Kooky culinary contests

Tuesday’s Frog Photography
Tuesday’s Frog Photography

Let the thrill of a contest pique your appetite. Whether you like sweets or savories, this week offers dining competitions for all palates.

Cupcakes vs. Cancer

On Saturday, March 16, graze on cupcakes at the Grove Park Inn. Cupcake makers of all skill levels compete for first prize ribbons while diners sample their creations. The event, Cupcakes vs. Cancer, raises money for the American Cancer Society.

The cupcakes represent about a dozen themes, so expect to sample filled, beer-inspired and vegan cupcakes, among others. The contest runs 2 to 4 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Grove Park Inn, but if you buy tickets online before March 7, you can get in early at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $25 at cupcakesvscancer.org and at the door.

Asheville Wing War II

The chicken wing showdown is back for a second year. It's part of a series of down-to-earth dining competitions called Asheville Food Fights that also includes The Pizza Showdown and The Chili Challenge, coming later this year.

The Wing War takes place on Sunday, March 10 at Asheville Music Hall. Tickets include unlimited samples of wings in specialty and traditional Buffalo styles and brews from Sierra Nevada and Pisgah Brewing.

Local restaurants make the wings, and a panel of judges and an audience vote to determine the winner.

The Wing War begins at 4 p.m and features live music from Southbound Turnaround. Tickets are available for $15 at ashevillefoodfights.com or at the door for $20.

Whacked Cooking Competition

This event doesn't include food for guests, but it's a free show and a great way to support students from GO: Kitchen Ready and Eliada School of Trade Arts.

The students assist with the preparations for a three-course meal based on a secret ingredient. Jason Roy of Lexington Avenue Brewery, Michael Vess of Tupelo Honey Cafe and Anthony Cerrato of Strada Italiano lead the competing teams.

The cook-off starts at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, at FRS Restaurant Equipment and Supply Store at 23 Asheland Ave. Throughout the day, FRS will hold an open house featuring representatives from dozens of equipment suppliers. For more information about the event, visit the FRS Asheville Facebook page.

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