Visiting the City Farmers’ Market in Asheville with the Chefs from The Grove Park Inn
This post is the second one on our trip to Asheville, North Carolina and The Grove Park Inn and the the third in the On the Road with Bunkycooks series.
On our first full day in Asheville (after much wine and good food the prior evening), we started the morning off with a really large cup of coffee (of course…the Bunkycooks needed to get going after a somewhat sleepless evening looking for the “Pink Lady”!). After the necessary dose of caffeine, we headed off to the Asheville City Farmer’s Market with two of the chefs from The Blue Ridge Dining Room (Chef Charles Jett and Chef Casey Connor) and their new restaurant manager, Mark Ramirez.
Chef Denny Tratham, the Executive Chef at The Grove Park Inn, usually goes with the other chefs every Saturday morning, however, he was not able to on this particular day. So, after being invited by Chef Charles Jett, the Bunkycooks were excited to tag along
because it’s fun to go shopping with the chefs to see what was looking good at the farmers market!
Now, you know that the Bunkycooks will never miss an opportunity to look at pretty food and take pictures of all of it! We know good looking food when we see it! We also enjoy eating it, too!
There are an incredible number of farmers’ markets in Asheville for a town of its size (a population of 100,000). According to the Asheville tourism board, there are 14 tailgate markets in the Asheville area! The City Farmers’ Market is just minutes from the hotel and is one of the larger markets, so that is where we headed Saturday morning!
This trip to the market is a weekly ritual on Saturday mornings for the chefs at The Grove Park Inn. Every Saturday The Blue Ridge Dining Room serves a farm to table brunch which highlights local farmers and their products. Many of the dishes that they prepare for the brunch are made with the goodies that they pick up at the market in the morning. The Bunkycooks were lucky enough to get to shop with the chefs and see what produce and cheeses they purchased to be included in the brunch.
This is also a great way for the chefs to stay connected to the community and to find out what the farmers will have to offer in the coming weeks and months.
I smile when I see fresh produce. 🙂
Me, too! 🙂
These photos are making me drool the way most women do over jewellery catalogues *sigh*
I want that “Pasta Wench” apron! LOL
You’ve gotta love that apron! I think that is such a cute name!
Ok, mommie cooks is super jealous that the Bunkycooks got to hang out with the chefs from the Grove Park Inn!! I would love to do that! I’m rolling around the idea of entering their gingerbread competition this year so maybe I can wrangle a meet up when I do that.
Thanks so much for the kind words regarding my anniversary! It’s really sweet of you!
I think it’s great you have had 10 wonderful years of marriage. Good for you both and congrats!
I would love to get together in Asheville for the gingerbread competition. Chef Trantham has asked us about coming up, so you never know! I do know one thing…you will not be seeing me in the competition, but I will enjoy looking at all the really talented entries and taking pictures of them. 🙂
Holy moly! That looks like some mighty fine produce! They are still working on building up the farmer’s markets here in Boston… I hope that it will one day look like the one you went to in Asheville.
I remember the farmer’s market that was near Faneuil Hall while I was there (North Street?). I assume there are probably more now. I must say that Asheville really is progressive in this area. I don’t know how many other towns have this many markets. In fact, my friend at ASAP told me this morning that there are 70 farmers’ markets in Western North Carolina. Pretty amazing!
Adore farmers markets! Looks like you hit the jackpot!!
Gwen , that is some spectacular produce, and you got some really good pictures! I think I see a book in your future! You sound like your having the time of your life, talking to these chefs, keep up the good work on this series, we love it!
Thanks for your comments! A book would be nice…we shall see! 😉 We are having a great time doing this and it is fun to be able to share it all with others!
It looks like you’re having so much fun! I love farmers’ markets.. I wish there were more around where I am! The pictures are awesome looking too, especially the action shots.
We are having fun! It’s great to get out and meet all of these local people and get to visit with the chefs.
What fun! Chefs and farmers markets are a great combo. All the fruits and vegetables look wonderfully delicious.
I have been shopping with the chefs one other time and it truly is a great experience. I went with a chef in Spain last Fall. Lots of fun and not to be missed if you have a chance to do it!
Love the photo of the giant tomato platter with the flowers, that looks so fresh and delicious!
What a beautiful market all the veggies look glorious. The tomato plater looks amazing almost too pretty to eat. LOL
Looks like so much fun. I love farmers market….so much to see and try. I really love the first photo…..fantastic presentation. I must try that for my parties to wow my guests 😀 Thanks very much for sharing.
Thank you all for the comments. This was a really fun market and they lots of very nifty veggies!
I need to get out there! What a fantastic market!
some of the best produce I have ever seen, are those tomatoes? (2 down from the eggplants) I would spend way too much time and buy way too much produce there, I would be in heaven for sure…
Man, I love reading your stuff. You really do need to get this all put together in a book. I’d buy it and use the culinary travel guide to take me from wonderful place to wonderful place, discovering all the hideaways in my North Carolina that I didn’t know were here.
Thank you so much! Maybe a book is in the future. You are the second person (Chef Dennis was the first) to mention that today. It would be fun and I will sign the first copy for you! 🙂
Thanks so much for highlighting our beautiful market. We feel fortunate have such wonderful farmers selling amazing product. I wanted to point out that the goat cheese vendor photo was of my farm, Spinning Spider Creamery. We have happy, healthy, prize winning goats and amazing award winning goat cheese. The beauty of our market is that customers have more than one cheese vendor to choose from. I invite anyone who comes to Asheville City Market to come and sample our product and enjoy the bounty.
Yes, I did know that was your delicious cheese and we actually purchased some that day that was served during brunch (last photo). I am glad we finally connected and look forward to seeing you soon (and your happy goats!). 🙂
Beautiful produce… I think I went to summer camp in Ashville about 1978! GREG
Love fresh produce, looks like a great market.
Thanks again for such a beautiful article. We are seeing more communities embracing farmers markets and local products which is better for all involved. Your pictures are beautiful and your focus on getting people to buy local is admirable.
What a grand post:) Look at all of that gorgeous produce…fun fun fun…
Dear Gwen – What mouthwatering produce and the pasta wench brought a smile to my face. Fantastic post and outstanding pics as always 🙂
Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
I tell ya time and time again, I need….want….crave to hang out with the Bunkycooks! How fun to go to the farmer’s market with the chefs and then watch them prepare those gorgeous dishes for brunch. Forget about the spa, we need to meet up for the farmer’s market, OK the spa too!
I guess I haven’t been to many farmer’s markets, because I’ve never been to one as nice as the one you shared in this post. Must be lovely to have good farmer’s markets and so many of them to choose from. Do you think the Bunkycooks may decide to relocate to this beautiful area? ;o)
That platter is stunning. It makes me wish even harder for summer to come and bring its sweet tomatoes with it. Thanks for taking us along with you on this market visit, I hope we weren’t too heavy 😉
You can’t beat a farmers market for food fun. I live in farm country and love every minute I spend at our local markets.
You are so lucky to live near the farmers’ markets (as I am). Nothing is better than the produce picked just hours before you buy it!