, Florida. They became permanent residents of Haywood County in 2008 and reside in Waynesville. 

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