Chef Laura Samford Smith grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and has been cooking ever since she was little. After graduating from Syracuse University, she decided to hone her skills at Le Cordon Bleu, graduating with Le Grande Diplome from Australia, France, England and Canada. After her externship with Chef Frank Stitt at Highlands Bar and Grill and Bottega, she spent a few years traveling, eating, working and experiencing different cultures and cuisines around the world.
In 2012 Chef Laura moved to Asheville North Carolina and was hired as the pastry chef at Rezaz in Historic Biltmore Village. This is where she met her husband, chef Brian Smith. They married in January 2015 and bought Rezaz in July 2015. At Rezaz Chef Laura can use her travel and experiences to influence the menu with Mediterranean tastes and her southern roots influence her desserts: Coconut Lemon Cake. In 2017, the Smith's and Setayesh's opened Baba Nahm - a fast casual Middle Eastern Grab and Go. Chef Laura loves food and exploring new flavors. You can usually find her in the bakeshop – experimenting.
Over 20 immersive signature events are featured throughout the weekend! Tours, dinners, parties, foraging and more await.
This inspired, friendly and free-spirited food scene tucked in the mountains of Appalachia has been called “Foodtopia,” but the locals just call it home. Plan your trip now.
Access to affordable and healthy food and reducing food waste are important initiatives of the signature event’s charitable giving goals.