Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ring in 2010 with Sunday dinner at Bouchon!

One of Asheville's hottest restaurants, Bouchon, has some news for the new year!  They will now be open on Sundays starting this week.  If you haven't taken the time to stop in and visit Michel and his staff you are missing out.  Here is the press release:

Michel Baudouin, owner of Asheville’s pretty-much-only French restaurant, Bouchon, announces the start of Sunday service--beginning on January 2, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. “I have discovered in my business that it’s best to give the people what they want, and from what I’ve heard, people want to come to Bouchon on Sunday!” 

Bouchon, located at 62 N. Lexington in downtown Asheville, is now open seven days a week at 5:00 p.m. “Right now, we close the kitchen at 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday,” said Baudouin, “with later hours on Friday and Saturday. Since Sunday’s a school night, we’ll keep with the weekday hours and close at 9:30.”

Baudouin began Bouchon in October, 2005, offering “French comfort food,” from the open kitchen and quickly found a following. The cozy restaurant features a full bar, a courtyard patio and a private dining room called the Wine Cellar, which was completed in 2009. “We have been embraced by our local community, for which we are so grateful,” said Baudouin, “plus, I meet customers who drive in from Knoxville or Charlotte, just for dinner. It’s certainly encouraging!”

The winter menu includes a Boeuf Bourguignon to rival Julia Child’s, Le Canard a l’Orange Chocolaté (Orange Duck with Chocolate)--roasted half-duck rubbed with chocolate nibs (from a local purveyor), sea salt, coriander and black pepper and Le Lapin a la Moutard en Cocotte--braised rabbit in Dijon mustard sauce, among other typical French items. Baudouin said, “Our food is my interpretation of what I liked to eat at home (a small village outside Lyon, France) and what was served in the little bouchons I visited.”

“Bouchon” is the French word for cork, but also refers to the type of restaurant found in and around Lyon.

Find out more about Bouchon at

Lots Happenning New Years Eve

There are lots of festivities planned for New Year's Eve in Asheville.  The Mountain Xpress did a great article outlining all the happenings.  A restaurant that I have enjoyed several times recently sent me their menu for the night.  Modesto Trattoria, located in the Grove Arcade, has a four course meal for only $40 (with reservations).  Each course has a few options to chose from:

1st Course
  • Black Rabbit Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter
  • Seared Tuna and Roasted Pepper Arancini
  • Wild Mushroom with walnut Arugula Pesto Popover
2nd Course
  • Caprese; Basil Mozzarella “Ball” Oven Dried Tomatoes, Balsamic
  • House Cured Bacon, Tallegio and Marinated Cherries
  • Coriander Stripe Bass with Arugula & Grapefruit-Truffle Vinaigrette

3rd Course

  • Smoked NY Strip, Parsnip puree Eggplant Caponata
  • Wood Grilled Swordfish, Sherry Onion Confit, Roasted Carrots
  • Root Vegetable and Mushroom Lasagna Sage Goat Ricotta

4th Course
  • Crème Brulee Tasting Lavender, Cardamom, Mocha
  • Warm Chocolate Cake with Beet Ice Cream
  • Panna Cotta Moro, Green Apple, Blackberry

~ Zardetto Prosecco – Italia NV ~
Complementary Glass

40 with Reservation
50 for Walk-ins

Seatings at 5, 7, and 9 o’clock

RSVP @ 828.225.4133
1 Page Avenue – The Grove Arcade

Give A Day. Get A Disney Day.

If you have watched any tv lately you have probably seen the ads for Disney's free ticket program for a day of volunteer work.  I was wondering what opportunities would exist locally and the answered was just emailed to me.  Here is the press release from the United Way:

Hands On Asheville-Buncombe is teaming up with HandsOn Network and Disney to celebrate the good things people do for their communities through the “Give A Day. Get A Disney Day.” program.

In 2010, Disney wants to inspire one million people to volunteer a day of service to a participating organization in their communities and celebrate their good works by giving each of them one day admission to a theme park at Disneyland® Resort or Walt Disney World® Resort, free. 

