The Blind Pig Supper Club of Asheville is the force behind this benefit “pop-up dinner” 4-8 p.m. The club tries to keep secret each supper’s site until the event day, for extra “adventure.” A web search indicated upcoming dinners’ sites may include Saluda.
Chef Tyson Ho (Arrogant Swine in New York City) joins Asheville chefs Matt Dawes (Bull & Beggar), Ryan Kline (Buffalo Nickel), Elliott Moss (Buxton Hall), Todd Woods (Seven Sows) and Nohe Villatoro-Weir (Zambra) for a creative whole hog roast entitled Underground Swine.
Proceeds help fund Kiwanis programs that benefit Henderson County residents — mostly children. The Kiwanis motto is “serving the children of the world.” Hendersonville Kiwanis raises over $35,000 annually, and recently awarded $26,000 in student scholarships and loans as well as money to non-profits that serve children.
The club has provided shoes and socks to indigent youth of various ages, for over a half-century. Infant supplies, such as car seats, go to needy families, or to Balfour alternative school students who are teen mothers. Kiwanis sponsors an Aktion Club leadership training for disabled adults, and student Key Clubs, Builders Clubs, K-Kids and Terrific Kids.
A newer Kiwanis project is a baseball league for special needs youth. Banquets twice a year honor high school athletes in non-marquee sports. Marvin Larson, who died at age 92 on May 14 helped organize those banquets decades ago. The 150-member club was chartered in 1922.
Tickets sold out initially, but more seats very likely will become available at the $62.49 price. If so, this will be noted online by Blind Pig, organizers said.
Later this summer, on Aug. 17, is another Blind Pig benefit set for Somewhere in Time. Entitled Radiohead in Rainbows: A Menu of Your Mind, this is a tribute to the alternative rock band Radiohead. A portion of proceeds will benefit Leaf International’s year-round musical, multi-cultural educational outreach to Asheville area youths. That event features chefs Mike Moore (Seven Sows Bourbon and Larder) and seafood buff Adam Bannasch (Zambra) and tattoo artist Gary Sernack (Diamond Thieves) for face painting. The event lasts 5:30-9:30 p.m. that Sunday and costs $72.74 per ticket.
A “blind pig” was a lower-class version of the “speakeasy” during prohibition, skipping meals and true entertainment. Instead, they bypassed the alcohol ban on a technicality, by giving booze for free to patrons who paid to view a pig or other animal.
Blind Pig Supper Club of Asheville is a licensed, private, not-for-profit group that began four years ago and calls itself an “underground supper club” that puts on “gastronomical arts” benefits for area charities. It unites several Asheville-area chefs, who take turns for the meals. They might collaborate to round out a meal and fit the theme. They often experiment with new dishes and ingredients.
Joining them are musicians, dancers and/or artisans to provide themed cuisine and musical and visual art entertainment. The varied cuisine is typically local or regional/Southern. Meals are organic and feature fresh local seafood, meats and seasonal vegetables and often supplying farmers attend. Patrons are to bring their own liquor.
These benefit meals are typically held very month or two. Tickets often sell out months ahead. Seating is limited, and held to 35 diners for smaller “pop-up” events.
Blind Pig co-organizer Nathan Reid Allen suggests to “have compassion for the weak and hungry, lose your ego and pride and give of yourself as you would to your own children.” Allen has run Knife and Fork restaurant in Spruce Pine, preparing trout marrow and other meals.
StarChefs.com rates Allen, Dawes and Moore as among the two Carolinas’ dozens of most innovate chefs or restaurant owners. Dawes often alters the menu daily, such as with octopus. Blind Pig co-founder Moore is known for pâté dishes. As a “community chef,” beyond Blind Pigs he feeds the needy from his Seven Sows restaurant.
Check www.blindpigofasheville.com/news/ for a list of the Kiwanis, LEAF and other benefit meals this year, and ticket-buying links. Check facebook.com/blind.pig7 for possible ticket availability updates.
Or, to try to buy tickets use this link for Underground Swine: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/blind-pig-presents-underground-swine-featuring-tyson-ho-elliott-moss-matt-dawes-tickets-10708171429. Also, to find out more about local Kiwanis programs, call 393-5770 or check http://www.hendersonvillekiwanis.org/.