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.

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 […]