Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cheese Lovers ALERT - Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest this Weekend

April 24, 2016    Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest   Meet the makers and the milkers, explore the craft of cheese-making, sample and buy lots of local wonderful and healthy cheese. 

Head to the beautiful grounds of Highland Brewing Co. to celebrate southern cheese and help support the WNC Cheese Trail. Explore the process from the field and farm to the dinner plate. Learn about the past, present and future of this ancient craft. 

There will also be a wide variety of family-fun activities, vendors from across the industry, demos, discussions and more.


courtesy of Mountain Cheese Fest
Be My Monger
Time: 2 - 3 PM,  Main Stage
Ever wondered what exactly goes into being a monger of the finest cheeses? Looking for a goudass time and ramped up for some friendly competition? Check out our Be My Monger event and see how well our mongers do.  

sMACdown Showdown 
Time: 1 - 3 PM, Event Tent
Gather for a showdown among a group of feisty chefs who all think they make the very best Mac and Cheese. There will be a panel of judges to taste and vote on their favorite. You too can cast your vote for the People's Choice. Purchase a sMac Down Tasting ticket (limited to 100) and you get to sample these delectable offerings and then vote on which one YOU think is the best. The winners will be announced on stage at 3:30 PM.
  • Chef participants in the sMacdown Showdown include:
  • Chef Chris Hall of Corner Kitchen 
  • Catering Chef Eden Roorda of Native Social Pub 
  • Chef Greg Campbell of The Barleycorn 
  • Chef Chris Sizemore of The Local 
  • Joint Chef Joe Marple of The Southern 
  • Chef Chris Kronberg of Foggy Mountain Brew Pub
 (Workshops are FREE but have limited seating.  Reserve your space now)

Raising Healthy Goats
TIME 12:30 PM
Local expert Liza Plaster of Ripshin Goat Dairy in Lenoir, NC to help you learn about raising healthy dairy goats. Liza will discuss her her background and experience before opening the floor for Q & A.

Cheese-Making for the Hobbyist
TIME: 1:15 PM
Join Rich Nathan of Second Act Artisan Cheese as he gives you an overview of the process of making delicious handmade artisan cheeses in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Charcuterie 101
TIME: 2:00 PM
Intro to Charcuterie: In this workshop, Meredith Leigh explores the world of cured meats. She'll give an overview of the processes, cover history, science, and show creative ways to pair charcuterie and cheeses.

Ethical Eating
Time: 3:00 PM
This workshop makes connections between environment, economy, culture, and science to discuss HOW we should think about what we eat, and WHY it matters. Meredith Leigh explores questions and facts that will leave you with a new way of thinking about food that not only touch day-to-day dietary considerations, but also global perspective.

Events and Demos:
(Events are held in the Meadow.  All events listed below are included in the entrance fee to the Fest)

The Gathering of Cheesemakers
Time: Ongoing throughout event
​Find this gathering of cheesemakers in the Meadow Area. where many of the regions best cheesemakers and other local artisan food producers will be setup to sample and sell their wide variety of cheeses, meats, bread, mustards, jams, gelato, goat milk and more.

Ongoing  Family Fun
Goat Milking Demo
Kid  Corral
Calf Corral
Butter Making

Cheese Trail Dessert Walk
Time: Ongoing throughout event
Everyone loves a cake walk and here's one with a twist - come and check it out and you just may be the lucky one to win a dessert.

History of Cheese Display
Time: Ongoing, WNC Cheese Trail Tent
Cheese is steeped in history, folklore, and tradition.  Check out this representation of a traditional copper pot over a flame setup and learn about how cheese was made before the days of electricity and refrigeration.

Mozzarella Stretch
12 noon and 3 PM, Event Tent
Building a Better Cheese Board 
12:30 PM, Center Stage
Goat milk soap making 
1:15, Center Stage, 1:15
Making Ricotta 
Center Stage, 3:30 PM

Highland Brewing Company is located at 
12 Old Charlotte Highway in Asheville NC


Thursday, April 14, 2016

National Park Week Begins This Weekend

National Park Week 2016 kicks off on Saturday, April 16 and it's going to be incredible. Nine days of free admission to all national parks. Where will you start? You could experience a dark night sky, reconnect with the place that first introduced you to the Civil Rights Movement, discover a new trail, learn about the preservation of art and music, gather friends for a national park instameet (using #FindYourParkInstaMeet, #FindYourPark, #EncuentraTuParque, and #NPS100) – the possibilities are endless.

However you decide to honor the week, you may share your ideas and memories with The National Park Foundation at FindYourPark.com and EncuentraTuParque.com. You never know, your story could inspire someone else to get out there and explore our parks. And if you're looking for some inspiration yourself, bookmark this page and check out the countless ideas that have already been shared.

From April 16 – 24, you are invited to celebrate all that America’s more than 400 national parks have to offer. And in honor of the National Park Service Centennial this year, all parks are offering FREE ADMISSION the entire week. From diverse wildlife and iconic landscapes, to vibrant culture and rich history, our National Park System has something for everyone.

The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016. The Centennial will kick off a second century of stewardship of America’s national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs. Join the celebration to explore, learn, discover, be inspired, or simply have fun in over 400 national parks.

National Parks in the Western North Carolina Mountains:

National Scenic Trail 
Appalachian Maine to Georgia, CT, GA, MA, MD, ME ,NC, NH ,NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, VT, WV -  The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.

Blue Ridge Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, NC,VA -  A Blue Ridge Parkway experience is unlike any other: a slow-paced and relaxing drive revealing stunning long-range vistas and close-up views of the rugged mountains and pastoral landscapes of the Appalachian Highlands. The Parkway meanders for 469 miles, protecting a diversity of plants and animals, and providing opportunities for enjoying all that makes this region of the country so special.

National Heritage Area
Photo courtesy of the US Forest Service.

Blue Ridge Fletcher, NC - The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is a place unlike any other on Earth, where ancient landscapes enchant the eye and age-old traditions warm the heart. The distinctive landscape of the North Carolina mountains and foothills combined with the region’s living traditions of craft, music, agriculture and Cherokee heritage create a wealth of natural and cultural treasures unmatched in our country.

National Historic Site
Carl Sandburg Home Flat Rock, NC -  Carl Sandburg provided a popular voice for the American people of the twentieth century and still speaks to us through his words, songs and the beauty and serenity of Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. Explore Sandburg's legacy and Experience Your America!

National Park 

Great Smoky Mountains the states of, NC,TN -  Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America's most visited national park.

National Historic Trail 
Overmountain Victory NC,SC,TN,VA - Stretching 330 miles through four states (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina) the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail traces the route used by patriot militia during the pivotal Kings Mountain campaign of 1780. Follow the campaign by utilizing a Commemorative Motor Route which uses existing state highways marked with the distinctive trail logo, or 87 miles of walkable pathways.

Find information and links for WNC National, 
State and Local Parks on our NC Parks Guide

* Information and photos provided by the National Park Service and The National Park Foundation

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Elvis is in the House - The Flat Rock Playhouse

Donny Edwards Live: An Authentic Heart and Soul Tribute to THE KING opens this week and runs for 10 performances only. Do not miss this one, you won't believe your eyes or your ears! 

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased by calling the Playhouse box office at 828-693-0731, toll-free at 866-732-8008 or online at www.flatrockplayhouse.org.

The Flat Rock Playhouse, the official state theatre of North
 Carolina, is located at 2661 Greenville Highway in Flat Rock, NC.