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.

We Believe...

  • In the power and vitality of the creative makers in our community
  • In the culture and traditions of our food and agricultural heritage
  • In the critical understanding and appreciation of our local food sources
  • In the integrity of the many diverse hands joining around our table
  • In the interdependency we share
  • In maximizing the benefits of celebration through giving back
  • In minimizing any negative impact on the environment
  • In collaborating in support of one another
  • In elevating and galvanizing the creative economy in Asheville
  • In the food-related narratives that sustain jobs and businesses
  • In the meaningful expression of what makes our corner of Appalachia unlike anywhere else in the world
  • In the magic of immersive experiences that broadens our awareness and heightens our understanding of one another
  • In the vital work of our partner, MANNA FoodBank, and raising awareness around the reduction of food insecurity and food waste in our community


Goals of the Festival


With this signature event, we want to highlight the diversity of our culinary landscape. This includes initiatives to highlight all aspects of the supply chain - from farmer to maker, mixologist to chef, brewer to baker, artist to potter.

We will feature the diversity of our food, from our traditional Appalachian roots to modern takes on historic foods and culture of the region, to the ways immigrants and various ethnic backgrounds influence our cuisine.

We will offer high-quality programming designed to feature Asheville and offer a completely unique experience.  We also want this event to be accessible to all in our local community, so in addition to high-end, luxury experiences, we’ll include programming that is more affordable.

Community Wellness

Access to affordable and healthy food and reducing food waste are important initiatives of the signature event’s charitable giving goals. We are partnering with MANNA FoodBank to shine a light on their initiatives to ending hunger and raise money to further their goals. We will provide programming and education that focuses on access to affordable and healthy foods, supported by cooking demonstrations and farmer/chef initiatives. With the help of MANNA we will also capture unused food product at the festival and redirect it to those in need.

Lessening Our Environmental Impact

To align with the goals and the values that are important to our community, we are focused on reducing the environmental impact of our festival.  We are partnering with Danny’s Dumpsters to maximize composting. And as described in our charitable goals, our partnership with MANNA FoodBank and Food Connection will allow us to capture food that would typically be wasted and redirect it to communities and people in need.

Celebrating Asheville

The star of this festival is Asheville. While a cadre of guest chefs and makers will be a part of Chow Chow, the focus will be to shine a light on what makes our community special. We will feature aspects of our natural beauty, outdoor recreation, green spaces, and our edible landscapes. We’ll promote our clean water and our local food ecosystem. Asheville is an amazing entrepreneurial community and a locally-focused economy. We will celebrate the diverse and eclectic local businesses that reflect Asheville.

The festival also provides an environment for local makers and other residents to connect with each other to provide a deeper understanding and appreciation for the creative sector that characterizes our community. It provides sustainability to this sector.

Economic Impact and City Support

This festival will be supported by our non-profit organization and staffed by a volunteer board of committed and passionate local business people.  Chow Chow will partner with our local City and County governments, whose goals align with our own. 

This festival will have a significant economic impact for the residents and businesses of this community. Attendee spending will provide wages, business revenue, and taxes that provide services to citizens. It will increase revenue for a wide variety of businesses including farms, restaurants, artists, craft producers, craft beverage makers, musicians, venues, event suppliers, transportation, insurance, professional services, rentals, etc.  Through sponsorship we will garner the attention of regional and national corporations, encouraging and attracting investment. Our goal is that the event will attract national media attention which will help continue to tell the Asheville story, enhancing economic development opportunities of every kind.

Community Partners

MANNA FoodBank

MANNA FoodBank’s mission is to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina. Through a network of over 200 food access partners across 16 counties, MANNA distributes over 41,000 meals every day of the year, and serves over 100,000 people every year.

ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project)

ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina. Our mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food.

The Asheville Art Museum

The Asheville Art Museum invites you to explore our outstanding collection of American art of the 20th and 21st centuries, and to discover the richness of Western North Carolina’s unique artistic history. The newly renovated Museum is scheduled to reopen Summer 2019 with two inaugural exhibitions: Appalachia Now! and Selections from the Collection. Visit us at 2 South Pack Square.

The Asheville Brewers Alliance

The Asheville Brewers Alliance is a trade and membership organization dedicated to promoting Western North Carolina craft beer and breweries. A project with the Asheville Brewers Alliance, AVL Beer Week combines industry, innovation, education and culture into an inspired week-long series of events celebrating beer, food, music and the outdoors.

Asheville Coffee Expo

The 2019 Asheville Coffee Expo is a celebration of all that is coffee — the taste, smell, look and feel. A uniquely Asheville event, ACE feels like Asheville, with a curated street faire, an experimental espresso bar, coffee lectures, cuppings and a focus on sustainability. Complemented by the budding Western North Carolina tea movement, this one day event welcomes young and old to experience the changing face of coffee. 

Asheville Community Theatre

Since 1946, Asheville Community Theatre has been dedicated to producing high quality theatre starring local performers. The oldest continuously operating theatre in Asheville and one of the oldest community theatres in the nation, ACT is committed to being a place where all are welcome, where all can get involved, and where all can have fun collaborating on creative projects. 

Asheville Downtown Association

The Asheville Downtown Association is a leader and advocate for the vitality of downtown. Created in 1987, the Asheville Downtown Association is a non-profit organization committed to the preservation and improvement of the central business district. Through programs and annual objectives, the association works to make Downtown Asheville the center of commerce, culture, government and leisure.

Bountiful Cities

Bountiful Cities is an urban agriculture non-profit founded in 2000. We partner with community groups, focusing on dialogue, trust and community needs, to create urban agricultural spaces. Our partnerships emphasize social justice, access to education, sustainability and economic viability. Bountiful Cities participates with local, state and national organizations in advocating for food sovereign communities.

Center for Craft

Founded in 1996, the Center for Craft is the leading organization in the United States identifying and convening craft makers, curators, and researchers, and matching them with resources, tools, and networks to advance their careers. 

Downtown Welcome Table

A place to break bread and break down barriers. Cloth napkins, fresh flowers and china plates remind those living on the streets of their inherent worth and value. And, the meal is for everyone. Unlikely friendships are formed over a shared meal, enabling us to fulfill our purpose: reconciling through relationship.

Food Connection

Food Connection, an Asheville based nonprofit, collects surplus freshly prepared meals from restaurants, caterers and institutions, and quickly delivers the meals to community partners who feed those in need in order to reduce food waste and ease the pain of immediate hunger. Learn more at Food-Connection.org

Green Opportunities

Green Opportunities’ mission is to train, support, and connect people from marginalized communities to sustainable employment pathways. GO’s 17-week, tuition-free Kitchen Ready training program offers a combination of culinary and life skills training, portable credentials, and support services that empower students to overcome barriers to employment. 

The North Carolina Glass Center

is a non-profit, public access glass studio and gallery located in the heart of Asheville’s River Arts District. Dedicated to education, exploration, and collaboration in all forms of glass, we welcome any and all into our working studio so we can share our passion for glass.


YMCA of WNC runs 32 free mobile markets in five counties, including Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood, Madison and McDowell. Each market provides fresh, nutritious foods, paired with healthy recipes, a practical cooking demonstration and valuable nutrition information that’s easy to understand.


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.

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

Learn More