The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series, a single-elimination tournament highlighting the best of the state’s food, agriculture, and culinary talent, crowned a winning team for its Winston-Salem series. Team Vidalia Boom, made up of three chefs from Vidalia Restaurant in Boone, brought home the title. Next up, the competition will host a second Triad series, this time moving to Greensboro with three interactive battles June 20, 21, and 23. These events will pit another four highly competitive chef teams against each other for the dinner battles, which will be held at The Empire Room.
The upcoming Greensboro bracket includes:
June 20 Dinner
Team Wiley PickleWeasles from Greensboro: Michael Harkenreader, Undercurrent Restaurant chef de cuisine; and Noah Sheets and Chris Rosato, Undercurrent Restaurant chefs.
Team Hobnob from Brevard: Matthew Montandon, Hobnob at The Cradle of Forestry executive chef; Donald Francis Meints, Hobnob chef and owner; and Jadedyn Whittemore, Hobnob chef.
June 21 Dinner
Team The Natives from Swannanoa: Eden Roorda, Native Kitchen & Social Pub executive chef; Todd Ritter, executive chef of Bella Torte Bistro and Bakery in Lenoir; and Sam Beasley, Native Kitchen & Social Pub chef.
Team Sedgefield Culinary Crushers from Greensboro: James R. Patterson III, Sedgefield Country Club executive chef; Isaac Spencer, Sedgefield Country Club chef; and Tim Alston Sedgefield Country Club lead cook.
June 23 Dinner
June 20 winning team versus June 21 winning team
“We’re thrilled for the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series to return to Greensboro this year,” says Jimmy Crippen, Competition Dining Series founder and host. “This local series is sure to impress foodies from around the Triad and we can’t wait to see what these four talented chef teams whip up in the kitchen. If you missed out on our Winston-Salem events, you’ll definitely want to make sure to reserve a seat at one of these three dinner battles before tickets sell out.”
Every Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series dinner event includes two chef teams battling it out, each preparing three courses centered on a featured North Carolina ingredient that is revealed before they start cooking that day. Ticketed guests get in on the action, savoring a full-service, six-course meal without knowing which chef prepared which plate. Unlike any other cooking competition, attendees vote on each dish using a free app, and ultimately help determine who moves on to the next round and who goes home. New to the competition this year, the creation of All-Star Dream Teams allows chefs from different restaurants to partner together for the three-person teams, upping the potential caliber and creating a more fun and competitive atmosphere for all.
The 2016 Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series schedule includes a total of eight local tournaments across the state, each made up of four chef teams vying for the local title. The touring competition includes dual brackets in both Raleigh and Charlotte, and one tournament in each of Durham, Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Wilmington. It all culminates in October with the Battle of Champions to name a statewide victor.
To earn their spot in the annual championship later this year, Winston-Salem’s champion Team Vidalia Boom had to defeat Team Miller Time, made up of three chefs from Graze Restaurant, Twin City Quarter, and O’Callahan’s Publick House. The event pitted the chefs against each other with two featured ingredients, Joyce Farms white pheasant and Harrell Hill Farms sorghum molasses. Team Vidalia Boom chefs Sam Ratchford, Julius Kalman, and Jason Walsh served up the highest scoring dish of the night with the fifth course, which included Harrell Hill Farms sorghum chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream, sorghum nectarine ice cream, blueberry coulis, sorghum caramel and alderwood smoked Joyce Farms crispy pheasant skin. (See complete scores and dishes here.)
“As a returning competitor who has made it to a local finale before, it feels amazing to finally clutch a Competition Dining Series title,” says Chef Ratchford. “The other team put on a great battle and I wouldn’t have come out on top without my creative and talented teammates. We’re looking forward to sharing our food in such a fun setting again at the statewide championship later this year!”
As part of the Winston-Series series winnings, the team took home $2,000 in cash and prizes, and each member received a handcrafted knife by Ironman Forge, an autographed cookbook by master French baker Lionel Vatinet of La Farm Bakery, the coveted “Red Chef Jacket” provided by ALSCO, and a spot to compete in the annual Battle of Champions.
The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series will remain in the Triad with Greensboro-based battles. All Greensboro events are held at The Empire Room located at 203 South Elm St. downtown. Tickets for the June 20 and 21 battles are $59 each, and tickets for the local finale battle, June 23, are $69 each.
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