The Asheville culinary event, Chow Chow, is back for its second year with new talent, new perspective and a recommitted mission. With the tagline of “Coming together over the things we can’t live without,” Chow Chow 2021 is reimagined as a series of 30+ events happening between June and September 2021 and will offer a mix of in-person signature events as well as a corresponding virtual series of classes, demos and workshops. While the format may differ, 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.
A Sampling of the Events
- Nourishing Community | July 8 | A shared meal and conversation around food justice with local chefs and organizations that focus on food security, including Hanan Shabazz, chef and community leader at Southside Kitchen, also culinary mentor for Benne on Eagle.
- The Grass is Greener | July 24 | A multicourse feast showcasing live-fire cooking, a whole animal butchery demonstration and a discussion on the benefits of locally grown, pasture-raised meat and dairy, land recovery and reduction of food waste. Includes Michele Bailey of Smoky Park Supper Club and Mike Achberger of Forestry Camp.
- Racial Equity & The Wine Industry | Aug. 19 | A virtual event with Icy Liu, founder of Asian Wine Professionals, centered on how racial inequities show up in the wine industry and what can be done to support positive change.
- Fermenting Change | Aug. 26 | Fermentation is transformation, preserving both our food and our cultural diversity and connecting humans to thousands of years of hands-on knowledge and ingenuity. Experience the many creative fermentation practices found in this Southern Appalachian community: kimchi, beer and kombucha, cheeses, chocolates, breads, coffee, sake, charcuterie, kefir, sour beers, hot sauces, natural wines, miso and pickled Appalachian produce. Featured chefs include Travis Milton, Steven Goff, Malcom McMillian and Andrew McLeod.
- Diaspora | Aug. 28 | Moderator Meherwan Irani (Chai Pani Restaurant Group) will lead an exploration of both the origin and the fusion of cuisine, an edible query into what is lost and what is gained when food and people migrate.
- Farmers Market Cook-Along | Sept. 16 | A fun virtual Cantonese cuisine cook-along with Chef J. Chong. Attendees will receive a market-inspired recipe and shopping list in advance. An Asheville rising star chef, J. Chong took a risk when she left her job as an executive sous chef for Katie Button Restaurants in February 2020, right before the pandemic. J. Chong Eats emerged a few months later, a business that ranges from dumplings and farmers markets to live and virtual cooking classes, private dinners and pop-ups.
- Recipes from Rabbit’s Motel | Sept. 23 | Opened in 1948, Rabbit’s Motel was a crown jewel of Black-owned tourist courts for Black travelers in the segregation-era South and provided lodging and soul food dining for many. Clarence Robinson, who is opening Areta’s soul food cafe in the space later this year, will serve bites inspired by the original cafe.
Find a full list of events here.