Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tickets for NC Competition Dining's FINAL FIRE

The Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series has "got to be" one of my favorite events in the entire year. Since January, regional tournaments have taken place in Wilmington, Asheville, Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte, and the moment we've all been waiting for has finally arrived: the FINAL FIRE! The 5 winners from each of the regional battles are sharpening their knives and donning their chef whites with the hopes to take home the ultimate title, and $4,000 cash, two handmade chef knives by Ironman Forge and a trip to the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley, compliments of Kikkoman and the Pro Chef Program!

At the battle, the chefs are assigned an NC ingredient or product, and they must prepare 3 courses with it. Diners have no idea what the ingredient will be, but trust me, you're guaranteed 6 tasty dishes. Perhaps the most fun part - YOU are the judge! Using your smartphone (or pen and paper), you'll vote on elements of the dish like appearance, taste and execution of the secret ingredient.

Me at Fire in the Triad earlier this year!
The first showdown is between Fire on the Dock champion Antione Murray (Cape Fear Country Club in Wilmington) and Fire on the Rock winner Michelle Bailey (Season's at Highland Lake in Flat Rock). That winner will take on Fire in the City champ Jon Fortes (Mimosa Grill in Charlotte). Fire in the Triad champion Tim Thompson (Marisol in Greensboro) will face Fire in the Triangle winner Dean Thompson (Flights in Raleigh). These are seriously tough brackets. The Final Fire will be a close one.

For those of you who haven't been to a battle, it's a fantastic thing to do with your sweetie, your parents or your friends - just as long as they're adventurous eaters! You can read about my experiences at Battle: Rabbit; Battle: Honey; Battle: Ostrich; and Battle: Chestnut Flour.

Hungry? You can purchase tickets this Wednesday, October 29 at 7pm, and you better believe these tickets will FLY. Last year, tickets were sold out in 8 minutes!

The Final Fire events will be held November 19-22, at Renaissance North Hills Raleigh. Tickets to attend the first three battles are $129, and tickets for the final championship battle are $139.

About The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series
The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series is sponsored by the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Pate Dawson-Southern Foods, Certified Angus Beef®, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, the NC Wine & Grape Council, Hits Technology and local partners in each region of the state. The goal of the series is to celebrate local North Carolina products and agriculture, and to showcase the culinary ingenuity and talent across the state. For more information, visit or get in on the conversation at and @CompDiningNC on Twitter or Instagram.

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