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.

BOOK BY BOOK: David Baldacci, author of 30 best-selling novels and counting, will speak at the Literacy Council of Buncombe County's 8th annual Authors for Literacy fundraising event three days after officially releasing his latest book The Keeper.

Conscious party: Author David Baldacci speaks at dinner and auction to bolster local literacy

This year’s fundraising dinner — prepared by Michael Marshall of the Renaissance Hotel with pours from Biltmore Wines — will enable the Literacy Council to secure volunteer tutors for some 350 locals lacking reading, writing and language skills.