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Culinary Adventures Abound in Asheville, North Carolina
February 07, 2008
Category: Luxury Travel Ideas
Looking to escape the dreary days of winter? Hungry for some adventure? How about taking a culinary vacation and explore all that Asheville, NC has to offer? Asheville, NC is a great weekend retreat and a short drive from cities such as Charlotte, Atlanta and Raleigh.
So, whether you are seeking an extravagant evening of gourmet proportions, a cozy family evening with an upscale twist, or a down-home cooking experience, this western North Carolina mountain city has something special to offer. Here are some favorites:
The Upper Crust at a Luxury Mountain Getaway
If elegance and upscale service is what you crave, the Chef’s Table at Horizons Restaurant located in the Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa may be the answer.
As the resort’s flagship restaurant, Horizons serves a menu of classic cuisine, complemented by a wine list of over 700 entries. Seating options include semi-private tables, a private room or a behind-the-scenes view from the “Chef’s Table” located in the heart of the action — the kitchen.
The Chef de Cuisine and Sommelier guide their guests on a culinary and wine pairing adventure of nine courses that will educate and entertain.
Menu items vary so call ahead to find out what they are offering. Recent items have included oyster soufflé, foie gras, a signature lobster bisque, and Kobe beef. Desserts are always a surprise and include a chef’s selection of artisan cheeses, chocolate truffles and Belgian-style coffee service with an array of flavor-infused sugars.
During these delightful courses, guests are encouraged to walk around the kitchen, chat with staff and tour the wine cellar. Wine dinners and lectures can also be arranged and are designed around a group’s tastes and interests.
Chef in Motion
Chef in Motion offers dining in a private and intimate setting. Chef Mauricio (“Mo”) Abreu and his partner, Brenda Wienke are sure to make your dining experience relaxed and fun.
“Where else can you host an elegant dinner party in your lingerie?” Sarah Benoit, a guest who reserved the house for an evening to host a lingerie party for close friends, asked.
Guests can enjoy a three- or four-course gourmet meal in their shorts and sandals. Not many places in Asheville offer that kind of thing. The pace and atmosphere is set by the customer.
Children are also free to roam around the house, go outside, or color at one of the tables which frees up parents. Some children may even get involved in the cooking process. Recently, a teenage son assisted in the dinner preparation for his parent’s anniversary. Interactive cooking lessons can also be arranged.
Vacation Planning and Adventure: Log Cabin Cooking Classes
Step back in time for a few hours and experience the art of old-time, retro cooking in a 1940s East Asheville log cabin. Vintage feed-sack aprons are provided to guests as they bake pies, breads, cookies and more using only retro kitchen gadgets, mixers, and bowls. Old 45s and vinyl records are available to play on the 1960s polka-dot, sleepover record player as pot pies bake and green beans simmer.
Guests are invited to fire up the 1928 Home Comfort wood stove and may even be asked to chop some wood, or pick vegetables from the local garden.
“What I really try to emphasize in my classes is a return to a simpler time where families cooked, sat down and ate at the table together,” Barbara Swell said.
Recipes are heirloom, and ingredients are seasonal, local, and organic when possible. All classes are hands-on and include recipes and take-home food. Guests are welcome to bring wine and beer and are encouraged to enjoy the homey and warm atmosphere, sit by the fire, slow down and talk with each other, and imagine they are in a different time and place.
Asheville, NC Hotels: Where to Stay?
Staying at an Asheville, NC hotel or condo that offers travel concierge services is a real plus. A concierge can assist in making reservations, schedule cooking classes, purchase beverages, and more.
The Residences at Biltmore is an excellent choice. It’s Asheville’s newest and most intriguing all-suite hotel. Guests will be spoiled by their spacious luxury mountain getaway accommodations and concierge services that cater to your every whim.
“We are also offering special winter discounts,” James Gibson, Managing Director at The Residences at Biltmore, said. “Our travel concierge services are designed to enhance our guests’ experience and to help them in planning a memorable vacation.”