TOUGH COMPETITION: At last year's event, chef Joe Mitchell of Chestnut restaurant worked on prying open the jaws of a cooked lamb's head — the competition's secret ingredient.

Small bites: Getting wacky at Whacked

FRS Asheville’s Whacked brings together local chefs, school food service directors and Green Opportunities Kitchen Ready trainees for an off-the-wall culinary contest; fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz offers food preservation workshops at Rhubarb and the Asheville Food Park; chef Katie Button’s new cookbook is already topping online lists; chef Eric Scheffer hosts an Argentinian feast at Hickory Nut Gap Farm and Asheville gets a new restaurant ordering website.

Last year, the James Beard Foundation's "Best chef in the Southeast" award went to Ashley Christensen of Poole's Downtown Diner in Raleigh. This year, Asheville chefs John Fleer, Maherwan Irani and Katie Button are in the running for the region, which includes Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia in addition to our state. Image from jamesbeard.org

Trio of Asheville chefs make semifinals for ‘Best Chef in the Southeast’

Founded in honor of cookbook author, educator and American cuisine enthusiast James Beard, the James Beard Foundation’s mission is “to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage…” And three Asheville chefs — John Fleer of Rhubarb, Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani and MG Road and Katie Button of Nightbell and Curate — also have […]

F3 project aims to close the sustainability loop with canola-attachment0

F3 project aims to close the sustainabi­lity loop with canola

Advantage West held the “Fry Party” last week at a kitchen at Blue Ridge Food Ventures, located on AB-Tech’s Enka campus, to bring local attention to F3, an effort, according to project director Ron Townley, that pilots a new business model for the production of biodiesel from locally grown canola. The program, he says, is aimed at ultimately reducing Western North Carolina’s dependence on imported fuels by creating a partnership among area farmers, restaurants and biofuel producers.

WNC dominates Star Chefs awards

“Star Chefs” has been recognizing the best and brightest culinarians in specified pockets across the country since 2002, and they turned their gaze to the Carolinas this fall. In the end, more than a third of all the Rising Stars awards for both North and South Carolina were handed to WNC chefs and artisans.