More fun in Asheville at Food Blog Forum on day 3.

Hello from Hickory Nut Gap Farm (photo taken by Todd & Diane)

With the first two days of Food Blog Forum Asheville covered in Part 1, it’s time to pick up with our third day.  Explore Asheville had a full and fabulous “Meet the Foodtopians” day planned for us on Tuesday starting mid-morning.  Not as early a start as the day before, which was a good thing for those that wanted to grab a few extra winks of sleep if they stayed up too late after the Biltmore reception.

 

On the bus and ready to get rolling with Janet, Angie and Lynda.  Photo taken by Angie.

 

Taste & Sip event at Highland Brewery

Our first stop was at Highland Brewing Company where local restaurants and food companies had a wide variety of food prepared for us to taste.  Let’s just say, it was more than a taste by the time you made your way around the room!  It was a full meal.  They have a big space for holding events for the community.   We had my kind of music again…live bluegrass!

 

Food from 12 Bones Smokehouse

Of course, I had to dig into pure comfort food from 12 Bones Smokehouse.  Greens, corn pudding and ribs.  Goodness gracious…this was good stuff y’all!

 

Sweets at Taste & Sip

Naturally, there were sweets available too.  It was hard to choose which ice cream flavors to sample from Ultimate Ice Cream, but I finally settled on Brown Sugar Bacon & Maple, Goat Cheese & Bing Cherry and South Carolina Peach.  They were all amazing, but the Brown Sugar Bacon & Maple was my absolute favorite!  French Broad Chocolates had yummy chocolate caramels and mini cupcakes to indulge in as well.

 

Looking Glass Creamery

After lunch, it was back on the bus to head to Looking Glass Creamery.  This was my most favorite part of the whole day!  The creamery is an award-winning producer of handmade cheese and traditional goat’s milk caramel (I’m still waiting for just the right opportunity to open my jar).   It is family owned and operated with the owners living right next door.  The mountain view shown above is taken from the creamery.  How’s that for a view across the street?

 

Looking Glass Creamery - #FBFAsh

Cheese Shop at Looking Glass Creamery

The Cheese Shop at the creamery is open a limited amount of hours since this is a working creamery.  I would’ve bought some cheese if I’d had a way to keep it cold the rest of the day.  Guess I’ll just have to go back.  We got to taste a few of their cheeses anyway.  Love goat cheese!

 

Vendors at Looking Glass Creamery

There were some other vendor tastings at the creamery too.  Farm & Sparrow baked pizza in a wood-fired oven.  If you’ve never had pizza right out of one of these ovens, you don’t know what you’re missing.  They used the creamery goat cheese…oh my goodness!  Sunburst Trout Farms had a table full of different smoked trout offerings.  The trout dip made with fresh goat cheese also was out of this world!

 

Animals at Looking Glass Creamery

Now you know there had to be animals.  Vivian (on the left) came out to meet us once we walked to the back of the creamery.  She’s so sweet.  Then there’s Tess (top right), a little more reserved than Vivian, but she was looking right at me when I snapped her picture.   The other animals were cooling it behind the shed since it was such a hot day!

 

Hickory Nut Gap Farm

We got back on the bus and went to Hickory Nut Gap Farm.  We were greeted with the smell of grass-fed beef mini-burgers.  Mmmm!  I could’ve put a few of these away in no time flat!  Off to the fields we went for a tour after a brief message from the owner.  Blueberry fields, sunflowers, hay bales, cows and mountain views all around.  Todd & Diane got all of us together for the photo at the top of this post and then we all took a picture of them taking a picture of us…get it?

 

Early Girl Eatery

After the farm tours, we were able to rest for just a little while before heading out on a restaurant crawl to downtown Asheville.  It was a night of small plate feasting in which we went in small groups with a local expert to several restaurants offering specials and tastings made available just for us.  We all didn’t go to the same restaurants as so many in the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association wanted to take part in this event.  The photos above were taken at Early Girl Eatery.  Loved the coconut cake!

 

Asheville restaurant crawl

Our group also stopped at Chai Pani, Isa’s Bistro, French Broad Chocolate Lounge and Posana Café.  It was hard to get good photos in most of the restaurants since it was dark inside, but this set will give you an idea of the other tastings.  I actually sat by the window at Early Girl Eatery and put my plates on the windowsill for better lighting.

 

Not just one, but 2 swag bags!

Once again, the Food Blog Forum team put together a jam-packed conference full of learning, good food and fun.  Kudos to Jaden & Scott, Todd & Diane, Julie and Lindsay for all their hard work.  A big thank you to Explore Asheville for planning all the fun events for over 100 bloggers…you rock!  Thanks to all the sponsors and vendors for providing the swag bag goodies.  Loved the DIY Foodtopia swag bag from Explore Asheville!

Want to take a look at more pictures from Food Blog Forum Asheville?  We flooded Instagram with over 900 photos using the hashtag #FBFAsh.  There are also many more recaps of the conference from other bloggers.  Take a look at these when you get a chance.

 

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4 Responses to Food Blog Forum Asheville 2014 – Part 2

  1. Thanks for sharing my post! I’m sure wishing we could go back to Asheville and do this again!

  2. Hey Robin, I took your advice and had to check out this post. Again, I somehow made the rookie mistake of reading it on an empty stomach, and now I’m paying dearly for it. This Forum really looked like it was such a great event!

    • Robin says:

      Yeah, not a good idea to read it on an empty stomach. Kind of like looking for recipes on Pinterest…makes you want to go eat! :)

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