Starting January 1, 2010, guests can go to to sign up for qualifying volunteer opportunities (many of which will be family-friendly). Hands On Asheville-Buncombe, a program of United Way, will be one of the organizations providing eligible volunteer opportunities for the program. Hands On makes it easy for people to lend a hand and help others in our community by volunteering with Asheville and Buncombe County nonprofits throughout the year. 

To learn more, just visit

Those interested in taking part in this promotion must pre-register and sign up for eligible volunteer opportunity at Ticket quantities for this program are limited. Must be at least age 6 to participate. Other terms and conditions apply. For details, see

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Asheville's Fun Depot Open New Years Eve

In search for a family fun activity for New Years Eve? Fun Depot has a great deal going for the night.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Retired Mayo Clinic Executive Named Interim CEO at Mission

The Mission Health System Board of Directors has appointed Carleton T. Rider to serve as interim president and CEO of Mission Hospital and the health system. Rider, who retired in 2008 as a senior administrator of Mayo Clinic after a career of 31 years, will assume his new responsibilities effective January 1, 2010 and serve until the Board completes its national search for a permanent chief executive.

“Carl’s credentials and experience are outstanding, and we are pleased to have a healthcare leader of this caliber join Mission,” said Board Chair George Renfro. Added Board Vice Chair Janice Brumit, who chairs the CEO Search Committee, “Carl’s long and distinguished career has been focused on quality healthcare, and that focus will serve us well in ensuring that Mission maintains its high clinical standards and excellence in patient care during this transition.”

“I am eager to join the Asheville healthcare community, which has earned a national reputation for delivering high quality, cost-effective care,” commented Rider. “I look forward to working with Mission’s superb physicians, administration and staff to keep Mission on the leading edge.”

Rider is a senior fellow with the Center for Global Health and Medical Diplomacy at Brooks College of Health at the University of North Florida. During his career at Mayo Clinic, he served in a variety of roles, including administrator of Mayo Clinic Jacksonville from its initiation in 1984 through 1993. In 1993, he was named Continuous Improvement Officer at Mayo Clinic and in that role served as an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. In 2006, he was named the Distinguished Mayo Administrator.

To ensure a smooth transition, Renfro said Rider will work closely with outgoing Mission CEO Joseph F. Damore, who announced his decision to resign this past fall. “Once again, we want to express our thanks to Joe Damore for preparing Mission for the many changes and challenges ahead in healthcare,” Renfro said.

Renfro also announced that the Board has selected the national consulting firm of Korn/Ferry International to lead the recruitment effort for a new Mission chief executive. Korn/Ferry will work closely with Brumit and the 10-member CEO Search Committee, which is made up of current Board members, including three area physicians.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Crescent PPO acquires Appalachian Benefit Administrators

Local healthcare company, Crescent announced that they have acquired Maggie Valley-based Appalachian Benefit Administrators. The move is designed to ensure that major employers in the region will continue to have a local option for their health plan administration services. Crescent plans to close the Maggie Valley facility, but all operations will be moved to its Asheville headquarters and all the existing staff will be retained. The move should be completed during January.

Innova Homes Modular Green Building

Digging back into the files I found this press release from Tonya at Innova Homes.  I should have posted this weeks ago.

Innova Homes has taken modular green building to the green pastures of Burnsville, NC, raising the standards on technically advanced and sustainable modular construction.

The architecturally designed, 2200 sf., arts and crafts style home, is located on a therapeutic horse farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The homeowners and architect worked together to create a home that would provide ultimate comfort and minimal energy usage, while preserving the natural beauty of their surroundings. Innova Homes partnered with Professional Building Systems of North Carolina to produce the home, which was designed to take advantage of the modular manufacturer’s capabilities to produce a custom home with the advantages of modular construction.

David Bennert, the General Contractor for the project and owner of Innova Homes, worked with the owners to take advantage of the natural features of the site, as well as utilizing local and natural resources wherever possible.

Since the site was located on a working horse farm, space was available for installation of a horizontal loop heat exchange system for the geothermal heat pump. The use of horizontal loops significantly reduced the installation cost of the HVAC system, versus comparable vertical well systems. The heat pump was coupled with three independent zones of control, a high-efficiency Morso soapstone wood stove, and an ERV for fresh air exchange. The programmable thermostats, part of the Water Furnace geothermal system, also allow the user to control the redistribution of heat from the wood stove, using the air handler independent of the heat pump. In this mode, warmed air is moved to cooler zones of the home based on the individual zone temperatures and demands.

