Eating locally and supporting sustainable agriculture is something I foster in my life; nothing compares to having fresh and best quality ingredients. So, if you are into extremely delicious gastronomy prepared with seasonal produce in a beautiful mountain landscape, then you need to start planning your next trip to Asheville, North Carolina. Get all the insights of the “Best city in America for locavores” with Moveable Feasts, the gastronomic experts. I interviewed Jean Smith, serious foodie and founder of Moveable Feasts food tours.
Who is Jean Smith?
In addition to running Moveable Feasts Food and Culture tours, I write, edit and publish a local, independent, quarterly Food and Culture Magazine called The Talismanic Potato. I donate the profits of the magazine to help support local food-based charities in Ashville. I’ve been a high school English teacher for the past 10 years. I’m the mother of two small kids and a beagle that only moves to steal whatever food scraps he can.
I grew up in a town close to Asheville, so the frequent trips to this place made me fall in love with its cool, culturally-hip mood. I’ve lived in Oberlin, Buenos Aires, Brooklyn, Portland, and eventually decided to settle down in Asheville, a creative, artsy little mountain town with an incredible food and craft beer scene.
What makes Asheville food scene so special that made you start a food tour company here?
Asheville’s food scene is deep in the Buy Local movement. This town of less than 100,000 people has 17 farmers’ markets and our partners are all about taking advantage of seasonal produce sold here.
On this tour you get an eclectic sampling of some excellent food and drinks as well as historical and cultural tidbits that will entertain you. We take you to places that locals love, that make the Asheville restaurant scene so wonderful, supporting family farms and cooperatives, and investing in the community. These are not necessarily the places you read about when planning your trip.
Why foodies have to choose Moveable Feasts?
We at Moveable Feasts give foodies a unique perspective on Asheville. We weave stories about the city’s past, its historical settings (beyond the exquisite Biltmore Estate), its people, and its enthusiasm that has turned it into one of the “10 Most Beautiful Places in America” and as a Top Destination for travelers. We also get special VIP treatment around town (access to restaurants that are normally closed during the lunch hour).
- Asheville has one of the most impressive, comprehensive collections of Art Deco architecture in the United States.
- Has reigned the champion “Beer City USA” each year from 2009 to 2012. Dozens of micro breweries dot the downtown and major producers, including New Belgium Brewing Company and Sierra Nevada.
- Asheville and the surrounding mountains are also popular in the autumn when fall foliage peaks in October.
Tell me about the food, what do we get to taste?
There’s a little something for everyone! On the Downtown Lunch tour you’ll eat: the best pad thai in Western North Carolina, incredible local doughnuts, gourmet hot dogs with local condiments, micro-brewed Japanese sake, cold-brew coffee that is roasted in the area as well, savory breads and spreads, artisanal chocolate, herbal teas, small-batch bitters, local craft beers, fancified bacon!
Wow, it all sound delicious! Thanks, Jean!