2015 Appalachian Food Summit

Welcome to Abingdon, Virginia for the 2015 Appalachian Food Summit!

Below, you’ll find information on the Summit agenda, as well as places to explore and things to do while you are in Abingdon. We highly recommend arriving Thursday September 24th and leaving Monday September 28th in order to take advantage of everything Abingdon has to offer.

Please note: registration for the summit is full, but a limited quantity of tickets are available for the gala dinner Saturday night at Heartwood. Click here to order – available through Friday 9/18.

Appalachian Food Summit Program

2015 THEME: Revival

Friday, September 25


5:00-6:00pm: Opening Toast & Short Film at The Martha Washington Inn & Spa. Catch the world premiere of Fred Sauceman’s newest documentary, “Sunlight Makes it Sweeter: A Story of Sorghum” about the sustaining tradition of sorghum making. The film will be screened at Sisters, the Martha’s restaurant and bar.  Meet your fellow conference goers and enjoy one of The Martha’s 14 craft brews on tap. The film showing is free; food and beverage is not included in your conference ticket.  


7:00pm: Saltville Stories Reception & Dinner at Harvest Table Restaurant in Meadowview, VA. Harvest Table is hosting an art opening and private dinner for the Appalachian Food Summit’s 2015 artist-in-residence, Amy Cameron Evans. Amy will be at the dinner to discuss “Saltville Stories”, a series of iconographic portraits based on the stories of the women and men in the Saltville Centennial Cookbook. Space is extremely limited so call for reservations and let them know you are with the Appalachian Food Summit event. Dinner is not included in your conference ticket price, please call (276) 944-5140 (main line) or (276) 944-5142 (restaurant) to book.


7:00pm: Abingdon Dine Around. In addition to the option for dinner at Harvest Table, some local Abingdon restaurants are offering special Appalachian Food Summit menus for Summit goers. The following restaurants will have Appalachian Food Summit $30-35 prix fixe menus: 128 Pecan, Figaredo’s, Ludovina’s Italian Market. Dinner is not included in your conference ticket price; please make reservations on your own. 


Saturday, September 26

Saturday trolley service is complimentary for all conference attendees, courtesy of the Town of Abingdon.

8:00am: Breakfast at the Abingdon Farmers Market (Trolley service from Comfort Inn)

Trolleys will pick up at the Comfort Inn at 8:00a.m. and drop off at the Abingdon Farmers Market. Explore one of Appalachia’s greatest markets while enjoying farm fresh breakfast options and meeting local farmers and artisans.  Tokens will be provided for breakfast at the Farmers Market, courtesy of the Town of Abingdon.


8:55am: Trolley service from Abingdon Farmers Market to Heartwood


9:00am-4:00pm:  The 2015 Appalachian Food Summit Day Program  (CLICK HERE FOR PDF OF FULL PROGRAM)

Coffee and pastries available at Heartwood.


12:00pm – 1:30pm A commissary kitchen lunch
Local food trucks will be gathered outside with a tented area for guests on the back patio, including Foodie Fiction and Toni’s Hawaiian Tacos. Music provided by The Boys. Bar serving cider, wine, beer and non-alcoholic libations open in Heartwood.

4:00pm: Trolley service from Heartwood to Comfort Inn


4:30-5:00pm: Optional Self Guided Field Trip to Grow Appalachias Abingdon Site


7:00pm: Trolley service from Comfort Inn to Heartwood


7:00pm-10:00pm The 2015 Appalachian Food Summit Supper. Four acclaimed chefs will be serving up an ode to the classic cafeterias of the mountain South. A cafeteria food revival… with a twist! Music by The Rose Sisters. There will be a silent auction during supper to support the work of the Appalachian Food Summit. Please bring your check books and get ready to bid!  Featuring Chef Jassen Campbell, Private Chef ~ Bristol, TN; Chef Shelly Copper, TerraMae Appalachian Bistro ~ Chattanooga, TN; Chef John Fleer, Rhubarb ~ Asheville, NC; Chef Travis Milton, Shovel and Pick ~ Richmond, VA. Quantities are very limited. Click here to get tickets.


9:30-10:00pm: Continuous trolley service from Heartwood to the Comfort Inn

Additional Activities


Thursday Heartwood BBQ Dinner

A local band performs during a Sunday Brunch at Heartwood in Abingdon, VA on Sunday, May 19, 2013. Copyright 2013 Jason Barnette

Thursday evening September 24th, head to Heartwood for their regular Thursday night music jam and barbecue dinner.  The Crooked Road and Heartwood host free live music every Thursday night as part of Heartwood’s commitment as a major music venue of The Crooked Road: Southwest Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. 5:00-9:00pm Get more information >

The Virginia Creeper Trail

Virginia Creeper Trail in Abingdon, VA

The Virginia Creeper Trail is a 34.3-mile rail-to-recreation trail starting in Abingdon, traveling through Damascus, VA and ending just past Whitetop Station at the Virginia-North Carolina border.

Start in Abingdon for a pleasant walk, or contact the Virginia Creeper Trail Bike Shop for a bike rental and shuttle service.  The most popular segment is a 17-mile, all downhill stretch from White Top Station to Damascus. With a gentle 5% grade, you barely have to pedal.

Saturday afternoon in historic downtown Abingdon

During the Saturday afternoon break, head to Main Street to explore Abingdon’s historic shopping district.  Two of Abingdon’s icons, Barter Theatre and the Martha Washington Inn and Spa, anchor the theatre district.  You’ll find plenty of indie stores in the Market district and on Courthouse Hill. Consult the Abingdon map in your welcome bag, or stop by the Visitor Center at 335 Cummings Street for recommendations.


Sunday Brunch

Dining at BabycakesEnjoy brunch at one of Abingdon’s Rooted in Appalachia restaurants.  Popular spots for Sunday brunch include The Harvest Table, Heartwood, and The Martha Washington Inn & Spa.  For lighter fare, grab a cup of coffee and a pastry at Zazzy’z Coffee House. Find a full list of Abingdon restaurants here.



Fresh Air Pop-Up Dinner at Harvest Table Farm

Southern Culture Cuisine presents an outdoor dinner at Harvest Table Farm in Meadowview.  Dinner will be served in an open field on the Farm. The event is BYOB.  Harvest Table Restaurant works with seasonal produce and meats from local and regional sources, offering the best of each season. Our creative recipes are designed to highlight freshness and quality.  Those local flavors are highlighted in this pop-up dinner featuring ingredients from Harvest Table Farm.  Advance tickets are required. Click here to purchase online.