The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association is proud to announce its second annual NC Chef Showdown, featuring the talents of chefs and pastry chefs from across the state. The association is currently seeking North Carolina chef applicants for the competition today through May 31.

To apply, visit

The 2017 competition is Aug. 21, in Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market, the first evening of the 2017 NC Restaurant & Lodging Expo. The showdown is presented by Got to Be NC Agriculture and sponsored by Sysco and US Foods.

“Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee and selected chefs will be posted on the first week of June,” says NCRLA President and CEO Lynn Minges. “A total of 12 chefs and four pastry chefs will be selected from among the applications to participate. Do you have what it takes?”

At the showdown, participating chefs will present a dish to a distinguished panel of six judges and will prepare sample-sized offerings for approximately 200 attendees. Attendees will determine the recipients of the “Peoples’ Choice” awards, while the judges will select the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and the 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year, among other accolades.

“Dishes are judged on their composition, taste, creativity and the best use North Carolina proteins, produce or products,” says Minges.

This year, six North Carolina mixologists representing the state’s distilleries will prepare sample-sized craft cocktails for showdown attendees.

In 2016, Chef Jesse Roque, Never Blue Restaurant, Hendersonville, was named the NCRLA Chef of the Year. Pastry Chef Jossie Perlmutter, Block & Grinder, Charlotte, was named NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year.

Events, Industry News