This weekend, my friend Matt and I attended MANNA FoodBank's Blue Jean Ball, their biggest fund raiser of the year. I participate in the Asheville Empty Bowls event every year, making bowls and trying to motivate other potters to make bowls. It was through that participation that I was invited to my first Blue Jean Ball several years ago. The event is always themed, and there is a costume contest for most creative interpretation of the theme, with tickets to the next year's Ball given as prizes. Thanks to my very talented friend Matt, also a creative entrepreneur, we have won our way back to the Ball for the past three years!
As for the food, it's always delicious, creative small bites from some of the best restaurants in the area.
As my hands were most often filled with small plates or a cuppa, I didn't take pictures of all the gorgeous and tasty bites, but we did get a lovely shot of what I think perfectly captures everything I love about Asheville, and this lovely human:
|Rosetta, always feeding the family right!|
And just to make you wish you were there, here are a few more tasty bites I recall:
Jerked duck with coconut biscuits, black bean gravy, and curry pickled shallots from Biscuit Head (the pickled shallots were my favorite part - delish!)
Flambe strawberries with rum over mango sorbet from Bouchon - a perfect palette cleanser.
Smoked duck breast on crostini with herbed goat cheese, arugula and orange reduction from Chestnut - that was great, but they also had a pile of Joe's Chips, and you most definitely can't eat just one!
Island Creek oysters from Lobster Trap - always a favorite stop!
Luella's BBQ had Cured Pork Belly wth pickled watermelon rind that was a lovely bite.
Posana had what was perhaps my favorite single bite: Seared Scallops, smoked pork belly, and coconut rum butter.
That's just what I remember - there was more goodness there from Ambrozia, Biltmore, Carmel's, Red Stag Grill, Rezaz, Twisted Laurel, Webo's BBQ, Harrah's, PF Chang's, The Cantina ... and we didn't even make it under the dessert tent for Ultimate Ice Cream or French Broad Chocolates (I blame my pirate shoes - not much keeps me from the Chocolate Lounge!).
And while I'm not sharing a particularly new recipe today, I am sharing a new find - when we arrived at the parking lot and were waiting for the shuttle to the event, we met Tad McBride who had a trunk full of hot sauces he was sharing with everyone on the shuttle. I added some generous dashes of the Matador sauce to my eggs (on avocado, on toasted bagel) this morning for a flavorful punch. It's base includes mango nectar, pineapple juice, and habanero chili pepper, which gives it a lovely flavor to go along with the heat. Since we were there for the "Pirate Ball", I made sure to also get a bottle of the Pirate Sauce, which includes orange juice, coconut bits, and spices. I'm looking forward to trying that as a marinade.
And if you were wondering, yes, we won again, and we can't wait to hear the theme for next year's Ball!!
|Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, a Pirate's life for me!!|