Patience, passion and pork: Big Nick’s Barbecue carries on family tradition

Coming off Exit 85 on the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway, a funny thing happens to drivers when they’re about halfway down the hill heading into Sylva — they start to get hungry. 

Cooking on The Mountain

The drive to The Mountain Retreat & Learning Center in Highlands sets the stage for its seclusion from the outside world.

Tourists crowd the winding two lanes that thread through the red, yellow and orange hues of fall. All of this makes the trip slow going, giving a person ample time to take in the beauty of the season.

Mountains to sea: Wicked Fresh Seafood & Meat Market

When Richard Gray was 9 years old, he would get up at 3:30 a.m. and ride his bicycle down to the docks on the coast of Maine to help the lobstermen of his hometown of Gouldsboro. 

Combining the culinary arts: Mad Anthony’s pairs craft beer, fine dining

Just off Main Street in Waynesville, tucked down the hill below Bogart’s, and across the street from American Legion Post 47, sits Mad Anthony’s Taproom & Restaurant.

Originally opened on Branner Avenue some three years ago, the business relocated to Legion Drive in July 2017. With 50 continuously rotating taps, it’s the largest selection of draft craft beer west of Asheville (aka: “Beer City USA”). But, in recent months, the taproom has transitioned into one of the most talked about gourmet farm-to-table restaurants in the area. 

Cookbooks make nice holiday gifts

So there I was on a Wednesday afternoon in October in one of my favorite spots in town: the public library. I’m running my eyes along the “New Books: Nonfiction” shelves when the cookbooks grab my attention.

Now, I myself own several cookbooks: a Betty Crocker that has seen much better days and opens automatically to the recipe for quiche; The Pat Conroy Cookbook, probably my favorite, not because of the recipes, but because of Conroy’s zest for food and anecdotes about his life; A Man, A Plan, A Can, which I recommend to anyone who doesn’t know a spatula from a ladle; a much-stained Moosewood Cookbook; and several others. I enjoy cooking on occasion, as long as the recipes are simple and forgiving, meaning that if I put too much sauce in the lasagna or not enough spices in the chicken soup, the food will still be edible.

Honoring the past, welcoming the future

High atop a mountain overlooking Haywood County, Annie Haslam Colquitt sits across a dining room table at The Swag. A rainstorm has just swept through, with a cold breeze floating through the open front door. She gazes around, her eyes slowly drifting out the windows onto the deep woods of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park bordering the property. 

On your plate, on the plateau: Chef Ken Naron of Canyon Kitchen

Though the culinary and agricultural history of Southern Appalachia is as vast and robust as the tall and rigorous mountains that make up this region, the intense worldwide focus and adoration for the ingredients, recipes and folks who stir it all together is more of a 21st century phenomenon. 

Ten acres of goodness

Ten Acre Garden in Canton has created an experience for visitors. They can come pick their own seasonal berries — blackberries, blueberries, strawberries — or pick their herbs or flowers from Garth Kuver’s Genesis Gardens on the property.

On your plate, on the plateau: Chef Ken Naron of Canyon Kitchen

Though the culinary and agricultural history of Southern Appalachia is as vast and robust as the tall and rigorous mountains that make up this region, the intense worldwide focus and adoration for the ingredients, recipes and folks who stir it all together is more of a 21st century phenomenon. 

A Bridge to Frog Level: Cathey family to breathe new life into Walker Service

For generations, the people of Waynesville looked to the auto repair shop at the intersection of Branner Avenue and Depot Street as a place to get oil. 

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.