Our Trial to Table events are a chance for us to showcase crops and varieties from our farm trials via the talented hands of local chefs. We challenge our chefs to be inspired by our farm trials and to be creative with their dishes. The food is always delicious and our hope is that your experience something new and begin to rethink what our regional food system can offer.
Our Pop-Ups are deep dives into single crops. Taro is easy to grow and delicious to eat, especially with our awesome chefs!
Whaley Farm Brewery is a beautiful craft brewery in Old Fort, NC. They brew creative and traditional craft beers.
The Utopian Seed Project has been growing taro (Colocasia esculenta) for 4 years in Western NC, and it is proving to be easy to grow, productive and delicious. This event is part of a Southern SARE sponsored On-Farm Research grant to continue our work with taro as a climate resilient and sustainable crop for the region. Learn more about growing taro here.
Chef Jeremy Salig
Taro with tapioca, coconut, candied turmeric, and hibiscus marinated yacon
Scalloped taro with bacon, pimento cheese, and wild onions
Chef Beth Kellerhals
Taro Hand Pie with Peanut Anglaise
Taro Brandade Crostini (Salt Cod, Carmelized Scallions, Taro, Local Sourdough)
Chef Yunanda Wilson
Taro Thargu: Steamed taro, tapioca pearls, sweetened coconut milk
Taro Hinn: Chicken & taro curry, coconut rice, spicy pickled achira
Raised in central Florida to a family where food culture was life, his formative experience was largely the osmosis of a Puerto Rican childhood. Tastes. Smells. Sounds, emotion, intuition. Now, at this point in his life he has spent almost as many years in western NC as he had in his native land. His time here in the mountains has been experienced through purposeful learning, intentional training, seeking, finding and creating. His cooking style seeks to blend the flavors and techniques of these cultures. He’s held cook, pastry chef and head chef positions and done various pop ups in Asheville, Morganton, around Western NC.
Beth Kellerhals grew up in the Midwest where her family planned what was for dinner around the breakfast table. Beth mostly thought about dessert. After a stint in China near the North Korean border where she studied Mandarin and taught English, she returned to Chicago and enrolled in The French Pastry School. Upon graduating she first studied under Mindy Segal and when the winters became too blustery, she left for Los Angeles. She worked in pastry at a Michelein starred restaurant and then left to make Asian inspired desserts for Roy Choi. The late Jonathan Gold called her “something of a marvel,” and she has been profiled for numerous publications both in LA and here in Asheville. She moved to Asheville to be closer to family. You can find her creations in numerous shops around town as well as the Asheville City Market every Saturday. She is also part of the beloved trio “Ladies Who Brunch Pop Up” where she gets a chance to cook savory breakfast food with her co-chefs Terri Terrell and Michele Gentile.
aThoke Lay is a Burmese owned pop up series lead by Yunanda Wilson, owner and chef. Our mission is to highlight traditional flavors through a new lens and promote nutritious comfort food that is convenient and delicious.
The concept of “aThoke Lay” — which translates to “little salad” — expands far beyond traditional American assortments like lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes. “It simply means a mixture of things,” Yunanda explains. “From noodles to potato curry to tea leaves.”
Yunanda, who moved from Burma to the US as a six-year old, also has a special mohinga recipe from her mother. The chowder-like rice noodle and fish soup, which simmers catfish in a lemongrass broth, comes served with a split-pea fritter that balances the dish with a gentle crunch.”