About Chow Chow

Festival Overview

In early Appalachia, chow chow, a crunchy pickled relish traditionally put up each summer, brought welcome sunshine to dinner plates during cold months. The condiment added color, brightness, nourishment, and a bright piquant zest that transformed the seemingly ordinary. By fermenting the garden’s final summer harvests, chow chow was a creative way to harness the earth’s resources in a jar for future culinary inspiration. Its ingredients were determined by the creative maker filling each crock, no two chow chow recipes quite the same.  

Chow Chow: An Asheville Culinary Event, presented by Kimpton Hotel Arras, celebrates the area’s unique community of makers, each adding singular ingredients to the city’s recipe for culinary identity. From nationally recognized chefs to multi-generational farmers to millers, bakers, potters, weavers, and brewers, Chow Chow shines a light on the ancient creative spirit of the region that continues to make the Blue Ridge Mountains a delicious place to taste, to see, to explore and to experience through immersive culinary experiences.

Discover the alluring alchemy of mountain traditions, heirloom ingredients, and urban energy that inspire the James Beard-nominated chefs, sustainable farmers, innovative brewers, artisans, and foragers who commune at Asheville’s collaborative table.

Much like its namesake condiment, this unique festival is far greater than the sum of its parts.

Board of Directors

As a 501(C3) non-profit, Chow Chow Asheville is founded by a group of community-committed volunteers who believe in the unique connections between makers of all kinds—particularly as they gather in celebration of our creative food culture in Southern Appalachia. Learn more about the vision behind Chow Chow. 

President: Katie Button, Chef and Owner, Cúrate and Button & Co. Bagels

Vice President: Jael Rattigan, Co-Founder, CEO, French Broad Chocolate

Treasurer: Adrian Vassallo, DHG Wealth Advisors

Secretary: Jessica Reiser, Co-Founder, Burial Beer

Aaron Grier, Owner, Gaining Ground Farm

Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani Chef & Chief Chaiwalla, Chai Pani Restaurant Group

Charles Hodge, Owner and Operator, Sovereign Remedies

Dodie Stephens, Director of Communications, Explore Asheville, CVB

Elizabeth Sims, Owner, Elizabeth Sims Consulting

Jane Anderson, Executive Director, AIR (Asheville Independent Restaurant Association)

Jasmin Morrell, Co-Producer, Movies and Meaning

John Fleer, Chef/Owner, Rhubarb and The Rhu

Kevin Barnes, Owner, Ultimate Ice Cream

Marilyn Zapf, Assistant Director and Curator, Center for Craft

Mike Tiano, Co-Owner, Haw River Wine Man

Peter Pollay, Executive Chef/Co-Founder, Mandara Hospitality Group

Vanessa Salomo, Co-Owner/Business Development Director, Corner Kitchen & Chestnut 

Festival Staff

Angel Holmes, Event Director, Sipindipity, angel@chowchowasheville.com
Missie Porter, Event Manager, Asheville Event Co., melissa@chowchowasheville.com

Culinary Manager: Gena Berry, culinary@chowchowasheville.com

Beverage Manager: Sara Donahue, beverages@chowchowasheville.com

Pickled in the Park Manager: Allegra Grant, pickled@chowchowasheville.com

Market Manager: Stephanie Mergelsberg: makers@chowchowasheville.com

Seminar Coordinator: Caroline Livengood, seminars@chowchowasheville.com

Volunteer Coordinator: Autumn Trama, volunteers@chowchowasheville.com

Media/Marketing Intern: Carolina Frei, socialintern@chowchowasheville.com

Event Intern: Lauren Rusignola, eventintern@chowchowasheville.com


Latest & Greatest

2019 Schedule

Over 20 immersive signature events are featured throughout the weekend! Tours, dinners, parties, foraging and more await.


Plan Your Trip

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.

Start Planning


Access to affordable and healthy food and reducing food waste are important initiatives of the signature event’s charitable giving goals. 

Learn More