The chef at the Red Stag Grill at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Biltmore Village has cooked in four secret-ingredient challenges since January. The dinners are part of Fire on the Rock Competition Dining, a statewide, year-long series.
Last week, Hayes won the regional cookoff against Boone’s Vidalia. The victory earned him a spot in the final round of the competition. In November, he’ll go toque-to-toque with a chef from another part of the state.
Hayes says his experience withAsheville’s appetite for seasonal food will serve him well in the competition. The focus on ever-changing produce makes him versatile. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to represent well just by being creative and using what we have,” he says. “I think a lot of chefs here do that now. We all work with the seasons and what’s coming in locally. Everybody’s probably like me right now: biting at the bit trying to get some strawberries.”
Tickets for the Final Fire event will go on sale in October, says a spokesperson for Fire on the Rock. For more information about the competition, visit competitiondining.com. To learn more about Red Stag Grill, visit bohemianhotelasheville.com/dining.