ASHEVILLE — The Asheville culinary event, Chow Chow, is back for its second year with new talent, new perspective and a recommitted mission.
Chow Chow 2021 is reimagined as a series of 30+ summer events happening between June and September.
With the tagline of “Coming together over the things we can’t live without,” Chow Chow will offer a mix of in-person signature events as well as corresponding virtual series of classes, demos and workshops.
While the format may differ from the original 2019 Chow Chow, the event series will continue to celebrate the traditions and foodways of the Southern Appalachian region and the area’s unique community of makers, while highlighting the big and nuanced conversations that impact the food industry and our communities — food justice, racial justice and climate change.
“We see Chow Chow as an opportunity for deeper conversations around Southern Appalachia and the culture and foodways that exist here,” said Jess Reiser, Chow Chow board president. “We want to learn, understand and celebrate justly by highlighting the chefs, makers, and artisans while also looking at issues such as racial justice, climate change, and food insecurity and recognizing how those things impact this area, its cuisine, and its community members.”
Adding to the new structure of the Summer of Chow Chow is the price point. Pricing starts at $15 for virtual programs, and then will be $50, $75, $125 or $200 for in-person signature events.
By offering variety pricing and elevating intersectional conversations around foodways and Southern Appalachian culture, Chow Chow aims to bring together the Asheville community — tourist and locals — to explore the impact of mountain traditions, heirloom ingredients, and urban energy that continues to inspire the makers, innovators, and industry members who commune at Asheville’s collaborative table.
From nationally recognized chefs to multi-generational farmers to millers, bakers, potters, weavers, and brewers, Chow Chow shines a light on the creative spirit of the region that makes the Blue Ridge Mountains a delicious place to taste, to see, to explore, and to experience through immersive culinary experiences.
Chefs featured this year include Ashleigh Shanti, Silver Cousler, J. Chong, Clarence Robinson, Malcolm McMillian, Sunil Patel, Luis Martinez, Bert Sheffield, Santiago Vargas, and Paty Saenz, who will be hosting events that cover each part of the industry such as:
• Appalachian Pride Brunch
• Sustainable Waters: a feast exploring sustainable seafood and fish from the mountains to the sea
• Racial Equity & the Wine Industry
•. Nourishing Community: an event exploring the difference between charity and justice in the work to achieve food security in our community
• Out of The Box: Community Supported Agriculture.
The full event schedule and tickets are available now at www.exploreasheville.com/chow-chow-culinary-festival/2021-schedule/.
About Chow Chow Culinary Event
Chow Chow's mission is to celebrate and enrich the unique foodways of the Southern Appalachian region. Chow Chow: An Asheville Culinary Event Series returns in the summer of 2021 as a three-month series of immersive in-person and virtual events with a deepened focus on honoring community and exploring what it means to celebrate justly.
As makers, chefs, artists, farmers and business owners, the vision is an equitable and thriving regional food system, where culinary and creative enterprise are central to community identity and resilience. Chow Chow makers welcome the collective sum of differences, life experiences, knowledge, self-expression, and talent its makers and guests bring to Chow Chow.
“We look forward to celebrating and coming together with you over things we cannot live without,” said Reiser.