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Again, great event and fundraiser for VeggieU to benefit the 10th Annual Food and Wine Celebration!

VeggieU – heaven on earth…in Milan, Ohio

So, in my humble opinion, my most favorite dish out of the 55 different food stations….California Grill!

Yep that’s right-I chose the Executive Chef from California Grill located at a Disney’s Contemporary Resort of the Walt Disney World Resort restaurants.

Chef Brian Piasecki

Hailing from the magic kingdom, Chef Brian Piasecki has been at the lead since January 2009 and is currently redesigning the California Grill to add new stuff for his guests.

Scheduled for a reopening in late summer/fall of 2013, Chef Piasecki has been hard at work enhancing his menu while you’re there to visit Mickey and Donald.

Heirloom Tomato Risotto with Basil foam and aged balsamic drizzle

Perfect use of tomato in what is otherwise a relatively heavy overpowering dish.

Now you would think the robust risotto would overwhelm the delicate heirloom tomato…nope.

Now you would also think the aged balsamic would completely lead. Not. At. All.

Again-the heirloom tomato lead the way.

Risotto perfectly prepared, for a large crowd for mini servings over a 4-5 hour duration period, much kudos.

Special thanks to International Veggie Champion Farmer Lee Jones and crew – these tomatoes were prefect and Chef Piasecki popped  a fresh one for us to compare/contrast. Farm to table indeed!

I don’t think I had any basil foam, but I am pretty sure we got some chopped basil.

Either way, just delicious.

Just a few thoughts on this rainy Saturday morning.

Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…

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So as you may have known, been doing a lot of traveling around lately.

Most recently – Asheville, North Carolina!

Quick note: Weird factor here is pretty high as the townies call themselves the original weird.

Um, that's a dude...and he squirts you as he rides by!

Portland stole the “Portland is weird” thing from Austin who say they were the inventors of “Keep Austin weird” which, according to the folks in Asheville – you’d clearly know Asheville North Carolina is the original weird place to be.

Either way, we stopped in this place called Jack of the Wood Public House. Oddly, it’s touted as an authentic irish bar/pub in the downtown area.

This evening the mood was set by the celtic rock stars playing the same song for 3 hours.

Pete and Repete was on a boat....Pete jumped off...who's left?

After perusing the menu, I found something I’ve never had before…so I ordered it.

What the flock is a "scotch egg"?

Scotch Egg: A new house favorite. Local hard-boiled egg wrapped in spicy house-made sausage, coated with bread crumbs and fried. Served with sautéed greens and a drizzle of Asheville’s own Lusty Monk mustard – $7

Well, indeed it was fried…and layered thick. Like the fat chick at the fried chicken buffet line – this was heavy and wasn’t going anywhere.

Scotch egg

The sausage wrap was heavy and pretty crispy. The whole grain Lusty Monk mustard was more spicy than the actual sausage wrapping.

Macro on the scotch egg

And I am not sure if that’s called a “drizzle” either. sautéed greens were a nice touch to the dish…sadly, that kind of stuff never photographs well. Apologies.

Never having this before, the hard-boiled egg could have been a 4 minute egg and then finished with the fry-o-later. But maybe people in Ireland like their eggs well overcooked.

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt and blogged about it, done.

Pickle chips: A basket of batter-dipped, deep-fried pickle slices served with a side of chipotle ranch dressing – $5

Now these are worth coming back. Light batter was a joy to see since most places usually plaster a 4 inch thick layer. The line lightly batters these pickles. Crisp and delicious. I could eat 100s of these guys any day.

Deep fried pickles - MUST ORDER!

The chipotle ranch was a bit weird, but hey – it’s Asheville.

Reuben

Plain reuben

Their reuben called out to me, but their dry bread needed a major dose of butter. Fries seem commercial.

Shepard’s Pie

The waitress recommended their Shepard’s pie.

Shepard's pie...more like Shepard's bowl and plate

This just reminded me of Wednesday’s at the cafeteria back in grade school. I wish they put more of the sautéed greens as they were delicious.

Overall, not a bad place for fried pickles and beers.

Absolutely sweet and nice folks here in Asheville…makes me wish I was there again.

Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms….

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