Final fire

Amanda Lugenbell, Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series

Over the past couple of months, Adam Hayes has added some new ingredients to his repertoire, including moonshine and Mountain Dew.

The chef at the Red Stag Grill at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Biltmore Village has cooked in four secret-ingredient challenges since January. The dinners are part of Fire on the Rock Competition Dining, a statewide, year-long series.

Last week, Hayes won the regional cookoff against Boone’s Vidalia. The victory earned him a spot in the final round of the competition. In November, he’ll go toque-to-toque with a chef from another part of the state.

Hayes says his experience withAsheville’s appetite for seasonal food will serve him well in the competition. The focus on ever-changing produce makes him versatile. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to represent well just by being creative and using what we have,” he says. “I think a lot of chefs here do that now. We all work with the seasons and what’s coming in locally. Everybody’s probably like me right now: biting at the bit trying to get some strawberries.”

Tickets for the Final Fire event will go on sale in October, says a spokesperson for Fire on the Rock. For more information about the competition, visit To learn more about Red Stag Grill, visit


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