Porter spent the early part of her career planning elite cocktail parties, luncheons, bridal shows,and fashion shows in major cities across the Midwest. For eleven years, Porter worked as an event planner and festival director for the City of Asheville, North Carolina. She was directly responsible for 5 festivals and consulting over 100 other events annually with a combined attendance of over 500,000 people. Her accomplishments include director of Bele Chere, the largest, free, outdoor street festival in the Southeast, founder and director of the Asheville Film Festival, and securing over $2 million in sponsorship for city-wide festivals. In 2008, Porter launched Asheville Event Co., a full service event planning and design firm specializing in corporate events, fundraisers and festivals. Managing hundreds of events has established Melissa Porter as one of the premier event planners and industry consultants in the region. Porter routinely speaks at regional and national event conferences and is a member of the International Festivals and Events Association.
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.
Learn more about the vision and values that guide Chow Chow's work to celebrate and enrich the foodways of Southern Appalachia.