Back on Course

Back on Course: The much-anticipated Taste of Asheville Returns
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Celebrating twenty years of success, Asheville Independent Restaurants (AIR) launched its popular tasting event, Taste of Asheville, on March 9. Waylaid by COVID since 2019, the group’s signature, social culinary event once again tickled attendees’ taste buds. Normally held at The Venue in November, it moved to Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College this year, home to “an incredible culinary school that ranks nationally in competitions,” according to Jane Anderson, interim executive director of AIR, adding “the A-B campus has a grand history of turning out wonderful chefs and business owners.”

Dozens of restaurants and vendors were represented, while the samplings marked the diversity of AIR’s more than 150 member restaurants. Anderson says the 501(c)(6) trade association continues to advocate for its members, holding educational and motivational workshops, with a recent one entitled “From Boss to Leader.” Even during COVID, AIR worked to procure outdoor heating for some eateries in addition to dealing with the city, health department, courts, and other governmental entities. The thirteen-member board of directors are “good community stewards,” she says, comprising folks who “live here; their kids go to school here.” Working together for the enrichment of all is AIR’s top goal, Anderson adds. “If everyone is doing well, the tide rises, and we’ll all do better.” 

To learn more about Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, visit