Around Town 2

NEXT: A Gala

The Asheville Art Museum has had an exciting year, with the launch of a major  expansion project and collaborations with partners across Western North Carolina on upcoming programming and exhibitions. But there’s still plenty to look forward to, and one of their biggest summer events gave a nod to all of the great things to come. The Museum hosted NEXT, an annual benefit gala, on Saturday, June 18 at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. The evening included lavish dinner and drinks with gourmet food stations and a live auction featuring stunning art and one-of- a-kind vacation packages. Cocktail aficionados appreciated their raffle for a dream bar, with fifty bottles of premium liquor, hand-blown glasses, exquisitely designed cutting boards, mixology tools and more. The Museum’s mission is to transform lives through art, and as they’re undergoing a transformation of their own, community members participated in creating the new Asheville Art Museum by helping them envision what’s NEXT.

Hats, Horses and Hope

Asheville Lifestyle — that’s right, our very own team! — hosted a very special event on May 7th to celebrate the 142nd Annual Kentucky Derby. Guests put their most fashionable foot forward with fabulous suits, dresses, and (of course) sky-high hats while enjoying delicious food and drinks provided by some of Asheville’s best-loved purveyors. While all were excited for the race itself, the evening was all the more uplifting, as event proceeds went to support two wonderful local charities: Our VOICE and Helpmate, which provide services to those affected by sexual and domestic violence.

After dining and enjoying refreshing mint juleps and local beer, guests participated in an auction to bet on winning horses. They were also invited to partake in a raffle for some great local goodies, including massages, restaurant dinners, and even forest zipline adventures. All were at the edge of their seats as they watched the race; the lucky few with winning bets kept half of their spoils, while the other half was included in the donation pool. But the night was still a wonderful celebration for those who did not win: everyone got a chance to mingle with local business and nonprofit owners interested in building community, giving back, and having a great time together.

Irene Wortham Center 16th Annual Golf Tournament

On May 20th, Asheville-based non-profit Irene Wortham Center gathered together golfers and local businesses to take part in their Sixteenth Annual Golf Tournament at Etowah Valley Golf Resort. The Irene Wortham Center provides comprehensive quality residential and day services for children and adults with disabilities; the tournament is IWC’s biggest and most important fundraiser of the year, benefiting children with developmental disabilities at the Irene Wortham Early Learning Center. Participants enjoyed two challenging nine-hole courses at Etowah Valley in a Captain’s Choice format along with breakfast, lunch, dinner and a special gift.

LEAF Festival

During the weekend of May 12-15th, an intergenerational family of 12,000 people joined together upon the beautiful Lake Eden land to experience the power music, art and culture has to transform lives, strengthen community, and foster unity.  The LEAF Festival took place on the site of the old Historic Black Mountain College with a stunning mix of rolling hills, lakes, streams, and mountain beauty on hundreds of acres of comfortable camping grounds. LEAF scours the globe for artists, musicians, performers and facilitators that are not only masters of their craft, but who also care deeply for the power of arts education.

LEAF Community Arts is a non-profit organization in which all donations and festival profit goes towards music and arts education programming locally and globally; since 2004, LEAF Schools & Streets has served over 45,000 youth with programs in over twenty Western North Carolina locations, while LEAF International features cultural preservation programs in ten countries worldwide. LEAF takes place in May and October, providing its community with an amazing weekend experience while supporting youth through opportunities to live out their dreams through music and arts.

Ruth’s Chris Welcomes New Chef Pete Repak

Well-loved steakhouse Ruth’s Chris recently welcomed skilled chef Pete Repak to its team. Pete has been an accomplished Chef for more than twenty years, and brings a focused passion for food and a wealth of operations experience to their Asheville kitchen. His detail-focused cuisine may layer influences from many cultures, but it’s always thoroughly grounded in Americana, lately with a deep passion for Southern traditions. His rigorously engineered dishes may require a technical proficiency, but they always bring forth the warm reception found in storied memories of hearth and home. As Pete would put it, “It’s all an exacting approach to time and temperature, and the willingness to do the hard work demanded by detailed, layered recipes no matter the effort. Also, bacon is good!

In his heart, Pete is happiest leading his team in the kitchen with his hands in the food. Pete’s a do-it-yourself, no compromises kind of guy — so there’s a good chance you’ll see him at the local farmers market, butcher shop, and fish monger right here in the city. And if all else fails, he’ll grow it himself. Welcome, Pete!