Asheville residents’ passion for delicious, health conscious, locally produced food is an important thread in the city’s cultural fabric. That’s why Asheville is home to the world’s first Foodtopian Society, an initiative of the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau that celebrates the city’s thriving food scene. “Asheville has a truly unique restaurant atmosphere,” says Dwight Butner, owner of Vincenzo’s Ristorante & Bistro. “Those of us in the food industry here see ourselves as colleagues, but at the same time, there’s enough rivalry among us to keep us all producing great quality, creative foods.”
To learn about the Foodtopian bliss Asheville residents and visitors enjoy, curious epicureans may visit the official Web site at www.foodtopiansociety.com and watch food videos, snag recipes from area restaurants and read suggestions for local food adventures. There are even profiles of local chefs and farmers and an interactive Ask a Farmer feature that lets visitors talk with local producers directly about everything from starting a backyard vegetable garden to the benefits of eating organic foods.
Many of the Foodtopian Society’s member restaurants are also part of the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, or AIR, a flourishing organization of more than 60 restaurants dedicated to fostering a stronger business environment for locally owned and operated restaurants. Vincenzo’s is one such enterprise.