Competitors announced for WNC Chefs Challenge

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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A great event! Press release:

For the third year, the WNC Magazine Asheville Wine & Food Festival will host the WNC Chefs Challenge. The competition brings together culinary leaders from the region in weekly battles built around a secret ingredient.

This year’s competitors are: Returning 2011 Champion Nate Allen (Knife & Fork, Spruce Pine), Anthony Cerrato (Fiore’s Italian Restaurant & Bakehouse), Peter Fassbender (Season’s Restaurant at Highland Lake Inn, Flat Rock), Adam Hayes (Red Stag Grill), Charles Hudson (Sunburst Trout Farms, Canton), Jerami Jones (Fig Bistro), Rob Keener (Square 1 Bistro, Hendersonville), Stewart Lyon (Boca), Owen McGlynn (Storm Rhum Bar and Bistro), Thomas Montgomery (12 Bones Smokehouse), Jesse Roque (Never Blue Tapas Bar & Grill, Hendersonville, and Blue Gypsy, Saluda), Jason Rowland (Magnetic Field Café), Jason Roy (Lexington Avenue Brewery), and David Ryba (Inn on Biltmore Estate).

The Century Room on the Park, located above Pack’s Tavern on 20 South Spruce Street in Asheville, will serve as host for the dinners each Tuesday, March 20 through May 22. The quarterfinals and semifinals will follow this summer. The grand finale will kick off the WNC Magazine Asheville Wine & Food Festival on Thursday, August 23.

“Holding the competition in the Century Room on the Park allows us to introduce new elements,” said Festival Director Bob Bowles. “The layout and existing audio and visual equipment will let us interact with the audience more.”

Diners will enjoy six plated culinary creations (three from each team) that incorporate a secret ingredient and score each dish. The votes from the audience and from a panel of professional chefs, journalists, and culinary experts will then be tallied. A winner will be announced at the end of the night and continues to the next round of competition.

Reservations for the WNC Chefs Challenge are $49 per individual, and can be made by calling (828) 225-6944. Beverages, sales tax, and gratuity are not included. A complete schedule is listed below. Please visit for more information on the competitors including portraits and biographies.

• March 20: Owen McGlynn (Storm Rhum Bar & Bistro) vs. Rob Keener (Square 1 Bistro)
• March 27: Stewart Lyon (Boca) vs. Peter Fassbender (Season’s Restaurant at Highland Lake Inn)
• April 3: Jerami Jones (Fig Bistro) vs. Thomas Montgomery (12 Bones Smokehouse)
• April 10: Adam Hayes (Red Stag Grill) vs. Charles Hudson (Sunburst Trout Farms)
• April 17: Jason Roy (Lexington Avenue Brewery) vs. Jason Rowland (Magnetic Field Café)
• April 24: Jesse Roque (Never Blue Tapas Bar & Grill) vs. Anthony Cerrato (Fiore’s Italian Restaurant & Bakehouse)
• May 1: David Ryba (Inn on Biltmore Estate) vs. winner of March 20
• May 22: Nate Allen (Knife & Fork) vs. winner of April 24

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. VvNocvv January 27, 2012

    I feel Chef John Redden could take you all and I am not afraid to admit it. He is so busy likely has not seen this competition.

    1. Christopher Tod January 28, 2012

      At which restaurant does Redden work?

    2. Shimacu January 29, 2012

      This made me laugh out loud. Does Chef John Redden also hammer nails through stone with his bare hands and sometimes invade third world countries?


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