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 it out to take home the coveted annual championship title. Foodies from the Carolinas and beyond are invited to attend the four live dinner events Oct. 28 to 31 in Raleigh, savoring the full-service, six-course meals and serving as judges. Tickets to these interactive battles go on sale Thursday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. at www.competitiondining.com and are guaranteed to sell out quickly.
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, Oct. 28: Ryan Conklin, Rex Healthcare (Raleigh) vs. Joseph Cornett, The Flipside Café (Fort Mill, South Carolina)
- Thursday, Oct. 29: Richard Miller, Graze (Winston-Salem) vs. Oct. 28 winner
- Friday, Oct. 30: Todd Warden, The Cliffs Valley (Greenville, South Carolina) vs. Brent Martin, The Summit Room (Charlotte)
- Saturday, Oct. 31: Oct. 29 winner vs. Oct. 30 winner
Each of the Battle of Champions dinner events, just as at all dinners throughout the year-long series, includes two chef teams battling it out 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,” said 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-ever 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 cash, 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 attend the first three battles are $129 each excluding beverage, tax and service fee. Tickets for the final championship battle are $149 each excluding beverage, tax and service fee. Learn more and buy tickets starting Thursday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. via www.competitiondining.com.
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About Competition Dining Series
The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series has hosted annual chef tournaments throughout North Carolina for years with the goal of celebrating local products and agriculture, and showcasing the culinary ingenuity and talent across the state. It is sponsored by the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Pate Dawson-Southern Foods, Certified Angus Beef®, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, ALSCO, NC Egg Association, Hits Technology and Joyce Farms. For the first time ever, Competition Dining expanded outside North Carolina in 2015 with a series in Greenville, South Carolina. For more information, visit www.competitiondining.com or get in on the conversation at www.facebook.com/competitiondining and @CompDiningNC on Twitter or Instagram.
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