Food news to go: Tuesday night tastes

There are two great food-related events tonight, Tuesday June 15, that should be on every local gourmand’s radar, one free, one quite cheap.

The cheap:

For only $39, plus tax and gratuity, check out the battle between Nico’s Cafe from Waynesville vs Chelsea’s and the Village Tea Room from the Biltmore Village in south Asheville in the 5th of the WNC Chefs Challenges.

The competition, which pits both restaurants together in a battle of secret ingredients and culinary chops, takes place in the lower level of the Flying Frog Cafe. What does the audience get for their money? Six courses and the chance to judge whose cuisine reigns supreme (to borrow a phrase from Iron Chef for the umpteenth time). That’s right: the audience gets to play food critic.

The WNC Chefs Challenge begins at 6 p.m. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Flying Frog directly at 254-9411.

The free (or almost free):

A vegetarian cook-off will take place at Malaprop’s this evening. While it is free to gawk, entry into the competition is a mere $5. From the beloved downtown Asheville bookstore’s website:

“Bring your vegetarian dish made with primarily (or all) local ingredients, as well as a $5 entry fee per dish. Judges Laurey Masterton (Laurey’s Catering), Barbara Swell (author, Secrets of the Great Old Timey Cooks), and Mackensy Lunsford (Mountain Xpress food writer) will taste your dishes and two awards will be bestowed — best sweet dish and best savory dish. Winners receive bragging rights and a smorgasbord of cookbooks for their home collection.”

Malaprop’s is located at 55 Haywood Street. For more information, call 254-6734.


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