- By Kevin
- On Apr 24, 2017
- North America
- Travel Tips
A cycling vacation in North America is one you’ll cherish for a lifetime. One-of-a-kind guided bike tours I know in the Eastern region is that I ever experience last week which showcase the area’s natural beauty and allow us to sample delicious local foods, taste regional wines, and experience the charming culture. It's a memorable East Toure.
In the mountains of western North Carolina you will find the highest peak east of the Mississippi, ancient rivers, breathtaking views, waterfalls and incredibly scenic roads.
Ride the Blue Ridge Parkway and take in views of the Craggy, Balsam and Black Mountains rising in blue waves to the edge of the horizon. There is a strong sense of history and place here that can be heard in old-time bluegrass music and tasted in treasured recipes. According to Bon Appetit, Asheville may be America's best small city to eat and drink in right now, and it's been voted "Beer City USA" four years running. Come join us as we taste, sip and ride our way through the gorgeous landscape between Asheville and the small mountain town of Highlands.
Also available in 2017 is the Chef Jonny Hunter special edition trip in mid-September. Lucky guests on this departure date will be treated to a private farm-to-table meal and time with this James Beard Award-nominated chef at Gaining Ground Farm. This special evening will include live bluegrass musicians and a white tablecloth dinner in the fields where your food was raised.
What inspired you to be a restaurant owner in Madison?
I didn’t really start out wanting to do a restaurant. We were catering and doing some food processing and I started grad school in Public Affairs at UW-Madison to switch careers. At that point we started to get a decent amount of publicity for the food we were making and then I met Mel Trudeau who worked in restaurants and wanted to open a place with us. After working in non-traditional spaces I really liked the idea of having a restaurant and space where we didn’t have to move around a ton, and a space that would give us an opportunity to really showcase what we cared about.
You run a restaurant, butcher shop and a catering business in Madison. How are they all tied together, and how are they different?
Everything is co-dependent, we actually have a centralized facility that all 5 of our businesses run out of. The end product you see at our retail and restaurant establishments is an execution of products we make at our commissary. Because of our vertical integration, we have a lot in common through the different establishments but, without a doubt, running a food processing business, a restaurant, and a retail shop gives you a lot of different experiences. At the retail store I really love talking to people about cooking and curating what we sell while the restaurant is an exercise in creativity and hospitality.
What does ‘farm-to-table’ mean to you and why is it important to the food you cook?
When I talk about farm to table I like to talk about my community. I like to talk about my friend Mike who grows vegetables or Charlotte, the farmer we buy our hogs from. I want to support my community and help out my friends who have businesses. I want to show them I care about their work and that we value it.
What is the most rewarding part about your job?
Working with people and seeing them succeed and learn. We put so much effort into understanding processes that when we get some traction or when something works, it’s so exciting. When you see other people do that, it’s even better.