Small Bites

Asheville Tourists: With the Asheville Tourists' regular season over, McCormick Field is gearing up for a different sort of competition.

The park will host its first-ever chili cook-off on Saturday, Oct. 3, with the winner earning the sure-to-be-coveted "Best Chili in WNC" title. The event includes individual and restaurant divisions, with 20 entrants in each category.

"The initial response has been outstanding," Tourists executive director Mike Bauer writes in a release.

In addition to the contest, organizers are planning ice-cream-eating and pumpkin-drawing competitions.

Tickets to the event, which runs from noon to 5 p.m., are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Children younger than 4 will be admitted free. For more information, call 258-0428.

Root Bar: East Asheville's Root Bar Number One became a private club last weekend, a licensing change that means the watering hole can now serve hard liquor as well as beer and wine. "We hope that this will make it a little easier for our favorite customers to bring their liquor drinking friends out to play some rootball," owner Terri Fisher e-mails. The Root Bar is the latest in a string of local bars taking advantage of a recent shift in state law that eliminates the waiting period for memberships in private clubs, which are exempt from certain restrictions governing smoking and alcohol service in restaurants: Applications can now be processed immediately, so folks can start drinking as soon as they register, show identification and ante up $5. To reach the Root Bar, call 299-7597.

Thomas Wolfe House: Here's a figure that might have made Julia Wolfe, Thomas Wolfe's notoriously tightfisted mother, go bonkers: $75. That's the fee the Thomas Wolfe Memorial is charging to eat in the boardinghouse where Mrs. Wolfe once rented rooms for $5 a night.

Still, it's probably a fair price considering what a ticket to the Saturday, Oct. 3, event includes: The fundraising dinner features a three-course feast of Southern fare likely more delicious than anything ever cooked by Mrs. Wolfe, who was known for her watery coffee, and a dramatic program chronicling Asheville's reaction to Look Homeward, Angel. The museum's publicity materials warn guests to "be prepared to laugh and be shocked at the events, enthusiasm and hurt feelings."

The Memorial is hosting two seatings for the supper, at 6 and 8 p.m. For reservations, call 253-8304.

Future Legends Of Barbecue: Some kids dream of becoming fire fighters, truck drivers or lion tamers. But for the children who aim to have their own barbecue pits, the Henderson County Young Leaders Program is hosting a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned youth competition next month.

Teams of young pitmasters ages 7 to 17 (along with their supervising adults) will be fighting for the barbecue crown at Camp Greystone in Flat Rock on Saturday, Oct. 10. Festival grounds open at 10 a.m.
To provide inspiration, organizers have arranged for an appearance by barbecue star Mike Mills, three-time Grand World Champion at the Memphis in May International Festival and author of Peace, Love and Barbecue (Rodale Books, 2005).

While registration for the competition has closed, tickets to the event are $5 for adults and $2 for children. To learn more, call 697-2000.


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