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Edwin Bloodworth of Boone’s the Gamekeeper Takes on Sam Ethridge of Ambrozia in Asheville March 17

by Madison V. Fisler

March 14, 2014. Fire on the Rock competition continues to smolder in Asheville as Chef Edwin Bloodworth of The Gamekeeper in Boone takes on Chef Sam Ethridge of Ambrozia Bar + Bistro in Asheville in one of the final heats of the Competition Dining Series on Monday, March 17.

Edwin Bloodworth - Photo courtesy of Fire on the Rock
Edwin Bloodworth – Photo courtesy of Fire on the Rock

Edwin Bloodworth of Gamekeeper in Boone is known for preparing out of the ordinary dishes from uncommon ingredients.

“My cooking style is very emotional,” Bloodworth said. “In my cooking I focus on Appalachian cuisine, which includes so many wild things that are available in the woods that many people just aren’t educated on. There are a lot of things that I like to utilize, there are so many delicious flavors right under our noses and I like to bring those flavors out. I grew up in this area with my grandmother in the garden, and I use a lot of modern techniques and try to incorporate my roots into the ingredients to make it something special.”

Bloodworth enjoys utilizing uncommon ingredients like goat and lamb, which have made the Gamekeeper restaurant famous. 

Sam Ethridge - Photo courtesy of Fire on the Rock
Sam Ethridge – Photo courtesy of Fire on the Rock

“I feel like for the American dining public, everything is written out and there is no adventure. Everything is very safe and recognizable. I think dining should be mysterious, it should be an adventure and it can even be an educational experience,” Bloodworth said. 

Bloodworth also thinks that he has a competitive edge over the competition due to the restaurant environment he is used to working in.

“Going into this competition, you are limited with what you have to work with,” Bloodworth said. “We are used to working under these conditions. That might be our biggest advantage going into our competition.

Bloodworth’s opponent, Chef Sam Ethridge, describes his cooking style as, “new-American, farm to table” cuisine. 

The battle will take place at the Lionscrest at the Biltmore in Asheville.