Other sustainable technologies include solar hot water heating, and a sealed crawl space constructed with insulated concrete forms, resulting in a highly efficient R-22 crawlspace wall.

Five and a half inches of Icynene open cell spray foam insulation was installed in the exterior walls during construction at Professional Building Systems, and eight inches of Biobase foam insulation was site installed on the roof decks. This approach provides for a much tighter shell and dramatically improved energy costs.

Indoor air quality has been maintained through a combination of ERV air exchange with HEPA filtration, as well as carefully selected finishes, including zero VOC primer and paints from Benjamin Moore, and locally produced, non-toxic natural acrylic resin floor finishes from EarthPaint.

Recycled Brazilian cherry flooring, kitchen cabinets, granite counter tops, as well as kitchen and bath fixtures were purchased from Habitat for Humanity, and reused/repurposed throughout the home. Salvaged chestnut was utilized for trim, while excavated stone from the site provided beautiful trim work for the foundation and porches.

As with all of Innova Homes’ projects, on-site recycling stations were established for construction waste, including glass, cardboard, aluminum, metal and plastics.

The home includes two beautiful screened in cedar porches off the master bedroom and living room. These areas encourage outdoor living and the use of natural cooling, while offering outstanding views of the surrounding mountains.

Innova Homes built their first green modular home in 2003, and has steadily improved their efficiency and quality over the last six years. Modular construction uses less building materials, preserves natural resources, and produces less construction waste, leaving a smaller ecological footprint than conventional on-site construction. By incorporating more advanced insulation, HVAC, and finishes, Innova Homes has been able to advance modular construction to a sustainable level far above most site built projects, while saving time, money and resources.

For more information on green building technology or modular construction, contact David Bennert at 828-273-3765, or visit

Invest in children by supporting Children First/CIS of Buncombe County

Information about giving at:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ThermoFisher Scientific Announces Expansion and 104 New Positions

In a joint announcement with the NC Department of Commerce, Buncombe County, and the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville and Buncombe County (EDC), Thermo Fisher Scientific released plans today to create 104 jobs and invest $5 million during the next three years at its plant in Asheville. Located in Buncombe County for over 25 years, Thermo Fisher Scientific currently employs approximately 540 persons at three local facilities, including a manufacturing plant, warehouse and technical customer service center.

According to Thomas Loewald, head of Thermo Fisher’s Laboratory Equipment business, the decision to expand operations at the site was made after an extensive strategic review. “Key factors in our decision to make additional investments in North Carolina included our past success in manufacturing world-class products at the facility, the talented workforce we have been able to attract over the years, and the support from the State of North Carolina and Buncombe County in providing resources that enable us to further strengthen our workforce by expanding training and skill development.”

Chairman of the Buncombe County Commissioners, David Gantt, commented, “We are so fortunate to have an industry leader like Thermo Fisher Scientific call Buncombe County home. We congratulate local management on their expansion and thank them for their confidence in Buncombe County and in the strength of our workforce.”

“Advanced manufacturing is a significant economic driver in our region, providing quality benefits, wages and career opportunities for over 18,000 Buncombe County residents. The EDC is grateful to Thermo Fisher Scientific for choosing to expand its facilities in Buncombe County. This is a significant commitment to retain and grow jobs and invest in our community,” said EDC Chair Bob Roberts.

Thermo Fisher Scientific is a leading global provider of analytical instruments, equipment, reagents and consumables, software and services for research, analysis, discovery and diagnostics. The company employs approximately 35,000 people in 40 countries, serving 350,000 customers primarily in the life sciences and health care markets.

For more information about Thermo Fisher or job opportunities with the company, go to:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Find the HO HO GoMini

As you drive around town searching for Christmas presents, be sure to watch for the HO HO GoMini.

Starting Thursday, December 10th and ending Tuesday, December 22nd, you will be able to spot the “HO HO GoMini” complete with Christmas décor as it makes its rounds via the GoMini delivery truck throughout the Asheville area.

