Food Lifestyle

Food & Drink: Red Fiddle Vittles

Take-home meals. Photos courtesy of Red Fiddle Vittles

By Emma Castleberry

Red Fiddle Vittles is a caterer, a food store, a bar snacks wholesaler and a packaged food producer and retailer, but it’s also much more than that for chef owners Matt Farr and Erica Beneke. “We hope to build community through the food that we create,” says Farr.

Local cheese and charcuterie grazing table

First and foremost, Red Fiddle Vittles achieves this goal by sourcing high-quality ingredients from local growers, producers, makers, farmers and foragers, with a particular focus on those that utilize sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices. Beneke and Farr fill the shelves of their gourmet grocery with these vetted products and also use them to create seasonal, wholesome dishes and menus for catering and take-home dinners. “Our favorite dishes often have the fewest ingredients—the ones where the ingredients really shine and are made better by the other few ingredients in the dish and the preparation techniques,” says Beneke. Some examples of this less-is-more culinary approach include the Colfax Creek grilled pork chops with bacon jam, braised Hickory Nut Gap short ribs, and pan-seared Sunburst Mountain Trout with brown butter, wild mushrooms and capers.

Beyond their local suppliers, Red Fiddle also supports and partners with a number of nonprofits including MANNA FoodBank, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, Tractor Food and Farms, NC Stage Company, Indigenous Walls Project and Blue Ridge Public Radio. Red Fiddle Vittles is also a member of the Asheville Grown Business Alliance, Asheville Chamber of Commerce and the WNC Cheese Trail. A new partnership with Mother Earth Food will allow customers to purchase a variety of Red Fiddle packaged food items from Mother Earth and have them delivered directly to their doorstep.

Turkey and cornbread meatballs

As both a caterer and gourmet grocery, Red Fiddle Vittles interacts with customers in a variety of ways, which allows the company to build meaningful relationships and spread awareness about the benefits of a strong local economy. “Being both gives us the opportunity to meet people where they’re at,” says Beneke. “Hosting an event? We’ve got you covered in any service format you want. Need a quick, delicious dinner for the family? Try our weekly take-home special. Looking for a few things to supplement what you’ve already got planned for a party or picnic? Swing by and pick up some cheese and charcuterie, one of our party platters or our retail packaged foods.”

Farr and Beneke compare the Red Fiddle Vittles grocery store to the popular “Choose Your Own Adventure” books from the 1980s and 1990s. “You can find one item and build a whole meal around it, or combine a few different items to create a fun dish you can call your own,” says Beneke. “A few specific items that we’re loving right now are the seasoned salt blends from our forager friends at Wild Goods. We also love the breakfast and brunch options available from our store, including Dry Ridge Farm eggs, Hickory Nut Gap breakfast sausage, Counter Culture whole bean coffee, and Red Fiddle’s own take-and-bake Buttermilk Biscuits and Chicken and Waffles. There are lots of delicious ways to start your day off right.”

Seared scallops

A core belief at Red Fiddle Vittles is that high-quality, gourmet food doesn’t have to be formal or haughty—on the contrary, it’s perfect for the whole family on a casual weeknight. “The most popular item for sale in our shop is our house-made frozen chicken tenders made with Joyce Farms chicken, Farm & Sparrow flour and local buttermilk,” says Farr. “As parents to a three year old, we’d be lying if we said that our chicken tenders were not a mandatory staple for our freezer at home. Pairs well with our famous mac-and-cheese, also available from the freezer case.”

Niki Irving, owner of Flourish Flower Farm, discovered Red Fiddle Vittles when she was searching for a caterer for her flower workshops. “From that very first meal, I knew that Red Fiddle Vittles was special and that their food was the best that I have experienced in Asheville,” Irving says. She continues to use them as her caterer for end-of-year and seasonal dinners for her flower farm team, and also regularly picks up take-home meals to enjoy at home with family and friends. “Everything that Red Fiddle Vittles creates is extraordinary,” she says. “Not only is the food of the highest caliber, but you are supporting a true family business which also supports other small businesses and farms in our Asheville community.”

Through the middle of December, Red Fiddle will be accepting holiday pre-orders which include Colfax Creek Farm holiday hams as well as all the traditional trimmings and sides, many with signature Appalachian twists. “Our gourmet grocery is also the perfect place to find stocking stuffers and other holiday gifts for that special foodie in one’s life,” adds Farr.

Red Fiddle Vittles is located in the Dingle Creek Crossing shopping center at 1800 Hendersonville Road, Suite 9, Asheville. For more information, call 828.412.0506, visit RedFiddleVittles.com or find @redfiddlevittles on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Leave a Comment