The organizers of a new signature culinary event in Asheville are seeking sponsors and programming ideas as momentum around planning the food festival gathers momentum. The Asheville Independent Restaurants group, which is helping facilitate the planning, will hold a Nov. 7 forum to help folks get information about the big new event. (Detailed background on the new Asheville culinary event here.)

Last month, a group of some of the most respected and well-known players on Asheville’s culinary scene announced they had come together to organize and stage a new food festival that they hope will continue to help raise wide awareness of the city’s vibrant food scene. Chef Katie Button of Curate and Nightbell restaurants, and Jael Rattigan, co-founder of French Broad Chocolates, made the funding pitch.The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority pledged $75,000 toward the event.

The new festival hasn’t been named yet. The tentative date for the event is Sept. 12-15 of 2019.

The group has hired Angel Postell as festival and organizers. She is a co-founder and former director of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival. Well-known Asheville event planner Melissa Porter of Asheville Event Co. has been hired to be the “local, boots-on-the-ground event manager,” according to AIR.

The mission of the festival “is to celebrate Asheville’s creative table through meaningful events, immersive experiences and charitable programs that connect people to the many hands, makers, and diverse culinary collaborators who nourish, nurture, and create in our vibrant corner of Appalachia. This includes farmers, cheesemakers, potters, glass blowers, woodworkers, chefs, brewers, bartenders, distillers, coffee roasters, flour millers, bakers, beekeepers, etc.”

Here’s how you can get involved in the early stages of the big new event:

Come to the next AIR (Asheville Independent Restaurants) meeting: The AIR team is opening up its meeting at 9 a.m. on Nov. 7 as a forum for festival discussion and information gathering. RSVP here.  The meeting location is 27 College Place, Asheville.

Send ideas: The event organizers and AIR are seeking ideas on everything from events locals would like to lead, to events you’d like to see or participate in. This is not an application, just a call for brainstorming. Programming will be limited to 20 to 30 events. In suggesting an event, know that culinary festival organizers are looking for it to meet the following criteria: the event must be “uniquely Asheville”; all event ideas should be collaborative with other local makers; every event must include an educational component to help tell a deeper story. The deadline for submission is Nov. 30. Use this form to submit ideas.
Do you know of someone who should be included? Feel free to forward this email.

Sign up as a sponsor: Email Angel Postell at angel@sipindipity.com

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