Chow Chow Food + Culture Festival and nonprofit announce shut down

The organization made the announcement through a message posted to its website on Friday, Feb. 9.

Sign outside of Chow Chow Festival

Chow Chow made the announcement through its website.

Photo by Tim Robinson via Chow Chow Festival

Chow Chow Food + Culture Festival and its nonprofit have announced through its website that it will permanently shut down. The homepage of its website reads, “We here at Chow Chow have had to make the difficult and very unfortunate decision to shut down our festival and non-profit permanently.”

Chow Chow was founded in 2019 by James Beard Award-winning chefs Katie Button of Cúrate, Chai Pani founder Meherwan Irani, and Rhubarb’s John Fleer along with East Fork co-founder Connie Matisse.

Chow Chow’s Board Chair Rhea Lidowski shared that although last year’s festival delivered on the organization’s mission of “celebrating and enriching the foodways of Southern Appalachia and Asheville’s creative economy” — bringing new faces and a positive response — there were challenges with finances and limited resources.

“It’s an unfortunate journey to reach here, but that doesn’t mean that Chow Chow can’t be something in the future in some way... right now it can’t continue to operate,” Lidowski said. In speaking with AVLtoday, she emphasized this decision was not made lightly and highlighted the contributions and passion of everyone involved in making the festival and nonprofit’s work possible.

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