Back in August my husband and I planned a trip to Asheville, NC for November. It was so fun having a trip to look forward but with work I didn’t have much time to plan for it. My husband took the lead, as he often does, researching where to go and what to do. He told me about the hikes and restaurants he had found, but he kept one activity a secret. While we were there (and because my husband is THE BEST), he surprised me by setting up a tour of a garden.
The gardener, Evan Chender, was so down-to-earth and kind during our visit. He walked us around showing us each of the garden beds he had set up and often picked a sample for us to try what was growing. He focuses on unique produce that restaurants can’t otherwise get and several of which I had never heard of. It was an awesome (and tasty) experience. I left inspired to purchase more interesting seeds in order to expand my gardening and culinary horizons.
I also left with a desire to go to the restaurants Chender sells his produce to which is precisely what my husband and did that night for dinner. Our first stop: The Bull and Beggar. We ordered the Chender Saland, obviously, and several other vegetable sides along with a burger. Everything was delicious, but my favorite was the salad. It was so tender and was paired with a light herb vinaigrette that didn’t overpower and was so yummy. Ever since, we have been making this salad dressing that I quickly searched for online after our dinner.
We also visited All Souls Pizza which I highly recommend. I ordered the clam chowder and salad that was on special. My husband ordered a pizza, so naturally I had a slice, and it was so fresh tasting – full of herbs!
The trip was the perfect combination of relaxing and inspiring. I highly recommend visiting the city to hike, eat, drink, relax and repeat. Cheers!
All photos courtesy of The Culinary Gardener