Stu Helm: Food Fan
Stu Helm: Food Fan
Good Morning, Friends...

Good Morning, Friends...

Jamaican Soul Food, Pizza, Burgers, French Toast & Stoobie Award Nominees


Today’s Podcast was originally broadcast by WPVM 103.7fm on Friday December 30 & Saturday December 31, 2022 and features a fun and interesting conversation with Chef Kenville Thompson, from Shaa’bingo All Purpose Spice & Merribean Food Truck (pronounced like “Caribbean,” with an “M”), who’s been here in Asheville, cooking for Biltmore Estate for 20 years, but has recently launched his spice blend and food truck! I also wrap-up 2022 before the interview, and look forward to 2023 afterward. If you have time to listen I hope you will enjoy!

Today’s newsletter (below) features a link to the nominations for my tenth annual Food Fan Awards, aka The Stoobies, as well as Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ, Sabora Food Truck, Asheville Pizza South & Tastee Diner. Yes, I’m hitting-up all my faves at the very start o the new year!


Best of Asheville / Food Fan Awards – 2022 Nominees

Click this link to see all of the nominees in all categories of the 2022 Asheville Food Fan Awards aka The Stoobies. I had food from 149 different places last year, and The Stoobies represent the best of the food I ate all year, and the people who made it, in 26 different categories! Check to see if your fave places are on the "Big List" of everywhere I ate, and if they made it to the shorter list of Nominees!


I will be announcing the winners soon, but in the meantime, I hope you will enjoy seeing the categories and nominees for 2022! Thanks to all the people in Asheville's F&B scene! You RÜLE!


My last meal out in 2022 was at Buxton Hall Barbecue. My first meal out in 2023 was at Bear's Smokehouse BBQ. I'm ending & restarting my eating journey on the South Slope, and then I’ll start branching out from there! I got the impossible meat loaf sandwich, plus the fried cheese, curds, with brisket gravy. Some of my favorite shit on earth right there.

My nephew got the pulled chicken with collards and mac & cheese, my brother-in-law got pulled pork with coleslaw and cornbread. All of it was great! And a great way to start the new year!

From Facebook…

I got a lot of grumpy, self righteous, jerky, and /or downright insulting comments from randos this week. Either y’all need a drink, or you’re not as “dry” as you’re saying you are on social media this January! Knomsayin’? 😂


There’s a co-working space near my house called Hatch Coworking, and they have been booking food trucks every Tuesday from 11am - 2pm on South French Broad Ave, right across the street form Little Bee Thai. They’ve brought in a bunch of interesting and excellent food trucks over the months, and I recently visited Chef Macario Jimenez, captain of the Sabora Food Truck! He makes some of the best burgers in WNC, y’all, and I’m not even kidding. I ordered the classic “Sabora Burger,” and daaaang…

More picture available on Facebook

A perfectly grilled smash patty, on a grilled bun, with fresh roasted jalapeño pepper pimento cheese, crispy fried onions, bacon, lettuce, tomato & hickory smoked bbq sauce. It was to frickin’ die for, and I just about did. The sweet potato fries were also great! Very crispy and salty, and I got some very nice dippin’ sauces for them. Chipotle aioli, maybe? And some kind of light mustardy one. Go see Chef Marcario, get a burger or a sandwich! I highly recommend it! ❤️🔥🤘


My friend and amazing pizza chef, Drew Peterson from Asheville Pizza South brought me his first Pizza of the Month for 2023, and wow. This guy outdoes himself month after month. He’s kind of a mad genius. One slice of this pie was enough to satisfy me! I ate three. 😂😂😂

Here’s Drew’s description:Bangin' Panang pizza Bangin' Panang coconut curry pizza starts with Coconut crust. The base is panang coconut curry Mashed potatoes. For veggies we have red and green bell peppers, red onions and peas. After the oven we add a spicy and sweet Thai chilli sauce, fresh Thai Basil and roasted curry peanut dusting.”

It was extremely flavorful, and had a variety of textures, as well as sweet and savory elements. It has a spicy kick to it, but to me, it wasn’t too spicy. You’ll have to gauge your own spice tolerance levels on your own. The coconut on the crust was a really nice touch, and as always, the crust was part of what’s so great about this pizza. It is available all month, Y’all. I highly recommend you give it a try! 🔥🍕🔥🍕


I set-up a breakfast tasting with Chef Steven Goff at Tastee Diner last week, and it was quite the do! There were six social media people there. Three of them were Steven's in house team from Marketing Outpost, and then me, along with Lucho from Asheville Multicultural, and Jeremy Hood, "The Urban Gastronome." Steven served us a dozen dishes or more, and we all took a ton of pictures and videos of the amazing food before devouring as much as we could! Please look for our social media coverage on a bunch of platforms. You’ll see some of my photos on Facebook & Instagram right now, and I’ll post a bunch more on Facebook soon.

May be an image of food and indoor
More from images from Tastee Diner are available on Facebook and Instagram.

The image above is Steven’s French Broad Chocolate French Toast, with dulce, "Cobra Berries" and creme Chantilly, this might be... no... it is the best French Toast I've ever had! Cobra berries are macerated in King Cobra malt liquor. Don't hate. It's frickin' delish! Chef Steven Goff at Tastee Diner is CRUSHING it for breakfast, as well as lunch and soon for dinner & late night bites.


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Stu Helm: Food Fan
Stu Helm: Food Fan
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