When you spot the container, call 828-209-0235 or email with the date, time and location of the HO HO GoMini. Those entered in the contest will be eligible for a $30 Brixx Pizza gift certificate and two tickets to the movies at the Biltmore Grande Stadium in Biltmore Park. Contest details will also be available on GoMinis’ Twitter and Facebook pages

“We want to have some holiday fun with our GoMinis,” said Asheville GoMini’s owner Robie Campbell. “Someone will win a nice evening out in Biltmore Park just for spotting the container and notifying us of its location.”

Available in 12’, 16’ and 20’ lengths, GoMinis are the perfect self-storage solution. Constructed with a sturdy steel frame and translucent roof to allow light within, GoMinis feature a roll up, locking door to secure stored items. The accessible ground level containers are easy to load, yet slightly elevated from the ground to prevent water leakage. GoMinis can be delivered to both residences and businesses and when loaded, can be left on site or retrieved and stored at the local GoMinis warehouse.

A convenient, inexpensive portable self-storage solution, GoMini’s became a local storage sensation in 2005 when owner Robie Campbell purchased the Asheville territory. Since that time, Campbell has also purchased the Charlotte, Hickory and Myrtle Beach territories. In 2009, Campbell was named “GoMini’s Dealer of the Year” as well as the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Leader of the Year for business with fifteen or fewer employees.

Health Adventure Annual Report Video

Below is an update/report from the Health Adventure soon to be known as Momentum. Work is continuing on Momentum and the more I learn about the new facility the more excited I get. It should be a lot of fun for kids of all ages.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Weaverville's 6th Annual Christmas Candlelight Stroll

The Weaverville Business Association invites you to enjoy the sights and sounds of a small-town Christmas in downtown Weaverville during the 6th Annual Christmas Candlelight Stroll on December 11, 2009, from 6 until 9 p.m.

The festivities actually begin a little before 6 p.m. when Santa rides into town on his horse-pulled carriage (his reindeer need to rest up for their big day). He’ll be at M7 Realty, available for pictures and to hear everyone’s Christmas wishes.

Strolling along Main Street, visitors will find merchants open late and local church and school groups, as well as the Asheville Barbershop Quartet, will be caroling throughout the evening. The night will also feature entertainment, inside and outside our local businesses, from members of the Montford Park Players, Mars Hill College flute ensemble, Joyful Noise Dragonscales Chamber Quartet, Mountain Thunder Cloggers, North Buncombe Middle School band, Jill Totman storytelling and more.
Also happening that evening, new Weaverville Mayor Al Root will do the honors at the official tree lighting ceremony at 7:30 p.m. (at the clock), and horse and carriage rides tours will be available throughout the night for those wanting to rest their weary feet. Hot Chocolate and raffle tickets for gift certificates and gifts from some of our local businesses will also be on sale (the raffle drawing will be held at 9 p.m., and you don't need to be present to win). Profits from event activities go to the North Buncombe Samaritan Ministries to help those in need this holiday season, as well as throughout the year.

So please make plans to join us on Main Street in Weaverville on December 11, and let us wish you the happiest of holidays and a very Merry Christmas. For more information, visit

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Local Businesses Earn AAA Honors

I have meant to blog about this for some time now.  Two of our local accommodations recently joined the elite list of AAA Four Star Accommodations, the Grand Bohemian and the 1900 Inn on Montford.  The AAA Four Star recognition is a big milestone for a hotel or inn, only 3.5% of the accommodations that AAA reviews receive this level of recognition.  Below is the article from the Citizen-Times:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Take a Tour of the Govenor's Western Residence This Weekend

Governor Bev Perdue invites the public to visit the Executive Mansion – the People’s House – for a Holiday Open House Dec. 10-13. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the mansion’s beautiful decorations and enjoy holiday entertainment provided by musical and choral groups from across the state. The Western Residence board of directors also invites visitors to the Asheville home to view its holiday decorations Dec. 5-6.

Western Residence in Asheville Holiday Open House Dates and Times:
  • Saturday, Dec. 5 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 6 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

No advance reservation is necessary. The Governor’s Western Residence is located at 45 Patton Mountain Road. For questions regarding the Western Residence open house, visitors should contact Juleigh Sitton at 828-430-0054.