Hidden amongst the tree line: Highland’s Skyline Lodge combines natural, culinary beauty

Pulling up to the Skyline Lodge, a peaceful silence washes over you while emerging from your vehicle. Walking toward the courtyard entryway, laughter and conversation is heard, whether between old friends or strangers who became fast friends. Soon, the smell of culinary delights wafts from the open doorway to the Oak Steakhouse.

Taking the leap: Food truck celebrates lineage, the independent spirit

It was just about four years ago when Jeremiah Chatham decided to put down the hammer and pick up a spatula.

Complementing the community: New restaurant brings Mediterranean flare to Sylva

Since they set up shop in Sylva just about three and a half years ago, Don and Cecelia Panicko have opened a café and a speakeasy, had a child and got married, all while weathering a global pandemic and the continuing economic fallout within the restaurant industry nationwide. 

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. 

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