Bon Appetit Appalachia adds Frog's Leap Public House to the map

By Rachel Robles | Sep 23, 2016
Photo by: Rachel Robles Toni and Kaighn Raymond, owners of Frog's Leap Public House in Waynesville, accept their Bon Appetit Appalachia sticker from Earl Grohl, Appalachian Regional Commission federal co-chair.

Foodies eating their way through the Appalachian region can now add a downtown Waynesville restaurant to the list of places to grab a bite.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently added Frog’s Leap Public House, a popular farm-to-table restaurant to its Bon Appetit! Appalachia map of local food businesses operating in the region.

ARC is a regional economic development agency. It is a federal-state partnership that works to develop economic opportunities; build infrastructure, such as broadband and transportation; strengthen the Appalachia region’s natural and cultural assets; and expand leadership by preparing the next generation to move forward.

Bon Appetit! Appalachia is a project of ARC’s Tourism Council, and is meant to highlight the region’s most distinctive food destinations, with an emphasis on the farm-to-table movement.

Bon Appetit! Appalachia is a large, searchable online map of local food businesses that contains over 830 local farms, restaurants, bakeries, breweries, wineries and festivals operating in the 13 Appalachian states, and continues to expand.

“The new trend is the foodies, and they’re looking for local foods,” said Andre Nabors, partner relations manager with Visit North Carolina, at the Sept. 15 presentation at Frog’s Leap.

It’s more than a trend for Kaighn Raymond, chef owner of Frog’s Leap Public House. He believes it’s a movement.

“I believe farm-to-table is really the future of restaurants and also the past,” said Raymond. “We’re almost returning to the past of a more traditional way when farmers were directly supplying the local market.

“But it’s also the future, because I feel that America is retreating back to a simpler time, that wants to be community-oriented instead of [being] so spread out and disconnected.”

Raymond contacted Bon Appetit! Appalachia because he believes the imitative shares his vision.

“[It’s] the exact type of thing we need to be a part of in order to get our message out there,” he said.

Frog’s Leap Public House is the second Haywood County business to be added to the map. Sunburst Trout Market on Main Street was added last year. Increasing Haywood County’s presence on the map will benefit the county in the long run, as the map has an expansive reach the potential to reach millions of people.

“Agritourism has been a rapidly growing market for us and is a true celebration of our Appalachian heritage,” said Anna Jorstad, communications manager of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.

Haywood County has a rich agriculture heritage, she said. There are over 700 farms encompassing more than 56,000 acres, making agritourism a big draw for tourists.

“Now with the help of the Bon Appetit Appalachia guide, we can further develop this market for our county and share our agricultural offerings with an even broader audience,” said Jorstad.

Frog Leap Public House’s addition to the map not only highlights Haywood County, but also Waynesville.

“Because of these fine restaurants and the farmers and their bountiful farms, I know that together with our viable downtown — with lively events and a successful mix of businesses — we can continue to attract and captivate patrons to experience local restaurants and farm to table,” said Buffy Phillips, executive director of the Downtown Waynesville Association.

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