Recently FCS Professionals member Cindy Jurgenson traveled to the North Carolina and Kentucky. Here is a photo tour of her road trip!
Highlight #1: Cleremont, Kentucky, for a bourbon distillery tour and tasting at Jim Beam Distillery Such an education we received on the 90-minute tour which concluded with three ½-ounce tastings in a take-away etched glass souvenir. Seven generations of the Beam family have been involved in whiskey production for the company since 1795, interrupted only by Prohibition. 200 gallons per minute and 10,000 cases per day!
Highlight#2 : Asheville, North Carolina, for dinner at rising star Chef Katie Button’s Spanish tapas restaurant, Cúrate. Actually, Chef Katie Button is done rising – she’s risen to the top! We had Brandada de bacalao: cod & potato puree w/hot crisp bread, Pan con tomate: toasted bread w/tomato fresco, Pincho moruno: lamb skewers marinated in Moorish spices, homemade pickles, and Pimientos de piquillo y queso de cabra: piquillo peppers stuffed w/Spanish goat cheese.
Highlight #3: DuPont State Recreational Forest five mile hike to see High Falls along the Little River, Hooker Falls and Triple Falls, side-stepping 15 minutes to see the covered bridge at the top of High Falls. Plus several Blue Ridge Parkway drives and hikes.
Highlight #4 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. was a refreshing reward after hiking. The 1 ½ year old eastern outpost of the Chico, California, beer company was started with repurposed dairy equipment and hops from Yakima, Washington. Playing bags with a brew at New Belgium and Wedge Brewing was also a hit. Asheville and (West North Carolina) is home to dozens upon dozens of breweries.
Highlight #5 : 12 Bones Smokehouse in Asheville worked for The Obamas and it worked for us, especially the Blueberry Chipotle ribs and Corn Pudding. Check out the Press on the place, no wonder the line was out the door!
Highlight #6: Chow Chow, a frequent (mystery to us) menu item, is a delicious condiment of cabbage, peppers, onion, vinegar, sugar and spices, made by Blue Ridge Jams . In the south, and particularly in the mountains where they grow huge heads of crisp cabbage, chow-chow is a favorite relish to be eaten with a bowl of pinto beans. We loved it on grilled brats. We purchased it (and some pinto beans) at the West North Carolina Farmer’s Market , one of four regional Farmer’s Markets owned by the State of North Carolina and operated by the NC Dept. of Ag & Consumer Services, a huge, multi-building, covered operation. We also fell in love with cheeky but delicious mustards from Lusty Monk
Highlight #7: Mingus Mill was a favorite stop, a picturesque 1886 grist mill with demonstrations of its still-functional sluice, turbine & other machinery.
Highlight #8: The Biltmore. We enjoyed walking the grounds and all the tours the Biltmore had to offer and many drives on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Highlight #9: Wonderful meals! We had delicious meals at both the Edison and Sunset Terrace Restaurants at the historic Grove Park Inn
Highlight #10: Are Minnesotans everywhere? They sure are…hiking to the top of Clingman’s Dome on a portion of the Appalachian Trail we ran into Jann Atkins from General Mills.
We will certainly return to this beautiful area of America!