Good Morning, Friends...
Final Stoobie Noms & Chat w/ a Delivery Insider
ABOVE: On the Podcast - I talked to Jennie Wellman (née Townsend), owner of KickbackAVL.com, Asheville’s only locally owned and operated hot meal delivery service! Also, there was a baby.
BELOW: In the Newsletter (may contain adult language) - GMF, Final Stoobie Nominations, Pizza Fight Features, The Recommend, This Just In…
GOOD MORNING, FRIENDS
I hope you had a great weekend! It was c-c-c-c-cold, and we got a little bit of snow here in downtown Asheville, and I loved it! I like cold Winters. I’m weird that way. My family up in Boston posted pictures on social media from their yards, with 30 inches of the white stuff! Yikes. That’s a lot of snow! And if I know Boston, it ain’t gonna melt any time soon. The snow in my yard is already gone.
2021 FOOD FAN AWARD NOMINATIONS PART 4
The fourth and final round of the Asheville Food Fan Awards nominations, for the year 2021, have been posted to Ashvegas! See who's up for accolades in the categories of Food Truck, Food Maker, Restautant, New restaurant, and Chef of the Year! You can see them all by clicking HERE.
THE WINNERS OF THE 2021 STOOBIE AWARDS WILL BE ANNOUNCED TOMORROW, TUESDAY, FEB 1ST, HERE ON SUBSTACK. STAY TUNED!!!
PIZZA FIGHT FEATURES
With the 2022 WNC Pizza Fight coming up, I’m featuring the contestants in my social media posts. Here are the first two…
🍕🤜 2022 WNC PIZZA FIGHT!!! 🤛🍕 Amazing Pizza Co. was our winner in 2019, and then we skipped 2020 & 2021, and now we're back, as a JUDGES' TABLE ONLY competition, with 16 judges trying 32 pizzas, and picking their NUMBER ONE! Will APC retain the title? Stay tuned for the live stream on February 23rd to find out!
🍕🤜 2022 WNC PIZZA FIGHT!!! 🤛🍕 I have to admit, Manicomio is my fave pizza place in town. I frickin' love their pizza! I have already given them two of my own Stoobie Awards, in 2017 & 18. They competed in the 2019 Pizza Fight, and they're back this year to see if they can snag that prize for themselves as well!
Please keep in mind THIS EVENT IS NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. It is a Judges' Table Only event with 16 chefs, eaters, and other F&B folks doing a blind taste test of 32 pies! That's two from each competitor, 1 cheese, 1 specialty. The public is encouraged to play along with score sheets they can print out by clicking HERE & HERE.
So, a week or so ago, I went into Bomba for the first time since pre-pandemic, and had a fantastic version of Eggs Benedict, with crab cakes, that was to die for. I recommended it HERE. While I was there, I ran into Chef Hector and he was so bummed I hadn’t ordered the chicken, that I promised him I would come back for it. So I did. And wow. I am now recommending this amazing pile of delicious food to you.
On the menu it is described as “French Voodoo Spiced Chicken” and I ordered the breast & wing plate (also available in leg & thigh), which came with polenta, garbanzo masala, sweet potato, house vegetable, & a nutty cabbage slaw. It was just incredible. I can’t wait to go back and get it again, and I can not recommend it highly enough to you!
THIS JUST IN
A fond farewell to Jane Anderson, who served as the Executive Director of AIR (Asheville Independent Restaurants) for nine years! She has been a ROCK of support and a tireless worker for our food scene, which is exponentially better because of her work with AIR. Now that she’ll have more free time, I’m personally looking forward to my friend Jane being able to enjoy the (literal) fruits of her labors! Here’s her goodbye, from the AIR newsletter…
For the past nine years, it has been my privilege to be a part of AIR. Early in my tenure, someone coined the name Jane AIR, I took it as a compliment. And why not? Just look at our membership and the work they do.
Our small business owners are integral to Asheville’s vitality. Because of them, the city has become a culinary destination. That popularity has helped sustain small family farms throughout the area by providing a ready market for meat, vegetables, herbs and flowers. AIR members reflect and celebrate Asheville’s diverse culture. They give back to the community in ways big and small. In short, they make a difference in the quality of life we all enjoy throughout the year.
I am proud of what we have accomplished together. It has been an honor to work with all of the chefs, owners and staff. They are a remarkable group of entrepreneurs, which is why AIR is often held up as a model for other communities to embrace. It is a rarity: an association of restaurant owners who find ways to collaborate on the things that matter most, like training, service excellence, advocacy, and problem-solving. In the past two years, we have done more than our share of the latter.
I have every confidence that our members will continue to succeed under the able leadership of Kim Murray. As for me, I’ll continue to be an AIR fan. I hope you will, too.
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