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

Good Morning, Friends...

Wing Thing, Fancy Dinner, Very Special Taco
ABOVE: Podcast - I‘m joined by Rick Crelia: World’s Greatest Eater, and we talk about our adventure out to Reynold’s Village to eat wings (pictured) and more!

BELOW - Newsletter (may contain adult language) - GMF, Fancy Dinner, The Recommend


How y’all doing this morning? Y’know what? I’ve lived here in Asheville for 16+ years, but it’s only been relatively recently that I’ve started to use the expression “y’all.” In the 1970’s and 80’s when I was a kid growing up in New England, we didn’t say “y’all” up there, but we shoulda been! It’s such great expression! Especially these days when I’m trying to avoid gender-specific terms, including “you guys.” Anyhoodles, I hope that y’all have a great weekend, with plans for fun stuff, or schedules that include lucrative shifts! My calendar is 100% empty today, so… Where do y’all think I should eat lunch? What’s your favorite Saturday lunch spot. I am open to brunch, as well. Please leave me a comment in the comment section!

Leave a comment


I have made no secret of the fact that I absolutely love what’s going on at Cultura. The executive chef there, Eric Morris is a unique and thoughtful individual, a talented, creative chef, and very community oriented member of our local food scene.

Chef Morris and his crew — both front and back of the house — really know how to dole out the hospitality, and and have been doing a series of fancy dinners called Cultivated Community, that also raise money and consciousness for various causes, while supporting local farmers, and working with their compatriots from other venues around town, to provide opportunities for the eaters of Asheville (that’s YOU) to enjoy some very cool eats in a very lovely room, with your fellow food fans.

Last night (10/28/2021) I attended an EIGHT courser, with three — count ‘em THREE — desserts. (macaron not pictured) It was a lot of food, and believe me when I say, there were no bad bites. Not one. Everything was super delicious, I ate the shit out of it all, until I was stuffed. The feature guest chef was Jonathan Pridgen, who is the charcuterie chef at Cúrate, so it was a meat-heavy assortment, with every part of the same pig being used for something.

“snack salamis” and sour onion jam. yum!
so much mousse! this was a plate scraper of a dish. I ate every molecule. it was rich & savory, like a crazy dessert made outta guts!
that is a veil of lardo, draped over roasted squash, and it was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever ate. lardo is exactly what it sounds like. it can be sooooo nasty sometimes. this was not nasty. opposite. nice.
what looks like eggs in the picture above is actually sausage-stuff squid. the stuff that look like sauce, is actually cured egg yolk. i like food that mimics other food.
this large piece of insanely tender and tasty pork and deep fried sweet potato hushpuppies swimming in a sweet/savory sauce was my obvious favorite dish, because of every word I just used to describe it.
okay… so this one does not look nearly as fucking delicious as it was. it’s a panna cotta with green apple ice on top of it, and it might have been thee best panna cotta I have ever had in my entire life, and I’m not even kidding. several of my fellow diners named this as their favorite course
just went I think I’m done, they pull me back in! with a fritter. I was so full by this point that I seriously considered skipping second-dessert, for exactly three seconds. I took one bite, then two, then it was gone and I was ready to pop.

This was perhaps the one of absolute best multi-course meals I’ve ever had! In terms of the atmosphere, the portion sizes, time frame of courses, temperature of the food, use of ingredients, and the amount of information from the chef during the , everything was perfect. And in terms of the shear deliciousness of the food: Every dish was fantastically good in my opinion. When you get 8 courses, there’s always a chance that one or more of them will be a clunker. I’ve almost come to expect it, but not so at this fancy dinner! It was spot-on, with everything that hit our table, including the parade of N/A drinks they made for me, and beer and wine they served everyone else at my table.

So, don’t sleep on these Cultivated Community dinners. Great food, great people, and worthy causes. This time it was for ASAP, the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, who do a ton of work to promote the small farms that help make our food scene so incredible.



Y’all… there’s a very special taco in downtown, and I want you all to go get one ASAP, and revel in its awesomeness with me. It’s called the “Quesabiria,” and it’s from El Gallo, which is on the corner of Rankin Ave. and College Street (where Table used to be). It has braised beef, Oaxacan cheese, and fresh cilantro and other veg mater on it. Two things make this taco special: It is grilled, and it comes with a ramekin of savory delicious “red broth,” to dip it in as you eat. It is truly like a taco meets a grilled cheese meets a French dip, and it’s special. Special, I tells ya! I highly recommend it.

The pastor taco w/ pineapple is also delicious!


If you enjoy the original content that I provide through my newsletter, and you haven’t signed up for a subscription yet, please consider it! A large mailing list is a powerful tool to spread the word about this wonderful food scene that we have!

— END —

Stu Helm: Food Fan
Stu Helm: Food Fan
This podcast is mostly about food