First Ever Live Stoobie Awards: Recap

On January 28th, the Asheville Masonic Temple turned into a foodie paradise! From the first floor to the third, twenty-two vendors shared their greatness with attendees of the first-ever publicly announced Stoobie Awards! Seventeen of these vendors were dishing out some of their restaurant’s favorites while others shared kombucha, ice cream and more! For the first few hours, guests were able to enjoy the vendor offerings and indulge in beverages by local companies, including H & H Distillery while mingling with friends, new and old. Around 8:00 PM, the crowd moved upstairs to learn who won this year’s Stoobie Awards!

But wait, what are the Stoobies? The Annual Stoobie Awards have become an Asheville Food Scene tradition! Each year in January, the readers of Ashvegas, as well as food makers, vendors, and venues look forward to finding out who Stu Helm hand-picked as nominees and winners for culinary and hospitality excellence in the previous year! Stu Helm is a local artist, writer, and food tour guide. He frequently dines at local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and the like, enjoying hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese, to haute cuisine. His opinions are based on a lifetime of experience. Follow him around Asheville via his Instagram.

Aux Bar

Now for what we all gathered to see, and if we were lucky enough, to taste! Here are the 2018 Award Winners!

  • Sunny Point Cafe won the Lifetime Achievement Award for Best Shrimp n Grits Ever.
  • The Smoked Artichoke and Fresh Tomato Pizza from Manicomio won Pizza of the Year.
  • Burger of the Year went Oyster House Brewing for their Oyster House Burger.
  • It wouldn’t be true to Asheville’s southern roots to not have a Fried Chicken award. This award was given to 67 Biltmore Downtown Eatery + Catering for their Biscuits ‘n’ Gravy with Fried Chicken.
  • Are you ready for the Sandwich of the Year? The Ma! Meatloaf! is one you can’t miss from Underground Cafe.
  • Stu loves a Reuben and named the one from The Continental Lounge the Rueben of the year!
  • Cook of the year was awarded to Matt Kovitch of Mojo Kitchen and Dark City Deli.
  • Many of our local restaurants depend heavily on our local food makers. This year, Stu recognized No Evil as food maker of the year.
  • Local cooks and restaurants depend on resources such as AIR. Food Person of the Year was awarded to Jane Anderson, AIR’s  Executive Director.
  • Restaurateur of the Year went to the owner of Chai Pani, Buxton Hall Barbecue and Spicewalla, Meherwan Irani.
  • For many of us, eating out is more than just about the food. Best Effing Front of the House went to Buxton Hall Barbecue.
  • When it comes to consistency, Cúrate won Most Consistently Awesome.
  • In Asheville, there are tons of special events and Stu is invited to many fancy dinners. The Fancy Meal of the Year went to Historic Biltmore VIllage for their Dining Under the Stars event.
  • Chef of the year went to Chef Ashley Capps of Buxton Hall Barbecue.
  • One outstanding restaurant won two significant Stoobie awards! Vivian won both Best New Restaurant and Restaurant of the Year.


If you haven’t visited all of these amazing local spots, now you have a bucket list of must-try places for 2019. Stay on top of the foodie culture in Asheville by following Stu on Facebook and Instagram. You won’t want to miss next years Stoobie Awards!

Check out some of the great photos captured during the event, including photos with Stu, the photobooth and a video recap!

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