The Competition Dining Series, a single-elimination tournament highlighting the best of the state’s food, agriculture, and culinary talent, will pit 14 highly competitive chefs against each other in its upcoming regional tournament in Greenville. For the first time in competition history, the local series will be held in South Carolina. All of the 13 interactive battles will be hosted at Larkin's Sawmill from August 3 through September 7, and tickets are on sale now.
In every Competition Dining dinner, two chef teams battle it out, preparing three courses each centered on a featured regional ingredient that is revealed the morning of the event. Ticketed guests savor a full-service, six-course meal without knowing which chef prepared which dishes. Unlike any other cooking competition, attendees vote on each course using a free app, and ultimately help determine who moves on to the next battle round and who goes home.
Series competitors are randomly assigned to brackets. Two random competitors received a bye to automatically advance to the second round. The Greenville preliminary match-up battles include:
- August 3 Dinner: Anne V. Young of The Starving Artist Café in Easley, versus Damion Norton of Professional Catering in Greenville
- August 4 Dinner: Jennifer Barone of Stellar Restaurant & Wine Barin Greenville, versus Ryan Kline of Buffalo Nickel in Asheville
- August 10 Dinner: Blake Hartwick of Bonterra Dining & Wine Room in Charlotte, versus Francis Turck of The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards in Salem
- August 11 Dinner: Charlie Brown of Local Cue in Greenville, versus Eden Roorda of oneFIFTYone Boutique Bar & Kitchen at Hotel Indigo in Asheville
- August 17 Dinner: Todd Warden of The Cliffs Valley in Greenville, versus Nohe Weir-Villatoro of King James Public House in Asheville
- August 18 Dinner: Samuel Murry of 21 east in Greenville, versus Teryi Youngblood of Passerelle Bistro in Greenville
The two chefs receiving a bye include:
- Bo Wilder of Henry’s Smokehouse in Greenville (Wednesday, August 19)
- Edward A. Wallace of Adventures In Taste in Easley (Monday, August 24)
“Since we started these battles, Competition Dining Series has hosted hundreds of chefs and thousands of community members in North Carolina,” says Jimmy Crippen, Competition Dining Series founder and host. “We’re thrilled to do the same in Greenville with the launch of our first South Carolina series. We have chefs from here in Greenville and all over the region, and it’s sure to be a highly competitive tournament.”
During 2015, the Competition Dining Series hosted bracketed tournaments in three regions of North Carolina: Raleigh, Winston-Salem, and two brackets in Charlotte. For the first time ever, the tournament is also hosting the South Carolina bracket. The five winners each receive a grand prize of $2,000, a handmade chef knife by Ironman Forge, and the coveted “Red Chef Jacket” provided by ALSCO. Additionally, all five move on to compete in the battle of champions at the end of the year.
Through the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series, Pate Dawson-Southern Foods has featured South Carolina products such as Manchester Farms Quail. The organization is looking forward to working with more South Carolina growers and producers as the series expands.
All Greenville events are held at Larkin’s Sawmill located at 22 Graves Dr. in Greenville. Tickets to attend a battle range from $55 to $75 each, excluding beverage, tax, and service fee. Guests can attend as many dinners as they like and tickets must be purchased by midnight the day before a battle.