Farmer and Chef Asheville: The ultimate cookbook from a culinary destination

Published on November 03, 2014
Written by Ray Access

Asheville, North Carolina, has developed a reputation not only as a foodie haven, but also as a place where the entire food community — from farmer to chef, miller to baker and rancher to butcher — supports one another. This tightly knit community so impressed cookbook author Debby Maughans when she moved to Asheville that she felt compelled to assemble another cookbook. This time, she teamed with Christine Sykes Lowe, a PR expert who knows a little something about culinary tourism.

Local restaurant chefs, bed-and-breakfast owners, bakers, butchers, farmers and even bartenders have contributed uniquely Asheville recipes to the book. Often using locally sourced meats, vegetables, grains and condiments, the recipes, like the one below, deliver the flavor of Appalachia no matter where you are.

Why Another Cookbook?

Maughans, who wrote Small-Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers (Thomas Dunne Books, 2011), among other books, said she was drawn to the book idea to provide “a guidebook to the Asheville food community” and to “break down the barriers between chefs and patrons with recipes that anyone can make.” The beautifully photographed book includes sidebars that highlight the people, events and organizations that make Asheville a gastronomically diverse and highly regarded culinary destination. 

Farmer and Chef Asheville delivers a slice of Asheville’s award-winning culinary and cocktail scene. With more than 200 recipes, the book helps educate both locals and tourists about the inherent value and delicious taste of local meals made fresh. The inclusion of bed-and-breakfast owners as well as restaurant chefs builds bridges to the personalities that have sustained the Asheville foodie scene.

You will find sections such as Appalachian Homegrown, with recipes you can make from one trip to a farmers market, and Mountain Mornings, featuring the best breakfasts from the city’s B&Bs. In between the recipes, you’ll learn about Welcome Table, lagniappes, Outstanding in the Field dinners, the WNC Cheese Trail, the Blind Pig Supper Club, community supported agriculture, and much, much more.

Pimento Cheese Recipe

Pimento cheese is a Southern staple. Here is chef Mark Demarco’s (Cedric’s Tavern) version from Farmer and Chef Asheville. Used with permission.

  1. Combine 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese and 4 ounces softened cream cheese in a large bowl. Mix well.
  2. Stir in 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup diced roasted red bell pepper or drained canned pimento, 2 teaspoons hot sauce, 1 tablespoon dill pickle juice, 1 teaspoon Worcester sauce, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

More Appalachia on the Way

Watch for the authors to come to an Appalachian town near you for book signings and other events. If sales of the book are as robust as expected, they will look to other Central Appalachian cities that have developed local food cultures and repeat the process. From Alabama to Pennsylvania, there may be Farmer and Chef South cookbooks coming to your city.

Farmer and Chef Asheville will be available on November 1 at area bookstores and restaurants, as well as in the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau. You can preorder the book at, where you can discover local events, new recipes and additional information.

[Pictures from]