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Let’s Get Creative

Article Published: Feb. 16, 2012 | Modified: Feb. 16, 2012

Creative Food Ventures, a commercial kitchen in Ashe County, was established around four years ago to offer the opportunity for cooks throughout the region to try out their recipes, expand home-based businesses and even start a new food-related small business.

If you are interested in such an undertaking, join Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture for a tour on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 11 a.m. to noon.

It is a shared-use facility, equipped with commercial stoves, ovens, steam kettles, mixers, sinks, refrigerators, tables, dry and cooler storage and other food preparation equipment to accommodate a wide variety of start-up food businesses.

Rhonda Church of the N.C. Cooperative Extension will provide farmers and potential food business entrepreneurs with a brief tour of the space, followed by a question and answer session.

A total of $1.2 million has been invested in this commercial kitchen by Ashe County, RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation International), Appalachian Regional Commission, N.C. Department of Commerce, Golden LEAF Foundation, N.C. Rural Center, USDA Farmers Market Promotion Project, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Project for Public Spaces and the Kellogg Foundation.

Sadly, the facility has been under-utilized and even closed at times. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and love the feel of a kitchen, come see what Creative Food Ventures has to offer. Located in the Ashe Family Central building at 626 Ashe Central School Road in Jefferson.

For more information or to RSVP, email (

This recipe originated with Liza Plaster of Ripshin Goat Dairy and was modified by Mel Weiss of Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture. This is a yummy special occasion treat, due to the large amount of butter.

Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons chèvre, or goat cheese
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon dried rosemary

Preheat oven to 425.
Mix dry ingredients.
Cut in butter and chèvre.
Add yogurt until moistened.
To make biscuits, drop 1/4 cup batter into cast iron pan.
Bake 14-16 min.

Margie Mansure, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and extension agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension. She offers personalized classes to improve the health of citizens in Watauga County through worksites, schools and community groups. To contact her, email or call (828) 264-3061.

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