Saturday, June 13, 2015

Recap: Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series

It's been an exciting few weeks in the Triad, with the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series full underway! If you're reading this, you're just in time for a recap on the Preliminary Rounds, and you still have time to purchase a ticket for the Quarter-Final Rounds! You don't have to be a "foodie" to have fun at these events. You don't even have to know what all the words mean, or even what all the ingredients are! 9 times out of 10, you'll love every bite you put in your mouth. Check out what's been happening so far! (Thanks to Grace Riddle at Competition Dining for all the lovely photos!)

Tuesday, May 26 - the kick-off battle!
Matchup: Former champ Chef John Bobby (Noble's Grille) and Chef Tammy Harper (Belle at the Jones House) 

Featured Ingredients: Coldwater Creek Grains (whole wheat flour, cornmeal and grits) and Plum Granny Farm Organic Lambsquarter

Highest Scoring Dish: Coldwater Creek Grains corn flour-crusted Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork Belly, cornmeal Gnocchi, Benton's Bacon, Corn Nage, Plum Granny Farm Organic Lambsquarter Spuma, Pickled Britt Farms green Strawberries (by Chef Bobby) Green Strawberries!? Does anyone remember green ketchup?!

Outcome: Chef Bobby takes the victory! Come see him compete with me on Monday, June 15 - get your tickets here!

Wednesday, May 27  (read about my experience!)

Matchup: Chef Matthew Montandon (The Phoenix) and Chef Dion Sprenkle (Chef Dion Sprenkle)

Featured Ingredients: Windcrest Farms Organic Herbs

Highest Scoring Dish: Cast Iron Skillet Scallop, Sweet Cream-Black Garlic Poached Royal Red Shrimp, Parsnip Puree, Benton's Bacon, WFO Bronze Fennel, Olive, Fried Lovage Leaves, Lime Caviar, Orange Confit (by Chef Sprenkle) This first course truly set the bar. It was phenomenal.

Outcome: Chef Sprenkle advances!

Monday, June 1

Matchup: Chef Michael Harkenreader (Undercurrent Restaurant) and Chef Kevin Reddick (The Screaming Radish)

Featured Ingredients: Black Mountain Chocolate and Bertie County Peanuts

Highest Scoring Dish: Black Mountain Chocolate Cocoa Nib-Sea Salt rubbed Certified Angus Beef brand Ribeye, Benton's Bacon, Bertie County Peanut Risotto, The Specialty Farmer honey-glazed Rainbow Carrots, Britt Farms Asparagus, Black Mountain Chocolate Dark Chocolate Glace, Dried Cherry Aioli (by Chef Harkenreader) This sounds divine. I love me some Black Mountain Chocolate. If you haven't been to the storefront on Trade Street yet, it's a unique, must-do experience. My dear friends the Peters are doing wonderful things in downtown Winston-Salem!

Outcome: It's Chef Harkenreader's for the taking!

Tuesday, June 2

Matchup: Chef Anders Benter (Gia) and Chef Christian Froelich (Hearth Restaurant at Sanders Ridge)

Featured Ingredients: Goat Lady Dairy Sandy Creek and Snow Camp Cheese, and Accidental Baker Crackers

Highest Scoring Dish: Savory Goat Lady Dairy "Snow Camp" Cheesecake, Accidental Baker Rosemary Garlic Cracker Crust, Fig and Red Onion Marmalade (by Chef Froelich) How I would so LOVE to try this!! Savory cheesecakes are underrated!

Outcome: Chef Froelich for the win!

Wednesday, June 3

Matchup: Chef Mark Grohman (Meridian Restaurant) and Chef Dave Nicoletta (Giannos)

Featured Ingredients: Joyce Farms Pheasant and Harrell Hill Farms Sorghum Syrup Molasses

Highest Scoring Dish: Meyer Lemon-Mint White Chocolate Bread Pudding, Harrell Hill Farms Sorghum Syrup Molasses Mascarpone, Blueberry Compote (by Chef Nicoletta) So many of my favorite words in this description!

Outcome: By the closest call to date, Chef Nicoletta squeaks by with the win!

Monday, June 8

Matchup: Chef Travis Myers (River Birch Lodge) and Chef Alex Pierce (Greensboro Country Club)

Featured Ingredients: Carolina Bison and The Specialty Farmer Beets

Highest Scoring Dish: Chocolate Chess Pie, Torched Meringue, The Specialty Farmer Ruby Beet Buttermilk Ice Cream, Candied High Rock Farms Pecan "soil," Beet-Infused Cherry Gastrique (by Chef Myers) Beets are nature's food dye. How refreshing does that ice cream look, and how decadent does that Chess Pie look?!

Outcome: The victory belongs to Chef Myers!

Tuesday, June 9

Matchup: Chef Richard Miller (Graze) and Chef Michael Roberson (The Iron Hen Cafe)

Featured Ingredients: NC Chicken Eggs and Boy & Girl Farm Hakurei Turnips

Highest Scoring Dish: Bertie County Peanut-Crusted Chocolate Torte, Ran-Lew Dairy Buttermilk-Boy & Girl Farms Hakurei Turnip Ice Cream, Berry Jam, Pink Peppercorn Dust, Cloister Wildflower Honey Ganache (By Chef Miller) Turnip Ice Cream?! I'd definitely be curious to taste this!!

Outcome: Chef Miller takes it home!

Wednesday, June 10

Matchup: Chef Tim Barbrey (Perky's Bistro) and Chef Trey Prescott (J. Pepper's Southern Grille)

Featured Ingredients: Ran-Lew Dairy Cream Top Milk and Buttermilk; Uno Alla Volta Ricotta and Butter

Highest Scoring Dish: Uno Alla Volta Ricotta Pound Cake, Cloister Honey Semifreddo, Amarino Cherries, Meyer Lemon-Ran-Lew Dairy Creme Anglaise (by Chef Barbrey) I bet this evening was sinful and heavenly at the same time. I would house this plate in a heartbeat.

Outcome: Chef Barbrey for the win!

Scrumptious, right? Wipe the drool off your keyboard so you can click this link and purchase your ticket for Monday, June 15! I'll see you there!!

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