Small Bites

Docked by the Bay: According a press release from the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association (AIRA), Coral Bay Seafood Restaurant on Tunnel Road closed one week before Christmas without providing warning or severance pay for employees. The AIRA condemned the move in a Dec. 26 press release. “Everyone deserves an appropriate notice so they can better prepare themselves for the loss of employment,” said Bill Cooke, who owns the Greenery restaurant and serves as president of the association, which has 40 member-restaurants. In an effort to help the newly axed restaurant workers, AIRA set up an area on the its Web site for former Coral Bay employees to post job requests — simply visit www.airasheville.org and click on the “Employment” tab to post a request. Any requests will be automatically e-mailed to all AIRA restaurants.


A lot o’ chocolate: Got a taste for chocolate? Have we got the event for you: Next month, Waynesville’s Laurel Ridge Country Club will host the Taste of Chocolate, an event where Western North Carolina chefs, both rookie and pro, will present their chocolaty creations to a panel of celebrity judges. The public is invited to sample the goods following the judging. Categories include Professional, Amateur, Bed and Breakfast, and Junior Amateur. In addition to free-flowing chocolate, the event will feature entertainment by Simple Folk, as well as a silent auction and raffle. Proceeds from the Taste of Chocolate will benefit the Haywood County Volunteer Center, an organization that recruits and places volunteers for nonprofit agencies. The event will be held Saturday, Feb. 11; the public is invited to have a taste starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 a person, or $25 for two. Contact the Waynesville Area Chamber of Commerce for ticket information at 456-3021. To get involved as a baker or sponsor, or to make a donation for the silent auction and raffle, call Leslie Merrell at 452-0861, or Elaine Kuhl at the Haywood County Volunteer Center at 456-6456.


Hey veg-heads … Did you know that China Palace has a vegetarian buffet the last Wednesday of every month for $8.95? The restaurant offers Thai and Chinese cuisine with an eye on health — and no MSG. China Palace is located at 4 S. Tunnel Road, across from the Asheville Mall. Call 298-7098 for more information.

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