The Asheville Wine & Food Festival … The 2017 Chef Highlight Series Continues!

The Asheville Wine and Food Festival celebrates the togetherness of a town-oriented festival with the global love for food and wine. This year, visit a series of renowned chefs as they grace the Festival with involvement in the Chef Highlight Series and provide guests with the best worldly cuisine Asheville has to offer. Here is a sneak peek of the next four chefs: Tariq Hanna acclaimed chef of New Orleans, Nicole Blastow of Twisted Laurel, TJ Centanni of Calypso, and Anthony Cerrato of Strada and the Social Lounge downtown. The first four chefs were shared with you in our last press release, and at Here is the full list of this year’s highlight series chefs, and where they can be found:

Chef Tariq Hanna of Restaurant Salon by Sucré — find him through alternate media/press coverage and at Sweet & Savory this year. A legend in the art of pastry making, Chef Tariq Hanna is New Orlean’s (and one of America’s) best pastry chefs. Indeed, his achievements are the stuff legends are made of; he worked as the first casino pastry chef at MotorCity Casino, appeared on the Food Network & TLC on numerous occasions, and helped launch three confection boutiques as well as a salon restaurant under the regionally acclaimed Sucré brand. If you have any other plans on Saturday August 19, scrap them folks, this is not a chef you want to miss!

Chef Kyle Allen of Mountain Madre Kitchen & Agave Bar — The Book End VIP chef at Downtown After 5 on both 5/19 & 9/15

Chef Nicole Blastow of Twisted Laurel – Our only female chef this year, she presented in the VIP tent at Downtown After 5 on 6/16. Bold, Original, Fearless – A champion in her field, Chef Blastow is an award-winning executive chef from Twisted Laurel. The winner of the “People’s Choice Award” in the 2016 March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction, Blastow is a bold and inventive chef who crafts some of the most ingenious dishes in all of Western North Carolina (Yes, she’s that good!). Be sure to sample some of her most innovative dishes this August 18 & 19.

Chef TJ Centanni of Calypso – Find this chef of the new downtown restaurant at Downtown After 5 by The River 98.1 on 7/21. Serving food for the soul from St. Lucia, Chef TJ Centanni promises to spice up the festival with his Caribbean flair (and fare, pun intended!). An Executive Chef at Calypso, the new restaurant downtown, Centanni has mastered the art of cooking culturally authentic St. Lucian cuisine. Indulge yourself in Centanni’s hearty English, French and African-inspired blend of Caribbean soul food, and we promise that you’ll find yourself lost in food ripe for the soul.

Chef Anthony Cerrato of Strada Italiano — See this chef twice on Friday 8/18, at demonstration for the festival as Strada Italiano, and afterward as the Social Lounge for Downtown After 5. The Italian connection in Western North Carolina. Drawing influences from his Italian family recipes and researched recipes, Chef Anthony Cerrato combines the best of Italian food with Western North Carolina cuisine and locally fresh ingredients, to create an exquisite fare that will definitely satisfy your taste buds. Indulge yourself in a hearty cuisine that is sure to satisfy this festival season, made lovingly by Strada Italiano’s very own Executive Chef, Anthony Cerrato.

Chef Duane Fernandes of Isa’s Bistro — This chef will have cuisine available in two booths at the festival for both Isa’s Bistro and his new restaurant, Hemingway’s Cuba.

Chef Matthew Miner of Jargon — Visit this chef as one of Asheville’s latest rising stars. Experience cuisine from his new restaurant in west Asheville right in the heart of downtown.

Chef Don Paleno of The Colorful Palate — As President of the Western North Carolina Culinary Association, we are honored to have this chef’s participation at this year’s event.

The Grand Tasting on August 18 & 19 will introduce guests to the region’s most esteemed chefs, as they give demonstrations of their signature gourmet dishes. After these two dates in August and the Chefs Highlight Series, visit SWEET & SAVORY at 4:00 pm on Saturday. Sponsored by Capital at Play in style that would be expected, this event will take place downtown in the Renaissance atrium & ballrooms.

Ranked as one of the new top cities for wine in 2017, this summer Asheville will offer a culinary weekend of food, drink, and fun. The Asheville Wine & Food Festival will be outside at Pack Square Park, in the center of downtown and just steps from all the vibrant shops, restaurants, and South Slope breweries. Join us on Friday August 18 & Saturday August 19, 2017 for two solid days of culinary adventure, and savor the mountains like never before! Tickets and information: