After taking cleaver to opponents’ head Tomato Jam Cafe Chef Daniel Wright wins WNC Chef’s Mortal Kombat Challenge
Aug27

After taking cleaver to opponents’ head Tomato Jam Cafe Chef Daniel Wright wins WNC Chef’s Mortal Kombat Challenge

ASHEVILLE- A well executed dish is just as much presentation as it is flavor.   So when Chef Daniel Wright of Tomato Jam Café served his opponent’s, Chef Anthony Cerrato of Strada Italino, severed head on a platter to the judges in front of a thousand screaming fans at the Asheville Wine and Food Festival Saturday, it was clear Wright was the undisputed WNC Chef’s Mortal Kombat Challenge champion.   “In all my years of being around food, I have never seen a dish executed quite like that,” said Joe Scully of Chesnut, one of the judges.   “Daniel just yelled really loudly ‘Get over here’ and the next thing I know a meat clever is spinning through the air and strikes Anthony right in the forehead. I must say I’m going to miss Anthony greatly, but Daniel’s knife skills are quite impressive.”   The WNC Chef’s Mortal Kombat Challenge is a tournament culminating at the Asheville Wine and Food Festival starring chefs from all over Western North Carolina region that each round cook to the death until there is one chef left standing.   “In the kitchen it’s all about trusting what you already know,” said Wright.   “So when I saw the cleaver, I just went with my instinct and executed the dish the best I knew how. You win some and you lose some and today I was fortunate enough to execute a dish that worked.”   Moments before his demise Cerrato was wielding some cannoli nunchucks of death filled with cream, but Wright struck Cerrato with the cleaver before Cerrato even had a chance to strike Wright.   “These cooking competitions are rarely about who is the better chef,” said Scully.   “Because of time constraints, usually the chef who thinks better on his feet wins. Is a meat cleaver the most creative way to end your opponent? Probably not, but Wright is still standing and I can’t say I’ve seen a fountain of blood rise from a human’s head like that before. It was so beautiful I almost felt compelled to dip strawberries in it.”   As winner of the WNC Chef’s Mortal Kombat Challenge Wright was awarded $5,000 cash to a charity of his choice. Wright has decided to donate the sum to the Anothy Cerrato Memorial fund.   “Well it was the least I can do, you know after taking the guy’s life,” said Wright.   “I’ve had some tough days in the kitchen, but I always seem to walk away from it a better chef. Anthony today doesn’t get that...

Read More
Counter protestor armed with spinning tops taken aback by Topless rally in downtown Asheville
Aug26

Counter protestor armed with spinning tops taken aback by Topless rally in downtown Asheville

ASHEVILLE- As a tops toy enthusiast Benjamin Hiro is used to things spinning in his world.   But upon news of hearing there was going to be a Topless rally in downtown Asheville yesterday, Hiro’s mind was sent into a tailspin.   “I was so upset at the thought of people trying to get rid of tops, when I heard the news I was so angry I almost crushed my Mego Corp 1974 Captain James Tiberius Kirk action figure that I was playing with,” said Hiro.   “What kind of despicable human being would want to get rid of tops?”   Hiro was not about to take the anti-tops talk lying down. So Hiro dressed in corduroys, a ‘Trek yourself before you wreck yourself” t-shirt, and Chuck Taylors, took to downtown Asheville yesterday to make sure the Topless rally protestors received a piece of his 160 IQ mind.   Armed with protest signs with phrases such as ‘Spinning is winning’ and ‘Stop the tops cops,’ HIro stood directly across from his anti-tops foes and stared directly into their eyes, well the best he could, to make sure he communicated his discontent with them.   “I have to say the move to bare their breasts was a strategy I didn’t see coming,” said Hiro, his cheeks suddenly flush red as he talks about his nude foes.   “When I’m angry with someone, I like to let them know by staring them directly in the eyes. But those beautiful bosoms kept on distracting me. I don’t see those things in real life very often. But every time I felt myself being distracted by a pair of boobies, I just told myself, ‘Good God man stay strong for the tops.”   Several hundred people attended the Topless rally yesterday and twelve women bared their breasts in protest.   Despite a much larger crowd gathering around the Topless protestors, HIro still believes his message was heard loud and clear yesterday. Hiro gave away over a 100 toy tops with the message ‘Tops make the world go round.’   “Sure the topless protestors may blind people with their breasts for a day,” said Hiro.   “But people are going to play with my tops for a...

Read More
Despite layoffs, Asheville Citizen-Times to continue award winning non-local journalism
Aug22

Despite layoffs, Asheville Citizen-Times to continue award winning non-local journalism

ASHEVILLE- Despite laying off eight employees yesterday, the Asheville Citizen-Times is now more capable than ever to print award winning non-local journalism.   While dismissed local reporters like Jason Sanford and Susan Gambrell Reinhardt provided excellent coverage of local Asheville news, the coverage over shadowed what readers truly want, national news stories from parent Gannett Company USA Today and AP wire stories.   “The departed staff did a great job, but the truth is their local news stories really took up the space in the paper that could be filled with other USA Today articles,” said Steve Brandt, publisher of The Greenville News, who is also overseeing the Citizen-Times as the Citizen-Times at this time does not have a publisher.   “Sure readers could pick up the USA Today directly, but Asheville is a buy local town. Something about having that Asheville Citizen-Times banner over a USA Today article really motivates the audience to pick up a paper. It really gives people a sense of community pride.”   The layoffs are not a huge surprise given the dying nature of the print industry. But Brandt says Gannett hopes at least their papers will die a dignified death.   “Some would say the reason why the newspaper industry is dying is because publishers are ignoring the local audience,” said Brandt.   “But when you weigh the relevance of former NY Rep. Anthony Weiner sending dick pics again versus Rep. Tim Moffitt seeking revenge on Asheville for a water lawsuit through park legislation, clearly the Weiner news is not only more interesting, but also impacts more people. If what we are doing is killing our industry, we are going down as proud captains of our sinking ship, because we feel we are doing what is right. We are journalists and we have to uphold some sense of standards.”   The local news section of the Asheville Citizen-Times is not the only section that could use more national stories according to Brandt.   “The sports section could really use some more national headlines and USA Today articles,” said Brandt.   “I mean who really cares about UNCA and WCU basketball. Everybody in Asheville cares more about North Carolina, Duke, and North Carolina State anyway. Oh and don’t even get me started on the Asheville Scene. Sure the Scene writers are talented, but maybe we could get Eater.com to submit some articles about New York chefs, even though they won’t admit it southerners secretly envy Yankees.”   Brandt as acting overseer of the Citizen-Times welcomes comments from readers about how the Citizen-Times could incorporate more non-local journalism in the paper. You can contact...

Read More
Asheville Pubelliptical looking to one up Asheville Amazing Pubcycle in downtown exercise tours
Aug21

Asheville Pubelliptical looking to one up Asheville Amazing Pubcycle in downtown exercise tours

ASHEVILLE- Asheville Pubelliptical, Asheville’s new downtown exercise tour is betting the tour that burns the most calories will be the most popular tour in downtown Asheville.   So despite the fact that rival Asheville Amazing Pubcycle opening this week two weeks before the opening of Asheville Pubelliptical, Asheville Pubelliptical owner Jillian Michaels feels more than confident, before all is said and done, her exercise tour will attract more clients.   “Our Pubelliptical burns more calories per hour than the Amazing Pubcyle,” said Michaels.   “It is common sense which tour then you would want to pick. Plus unlike the Pubcycle we don’t have a motor assist to help you up those Asheville hills. We want your fat to feel the full burn of our tour. Some may say taking an elliptical up a hill is a little redundant, but I say so what, it is double the burn.”   The Asheville Pubelliptical not only skips the motor assist, but also prohibits all beverages other than water on the pubelliptical.   “Beer is chock full of calories, why would we allow that on our tour?” said Michaels.   “Seems a little counterproductive to me, after all it is called a ‘beer gut’ for a reason. We want to help people lose weight.”   Although Michaels doesn’t advocate the consumption of beer, the pubelliptical will still visit local downtown breweries.   “We have to show people how they are getting fat and teach them about self discipline,” said Michaels.   “We are going to lock our guests in a room lined with pints of beer for one hour at a local brewery and if one of them breaks and drinks a beer that equals two extra laps around downtown on the pubelliptical.”   Asheville Pubelliptical recommends guests to bring a vomit bag as vomiting from extreme exertion is expected.   “If they vomit, great that is less potential fat that will be accumulating on those waist lines,” said Michaels.   Asheville Pubelliptical and Asheville Amazing Pubcyle have seemed to open the floodgates for other downtown Asheville exercise tours. Asheville Pubstairmaster, Asheville Pubhotyoga, and Asheville Pubcrossfit are also expected to open over the next couple of...

