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TripAdvisor names Asheville a top food and wine destination

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12/5/2011 - TripAdvisor names Asheville a top food and wine destination
by Jason Sanford - Asheville Citizen Times

ASHEVILLE -- The popular travel website TripAdvisor has named the city one of its top 10 food and wine destinations, putting it in the same company as cities including New York and San Francisco.

The website notes Asheville's focus on eating locally and supporting sustainable agriculture.

"This town of less than 100,000 people has 17 farmers' markets, and the local restaurant scene is all about taking advantage of seasonal produce," states a blurb on the site.

Charles Triber, owner of The Junction restaurant in the River Arts District, is a prime example. The restaurant opened earlier this year with a focus on locally sourced food, and meats and dairy that are humanely raised and hormone- and antibiotic-free.

"The dependence on preservatives and artificialness in food has become the norm, and we really feel that it doesn't have to be like that," Triber said.

"We bring in raw product and work with local distributors and farmers, and we try to show people that that approach can not only help the community, but the food tastes better," Triber said. "You're spending your dollar better, and you're benefiting nutritionally."

The Orchards Restaurant in the Renaissance Asheville Hotel is another example. Chef Jessie Teasdale has a menu that features mostly locally grown produce.

"By using produce from local markets, we're greatly reducing our carbon footprint and supporting local farmers," Teasdale said.

TripAdvisor also highlighted the marketing effort by the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority to promote Asheville as a "foodtopian" culture. With creative independent restaurants, farmers' markets and microbreweries, the city stands with other major cities, according to the website.

TripAdvisor's Top 10 Best Food & Wine Destinations

1. New Orleans
2. Napa, Calif.
3. Chicago
4. Charleston, S.C.
5. San Francisco
6. New York
7. Savannah, Ga.
8. Santa Fe, N.M.
9. Las Vegas
10. Asheville

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