The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series, a single-elimination tournament highlighting the best of the Carolina’s food, agriculture, and culinary talent, is gearing up for its Battle of Champions series in which five top regional chefs will battle to take home the annual championship title. There will be four lives dinner events from October 28 to 31 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Guests will savor the full-service, six-course meals, and serve as judges.
The five chefs competing in the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series Battle of Champions, who each won their regional series to earn a place in the championship, randomly drew knives to determine the bracket and the schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, October 28: Ryan Conklin, Rex Healthcare (Raleigh) vs. Joseph Cornett, The Flipside Café (Fort Mill, South Carolina).
Thursday, October 29: Richard Miller, Graze (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) vs. October 28 winner.
Friday, October 30: Todd Warden, The Cliffs Valley (Greenville, South Carolina) vs. Brent Martin, The Summit Room (Charlotte).
Saturday, October 31: October 29 winner vs. October 30 winner.
Each of the Battle of Champions dinner events, just as at all dinners throughout the yearlong series, includes two chef teams preparing three courses centered on a featured ingredient that comes from a regional farmer or artisan producer. Featured ingredients are revealed to the chefs the morning of the dinner event and must be used in each course.
“This is going to be an extremely competitive championship series,” says Jimmy Crippen, Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series founder and host. “The level of culinary talent this year has exceeded all expectations and we’re confident the four Battle of Champions dinner events will be an impressive culmination of the fun and creativity we’ve seen and tasted throughout 2015.”
The first South Carolina series recently culminated with Chef Warden of The Cliffs Valley restaurant winning the title after rising to the top of the 14-chef Greenville tournament. In front of a sold out crowd of more than 160 people, Chef Warden earned the final spot in the Battle of Champions cooking with the night’s featured ingredient, Greenbrier Farms pork loins and jowls. Also, for the first time in competition history, the chefs started their final battle day shopping. The two teams were each allotted $300 to spend at Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery and they had to use at least one local produce item in every course.
All five of the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series regional winners will come together for the fist time in the October Battle of Champions to compete for bragging rights, a grand prize of $4,000, two handmade chef knives by Ironman Forge and a trip to the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley, California, compliments of Kikkoman and the Pro Chef Program. All Battle of Champions events are held at Renaissance North Hills Raleigh, located at 4100 Main at North Hills Street
Tickets to these interactive battles go on sale September 24 at 7 p.m.