Since its inception in 2002, the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association has grown to include more than 120 members. Several of our chef-owners are James Beard Award finalists and recipients. Others have distinguished themselves with regional and national coverage in The New York Times, Bon Appetite, Southern Living, Garden & Gun and The Local Palate.
Nationally, AIR is recognized as a leader in the farm-to-table movement and a model of sustainable business practices. Among locals and visitors to Asheville, our members are some of the most popular restaurants in the Southeast.
More than a decade after it was founded, AIR continues to provide outstanding educational opportunities for independent restaurant owners and the approximately 4,000 employees that they employ. This includes donating nearly $30,000 in “Chefs of Tomorrow” scholarships to A-B Tech’s nationally-acclaimed Culinary Program.
Whether it’s continuing education, sustainability, green dining or professional development, AIR is there. Which is why we like to say that, AIR is food in Asheville!