Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Catching up from the weekend: visits Knife and Fork restaurant in Spruce Pine and can’t get enough. From

The kitchen’s precise execution kept the meal temporal. Skillful sears on the pork chop and rabbit kept the meat juicy; their earthy savor made the foraged greens taste all the brighter. A childhood camping snack of Beach Cliff fish steaks in Louisiana hot sauce, which included the softened bones in their tins, inspired his “trout marrow” appetizer. He put the vertebrae of the cleaned trout through the wringer — pressure-canning them, blending them in the Vitamix, mixing them with agar agar to set, whirring them again — until, infused with cream and wine, they tasted like spreadable chowder. …

It was hard to wrest ourselves from the enchantment of the setting. Reservations can be tough to claim as the summer progresses and it’s easy to can see why. Allen and his cooking have the kind of charisma that could lure you back season after season, year after year.

-Free bubble soccer from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday at Asheville Racquet Club. Register at

The Hendersonville Lightning reports that Sunday’s grand opening of the new Tryon International Equestrian Center south of Asheville was quite an event. From the story by Lightning founder Bill Moss:

Amid a set by Lee Greenwood, an appearance by the governor, skydivers and a craft beer festival to celebrate its grand opening, the Tryon International Equestrian Center took a break to watch TV. The capacity crowd watched history made on the Jumbotron when American Pharaoh won the Belmont Stakes and became the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown.

Mark Bellissimo, the managing partner of the sprawling 1,500-acre facility of horse rings, arenas and cabins, said in a news conference that the reception he and other investors got when they first announced their plans inspired him to go bigger and faster than he’d planned.

“So instead of spending 20 or 30 million dollars as (investor) Roger (Smith) had joked, we’re probably upwards of 80, 90 100 million dollars of private equity investment,” he said. “And it’s what drives this country is entrepreneurship and living in an environment that allows commercial enterprise to try and political forces help that. I hope this is a great opportunity for this community to reinvent itself or reenergize itself.”

-Movies in Pack Square Park: From a press release from the city of Asheville:the_goonies_2015

The City of Asheville Parks and Recreation Department continues the 2015 Movies in the Park season, a free monthly movie series in Pack Square Park on Friday, June 12. Children’s craft activities begin at 6:30 p.m. and the movie begins at dusk on a giant screen on the Pack Square Park stage. This month’s feature presentation is The Goonies (rated PG). Food and beverages will be available at the park. Bring a chair or a blanket and come out for crafts, a movie under the stars, and an evening of fun, all for free.

Along with the children’s craft activity booth, watch for the 2115 Asheville-Buncombe Time Capsule Project booth to sign the Citizen Roll Call and complete a survey to say what goes in the time capsule. The time capsule will be installed at the September 18 Movies in the Park. Movies in the Park continues monthly through September. Each month, children craft activities begin at 6:30 p.m. followed by the movie at dusk. All movies are rated PG.

July 10: Surf’s Up, A Major Ocean Picture

August 14: Despicable Me 2

September 18: Into the Woods

For more information about this and all Asheville Parks and Recreation programs, visit,, or by phone at (828) 259-5800.

-Biltmore Farms Hotels, the largest locally-owned hotel group in Asheville, will hold a job fair from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 11, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore. More:

The Hotel group is in need of filling seasonal, full-time and manager positions between all five properties, which include the DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore, Hilton Asheville, Quality Inn & Suites Biltmore South, Residence Inn Biltmore and Biltmore Village Lodge. Open positions include the areas of guest services, sales, housekeeping, banquets and food and beverage. Management representatives from each hotel will be in attendance at the event.

Interested job candidates need to be prepared to complete an application and can bring their resume, if applicable. Candidates may also be asked to interview with a specific management representative while at the job fair.

-A book of photographs by Ken Abbott and essays by Rob Neufeld, titled, Useful Work: Photographs of Hickory Nut Gap Farm, will be released on July 24, 2015, at the opening of an exhibition of photographs from the book in the Holden Community Gallery of the Asheville Art Museum, according to a press release. Here’s more:

The exhibition at the museum will be titled, Heritage and Home: Photographs of Hickory Nut Gap Farm. Critical fundraising continues for the book and exhibition, through the arts oriented crowd-funding platform, Hatchfund, with a goal of raising $10,000 by the end of June, 2015. The Hatchfund platform makes tax-deductible donations possible, and in appreciation of donations, generous perks including discounts, books, and prints, and even a “photographer made” breakfast of biscuits and Hickory Nut Gap Farm sausage gravy, served on the porch of the old Sherrill’s Inn, now the Big House at Hickory Nut Gap Farm, are available.

-Girls Rock Asheville is asking the public for $5,000 to help fund its unique summer camp. More:

Girls Rock Asheville is excited to announce a fundraising campaign for Camp 2015! Check out our donation page, and donate today here.

Girls Rock Asheville is a volunteer-powered non-profit that relies on the support of the greater Asheville community and beyond. Our camp is committed to supporting families of all kinds and providing a great experience for all campers regardless of income, and that’s why no camper is turned away if they are unable to pay for camp. We are one of the few camps in the area offering an affordable camp with full and partial scholarships.

The money raised in this Indiegogo Campaign will contribute to funding our 2nd annual camp, which will be held at The Mothlight in West Asheville June 22-27. During this week, campers will form bands, learn to play an instrument, write a song, attend workshops, and perform in a final showcase on Saturday, June 27. We have reached our registration goal, so now it is time to rally supporters of Girls Rock Asheville and make it possible to empower girls and trans* youth through music education and community. Last year’s camp was incredibly successful and GRAVL continues to inspire in creating a safe, educational, nurturing, creative, and fun environment for girls and trans* youth to create with confidence.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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