I am so excited to announce that The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series, a single-elimination tournament highlighting the best of the state’s food, agriculture and culinary talent, returns to Raleigh with interactive battles July 11, 12, 14, 18, 19, 21 and 24. It will pit eight highly competitive chef teams against each other for the seven dinner events, which will be held at 214 Martin St. in downtown Raleigh.
According to the press release I received, “For the first time in the Triangle, the series will feature two separate brackets and the winners of each will battle it out in a finale to name one local champion. Tickets are available now at www.competitiondining.com/events/Raleigh and are expected to sell out quickly.”
How it Works
Every Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series dinner event includes two chef teams pitted against each other. Each team prepares three courses centered on a featured North Carolina ingredient that is revealed just before they start cooking that day. Ticketed guests get in on the action, savoring a full-service, six-course meal without knowing which team prepared which plate. Attendees vote on each dish using a free phone app and ultimately help determine which team moves on to the next round and which one goes home.
For the first time, this year the competition is allowing chefs from different restaurants to partner together to create three-person All-Star Dream Teams, “upping the potential caliber and creating a more fun and competitive atmosphere for all.” What a great twist to this already popular competition!
What’s At Stake
The 2016 Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series schedule includes local tournaments where chef teams vie for a title in Raleigh, Charlotte, Durham, Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Wilmington. The six winning teams each receive a grand prize of $2,000 in cash and prizes and each member receives 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 Raleigh brackets include:
July 11 Dinner
- Team Sandhills Chefs from Southern Pines: Rhett Morris, owner and chef at Rhett’s Restaurant, Personal Chef and Catering; Renee Beaulieu, pastry chef at Ashten’s Restaurant; and Raymond Martin, sous chef at Rhett’s Restaurant.
- Team Fuquay-Varina’s Finest from Fuquay Varina: Joseph Fasy, proprietor and executive chef at Hook and Cleaver Market on Broad and part owner and executive chef at Old North State Catering; Leo Cuthbertson, chef at Hook and Cleaver Market on Broad; and Bryan Dahlstrom, executive chef at the Crown Complex in Fayetteville.
July 12 Dinner
- Team Will Work For Food from Pinehurst: Matthew Hannon, chef at Ironwood Restaurant; Jen Curtis, chef de cuisine at Chef Warren’s Bistro in Southern Pines; and Niklas Anderson, sous chef at Curt’s Cucina in Southern Pines.
- Team Ironclad from Greensboro: Michael Roberson executive chef at Iron Hen Café and Fresh Local Good Food Group; Kathryn Hubert, executive assistant at Fresh Local Good Food Group; and Michael Turner, sous chef at Fresh Local Good Food Group.
July 14 Semifinal Dinner
- July 11 winning team versus July 12 winning team
July 18 Dinner
- Team Scratch Mavericks from Halifax: Chelsi Hogue, owner, proprietor and executive chef at The Hen & The Hog; Jeremy Law, owner and chef at Soco Farm & Food in Wilson; and Jessica Ricks, sous chef at The Hen & The Hog.
- Team Orange Crush from Raleigh: Rich Carter, executive chef at Catering Works; Sara Samuels, personal chef at Catering Works; and Anthony Calcagno, executive pastry chef at Catering Works.
July 19 Dinner
- Team Mirepoix from Apex: Franz Propst, executive chef at Peak City Grill & Bar; Ryan Summers, chef at Chef’s Palette Restaurant and Bar in Cary; and Tom Halik, chef and proprietor at Main Street Grille Café & Bakery in Wake Forest.
- Team Brinehaus from Raleigh: Steven Goff, owner and chef at soon-to-open Brine Haus Meat + Provisions food truck and former head butcher at Standard Foods; Geoff Seleen, chef and farmer at Piedmont Biofarm in Pittsboro; and Chris Valenzuela, lead line cook at Old Etowah Smokehouse in Etowah.
July 21 Semifinal Dinner
- July 18 winning team versus July 19 winning team
July 24 Finale Dinner
- July 14 winning team versus July 21 winning team
All Raleigh events are held at 214 Martin St. in downtown Raleigh. Tickets for the July 11, 12, 14, 18, 19, 21 battles are $59 each. Tickets for the local finale battle, July 24, are $69 each. Reservations are open now at www.competitiondining.com/events/Raleigh. Get yours now and be prepared for a fun-filled evening of delicious food from some of the area’s best chefs!
Eat, drink and be merry!
Follow Kel’s Café on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kelscafe