Read More
Asheville Subway sandwich artist hopes Best of WNC nod gets mom off his back about law school
Aug20

Asheville Subway sandwich artist hopes Best of WNC nod gets mom off his back about law school

ASHEVILLE- An artist rarely gets the recognition he or she deserves.   So when Subway sandwich artist J.D. Long found out Asheville residents voted local Subways the second best sandwich shop in the 2013 Mountain Xpress Best of WNC poll, Long for the first time in his artistic career felt like a real artist.   “It’s a grind being an artist,” said Long.   “I have a hard time really working within the confines of Subway’s rules and my customers’ demands. But I really feel like every time I’m done sculpting a sandwich, I’m looking at the next statue of David. I’m glad my customers are really starting to recognize my artistic talents.”   Amidst the processed meats, shredded lettuce, and mayo Long works to showcase his life through foot longs.   “I dropped out of college to pursue my dreams of being an artist,” said Long.   “I have had some rough times living in my mom’s basement and not being able to afford basic needs like going to Bonnaroo and I think the sandwiches speak to my pain. When you receive a sub from me that has tomatoes lined up slightly off kilter, those tomatoes represent the time my ex girlfriend dumped me because she was tired of having our dates at Subway because the food was free.”   Long hopes the recognition may gain him early acceptance to Subway University and finally get his mom off his back about law school.   “Ever since I was a little kid I used to tell my mom I wanted to be a lawyer, so when I dropped out to become a sandwich artist she was really taken aback,” said Long.   “I hope this award is validation for my mom to truly accept my new career path. I also hope this recent award will land me an early acceptance to Subway University. That’s the dream you know. Graduate from Subway University and then train other aspiring sandwich artists to create the next iconic piece of American artwork out of sandwiches.”   Subway lost out to other local chain favorite Jersey Mike’s for best overall sandwich shop. But Long hopes with one more year of practice under his belt, local Subways can over take Jersey Mike’s.   “I’m glad Asheville is finally embracing the chain mentality,” said Long.   “Maybe there is hope for a Cheesecake Factory downtown after all. Subway University today, putting my twist on frozen peanut butter cheesecakes tomorrow. My future is bright and so is...

Read More
Asheville preschooler excited to ride fat Uncle Bill in RiverLink’s Anything That Floats Parade
Aug08

Asheville preschooler excited to ride fat Uncle Bill in RiverLink’s Anything That Floats Parade

ASHEVILLE- Uncle Bill may not be able to toss around the ole ball with his four-year-old nephew Ryan Fields without working up a sweat and a heart palpitation.   But Uncle Bill’s size 52-inch waist does provide his nephew with the optimal flotation device to ride in RiverLink’s Anything That Floats Parade an event held this Saturday as part of RiverFest at French Broad River Park from 1 pm to 7 pm.   “This boat (Bill points to his stomach) is fueled by 100 percent emissions free Miller High Life,” said Uncle Bill.   “I’ve been having Ryan practice all week cracking beers for me as preparation for our journey down the French Broad.”   Uncle Bill’s Nephew Fields training program for the upcoming voyage didn’t stop at popping beer can tabs, but also evenly applying a thin layer of SPF 30 Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen to his blubberly vessel.   “This ivory orb (Bill points to his stomach) has not seen a lot of daylight lately,” said Uncle Bill.   “I don’t want this float for charity to turn into a sun cancer diagnosis.”   Anything That Floats Parade is a fun and wacky event as part of RiverFest, where participants dress up in costumes and float down the French Broad in anything that essentially floats except motorized boats. Judges select a based on creativity, ingenuity, and spirit of the team.   “I think we pretty much have this prize wrapped up,” said Uncle Bill.   “What’s more beautiful than a nephew and his uncle bonding over a river and Miller High Life?”   RiverLink hosts RiverFest as an annual fundraiser event to help raise funds and awareness to continue the work to revitalize the French Broad River as a place for everyone to live, work, and play....

Read More