Breweries, Wine, and Cheese

Asheville Wine and Food Festival

Chef Tariq Hanna

By Kayla Maneen

The Asheville Wine and Food Festival—an engaging culinary weekend, complete with a number of renowned chefs, delicious food and drinks—takes place at Pack Square Park in Downtown Asheville on Friday, August 18, from 12–5 p.m. and Saturday, August 19, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s attendees are in for a real treat.

The Festival showcases the finest regional, national and international wines, delicious craft beer and spirits, fantastic restaurants and handcrafted artisanal foods for a weekend of palate-pleasing fun. The city of Asheville was recently ranked as number one in the Travel Channel’s “New Top Cities for Wine in the United States,” and this year’s festival includes a host of local and national chefs.

“There are some very cool things going on this year… the return to the palate, as I like to call it,” says Melissa Mathews, Asheville Wine and Food Festival’s marketing and media specialist. “Chefs will be showcasing their abilities instead of competing in a challenge this year.”

The lineup of talent is impressive, ranging from legendary New Orleans pastry chef Tariq Hanna, to celebrity BBQ Pitmaster Christopher Prieto, to Twisted Laurel’s award-winning executive chef Elizabeth Blastow. These chefs are three of eight featured in the Chef Highlight Series, where food creators and food consumers can come together to experience the diversity and deliciousness that is good food.

Another highlight of the festival is the Sweet and Savory occasion on Saturday, from 4–7 p.m. at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel’s ballrooms. This evening will bring together sweet desserts, savory restaurant dishes and delicate and full-bodied wines. A little different from the festival’s previous dessert affair called simply Sweet, this year’s Sweet and Savory is one of the most highly anticipated of the entire festival.

“The shift from Sweet to Sweet and Savory will be pleasing to so many, and elegant as ever,” says Mathews. “I’m looking forward to the creativity and talent.” So, too, is the rest of the City of Asheville.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit

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