by Brian Clarey

by Brian Clarey

Let’s begin with a quick Fire in the Triad update: Last week Chef Leigh Hesling of the Green Valley Grill and PrintWorks Bistro in Greensboro defeated Chef Jon Willis of High Point’s Emerywood Fine Foods. They each won three out of the six courses of the competition — Willis’ third-course confit breast of chicken scored the most points — but Hesling’s pan-seared quail breast and honey-mocha duck breast pulled him to victory.

Then Undercurrent’s Chef Michael Harkenreader narrowly defeated Mozelle’s Chef Janis Karanthanas largely on the strength of his herb-crusted bison ribeye.

On Wednesday night Chef Kristina Fuller of the Bistro takes on Chef Chris Russell of B. Christopher’s.

Also in the news, Our State magazine has a 36-page feature in the September issue, the barbecue issue featuring local legends Lexington Barbecue in Lexington, Little Richard’s Barbecue in Winston-Salem and Stamey’s in Greensboro.

On Thursday, 13 Bones in Greensboro holds a fundraiser for the city’s Mental Health Association beginning at 4 p.m.

Saturday sees a watermelon-carving contest at the Dixie Classic Farmers Market that begins at 9 a.m. Entrants will have 45 minutes to carve their watermelons and winners will be announced at 10 a.m. Cash prizes are promised.

I hear the Old Salem Farmers Market will have pickled blueberries on Saturday, among other locally procured items.

Monday is Labor Day. If you don’t have to work, head over to the Grove Winery, where Swirlfest will be held once again. The free event features music by Bruce Piephoff and lots of Grove wine.

Speaking of Labor Day, it’s a great day for a cookout. But if you’re sick of burgers and dogs — I know I am — consider roasting a whole lobster on your grill. Due to changing sea temperatures and more sustainable harvesting practices, a bumper crop of lobster has hit this year, driving prices to about $2 a pound, which is cheaper than chicken or hamburger. Local prices vary, but if you act now you can likely order some online straight from Maine. Try, where a live 1.25-pound lobster goes for about 10 bucks.