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While Fire on the Rock is Fun, So Is Not Burning Your House Down, Edutainment at Cooking Competition

April 10, 2013. When Fire on the Rock founder Jimmy Crippen first came to Blowing Rock Fire Chief Kent Graham with the idea of hosting the inaugural Fire on the Rock at the Green Park Inn eight years ago, Graham said, “Nope. You can’t do that.”

It wasn’t because Graham, who has a culinary background, was against the idea of the competitive dining series. He thought it was a great idea, but he said he was against the open-flame cooking event happening at the historic Green Park Inn, which is well over 100 years old.

So Graham tried to discourage Crippen, who then called Graham back and asked, “What would it take?”

Graham gave a list of safety precautions that included the fire department present; fire extinguishers placed by each stove, fans to pull heat and smoke out of the rooms; and the execution of evacuation and crowd control plans.

After all of that, Crippen said, “OK.”
Photo by Ken Ketchie

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Meet Craig Miller of Jackalope’s View in Banner Elk, Winner of the First Fire on the Rock Battle

April 8, 2013. The taste buds were salivating and the pots were jumping on Monday night as Chef Craig Miller of Jackalope’s View in Banner Elk edged out Chef James Welch of the Green Park Inn in Blowing Rock to win the first competition of Fire on the Rock at Meadowbrook Inn.
Commissioner Perry Yates of Watauga County and his wife Anne-Marie were in attendance. This was the first Fire on the Rock Perry has attended, and he said he was so blown away, he would try to get tickets to the final if at all possible.
“The food was absolutely wonderful. I just had a fantastic time,” Yates said.

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