About Chow Chow


As a 501(c)3 educational non-profit, the mission of Chow Chow Asheville is to celebrate and enrich the unique foodways of the Southern Appalachian region. As makers, chefs, artists, farmers and business owners, our vision is an equitable and thriving regional food system, where culinary and creative enterprise are central to community identity and resilience. We welcome the collective sum of differences, life experiences, knowledge, self-expression, and talent our makers and guests bring to Chow Chow.

Chow Chow is committed to being accountable to our community and creating events that truly reflect the stories of our region's food and amplify the voices of the many people that make our community unique. Please to reach out to us at info@chowchowasheville.com with constructive commentary, your ideas for event concepts, or your recommendations for the future of Chow Chow in our community.

Board of Directors

As a 501(C3) educational 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. 


Gene Ettison, Chief Visionary Officer, The Ettison Investment Group

*John Fleer, Chef, Owner, Rhubarb, The Rhu

Murphy Horne Fletcher, Attorney, McGuire, Wood & Bissette Law Firm

Steve Goff, Chef/Owner, Tastee Diner

Lexie Harvey, Founder, Cordial & Craft

Anya Inochkina, CPA, Berdon Accountants & Advisors

Meredith Leigh, Author and Consultant

Rhea Lidowski, Marketing Consultant, Lucky Miss Fortune

Caitlin McMahon, Senior Vice President Supply Chain, Tupelo Honey Hospitality

Joel Mowrey, Owner, Smoking J's Fiery Foods

Neomi Negron, Owner, Buggy Pops

Kyle Pedersen, Marketing Director, Wicked Weed Brewing/Vidl Wines

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

*Vanessa Salomo, Co-Owner, Business Development, Corner Kitchen, Chestnut 

*Elizabeth Sims, Owner, Elizabeth Sims Consulting

*Jael Skeffington, Co-Founder, CEO, French Broad Chocolate

Jen Swanson, Communications Consultant

Justin Thompson, Marketing & Communications Professional (Impact Finance)



*Jane Anderson, Executive Director, Asheville Independent Restaurant Association (2018-2020)

*Kevin Barnes, Owner, Ultimate Ice Cream (2018-2020)

Brandy Bourne, Owner, The Big Crafty & Horse + Hero, co-curator of CODA at Citizen Vinyl, host of Creative Mornings (2020)

*Katie Button, Co-Founder, CEO, Katie Button Restaurants (2018-2021, President 2018-2020)

*Aaron Grier, Co-Owner, Gaining Ground Farm (2018-2020)

*Charlie Hodge, Owner, Sovereign Remedies, Asheville Beauty Academy, The Getaway (2018-2020)

*Meherwan Irani, Chef/CEO/Co-Founder, Chai Pani Restaurant Group & Spicewalla (2018-2020)

*Connie Matisse (she/her), CEO and Co-Founder, East Fork (2018-2019)

*Jessica Reiser, Co-Founder, CEO, Burial Beer Co., Forestry Camp Bar and Restaurant (2018-2021, President 2021)

*Dodie Stephens, Vice President-Marketing, Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks (2018-2020)

*Adrian Vassallo, DHG Wealth Advisors (2018-2020)

*Mike Tiano, Co-Owner, Haw River Wine Man (2019-2021)

*Marilyn Zapf, Assistant Director and Curator, Center for Craft (2019-2021)

*indicates founding Board members

Chow Chow Staff

Rebecca Lynch, Executive Director, rlynch@chowchowasheville.com

Shay Brown (Shay Brown Events Management), Festival Director, shay@chowchowasheville.com

Courtney Edwards (Shay Brown Events Management), Culinary Director, culinarydirector@chowchowasheville.com

Beverage Director, beverage@chowchowasheville.com

Kristen Boddy (Shay Brown Events Management), Volunteer Director, volunteer@chowchowasheville.com



a wide variety of food on a black background

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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.

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Learn more about the vision and values that guide Chow Chow's work to celebrate and enrich the foodways of Southern Appalachia.

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