Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Chef Michelle Bailey of Season’s at Highland Lake Inn in Flat Rock, NC Wins 2014 Fire on the Rock Competition Dining Serie

Bailey is the first woman to win a regional Got to Be NC Competition Dining series.

Chef Michelle Bailey pumped a triumphant fist in the air as Got To Be NC Competition Dining host Jimmy Crippen announced that she was the first woman chef to lead a team to victory since the series started in 2012. Bailey is the chef at Season’s at the Highland Lake Inn in Flat Rock.

Like many competitors, she won the close battle with Asheville’s Sam Etheridge of Ambrozia Bar + Bistro with the dessert course.

Eight chefs from Asheville, Boone and Flat Rock competed in the seven-dinner series that began March 10 and concluded last night at the Lioncrest at Biltmore in Asheville. Diners watched tensely as the final scores and numbers posted for each dish. Bailey triumphed in the close battle by almost three points. The chef and teammates Stephen Hertz and Todd Mallin took home a $2000 check, a handmade chef knife by Ironman Forge in Charlotte, and the coveted red chef’s jacket only a Competition Dining winner can wear.

The final Fire on the Rock battle challenged the chefs to use two featured ingredients, Lusty Munk® Mustard and Beulah’s Bavarian Pretzels, both based in Asheville, NC. The chefs are not told what the featured ingredient of the night will be until noon on the day they compete.



Both chefs rose to the occasion. Bailey’s highest scoring dish of the evening was dessert: Chipotle Mustard Chocolate Cake, Buttermilk Altar Boy Ice Cream, Beulah's Bavarian Pretzel Tuile, Fizzy Blackberry and Lemon Relish, Lusty Monk Raspberry Coulis and Salted Pretzel Caramel Sauce.

For Etheridge, the top-scoring dish was Lobster Sausage, Arugula, Citrus Honey Mustard, Beulah's Bavarian Pretzel Beer-Battered Smoked Shrimp, Chipotle Mustard Tartar Sauce, Slaw, Blue Crab Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust and Champagne Mustard Cream.

(See complete scores and dishes at http://www.competitiondining.com/results/battle-ambrozia-v-seasons.)

Culinary and professional judges for the evening included Charlotte-based journalist, caterer and cooking school instructor Heidi Billotto; Chef David Ryba from the Inn on Biltmore Estate; and Chef Adam Hayes, formerly with the Red Stag Grill at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville. Hayes is the reigning Final Fire 2013 Champion/Fire on the Rock Champion 2013; he will soon lead the culinary team at Barnsley Resort in Adairsville, Ga.

Official event blogger Ashley Hayes joined the judges as a non-voting guest. Her summary of the event will post at http://afashionfoodie.com/2014/03/11/competition-dining-fire-on-the-rock/.

Chef Michelle Bailey will compete in November in Raleigh at Final Fire: Battle of the Champions against the Got To Be NC Competition Dining Champions from Wilmington, Charlotte, the Triad, and the Triangle.

In another event first, Fire on the Rock agreed to donate a meal for each ticket sold during Fire on the Rock to Asheville's The Downtown Welcome Table at the Haywood Congregation. The program offers fine dining quality meals to homeless neighbors in Asheville, creating an atmosphere of respect and a feeling of worthiness. Crippen announced tonight that 331 meals will be donated to the charity based on ticket sales. Another $126.45 was donated through the CompetitionDining.com website which equates to 31.6 meals.

ABOUT GOT TO BE NC COMPETITION DINING SERIES™

The Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series, in its third year, is part of a larger movement. With a focus on chefs, farmers, and diners, the event’s mission is to connect and celebrate this unique community through a dynamic, entertaining dining experience.

Statewide sponsors for the event include the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Pate Dawson-Southern Foods, Certified Angus Beef®, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, and the N.C. Wine & Grape Council.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series Announces Fire in the Triad Chefs and Brackets

The statewide chef competition highlighting the best of the state’s food, agriculture and culinary talent hits the road in March, and the event is coming to Greensboro, NC. It’s the only contest where THE DINERS get to judge. Diners who buy tickets will also have the option of contributing to our local charitable partner, Senior Resources of Guilford’s Mobile Meals Program. Reservations for each night of food and fun are available at www.competitiondining.com.

IMAGES AVAILABLE ON FLICKR

Winston-Salem, NC (Mar. 19, 2014) The Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series, Fire in the Triad, announces the participating chefs in the competition. The 15 competitive dinners will be hosted at the Empire Room located at 203 South Elm Street, Greensboro, NC; http://www.theempireroom.com/elm_street_center/.

The series begins on April 22 and concludes on June 2. Chefs from across the Triad were invited to apply for the competition. The final 16 contenders were announced today during the Media Day Kick-Off Party hosted at Foothills Brewing. The preliminary match-ups are listed below with each chef heading a team of three:

April 22: Marisol, Greensboro (Tim Thompson) vs. The Quiet Pint Tavern, Winston-Salem (Matthew Culpepper)

April 23: Undercurrent, Greensboro (Michael Harkenreader) vs. Cast Iron Kitchen, High Point (Tony Stevens)

April 28: Meridian, Winston-Salem (Mark Grohman) vs. Fincastles, Greensboro (Jody Morphis)

April 29: B. Christopher’s, Greensboro (Chris Russell) vs. J. Pepper’s Southern Grille, Kernersville (William Kevin Baker)

April 30: Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar, Winston-Salem (Timothy Grandinetti) vs. Perky’s Bistro, Jamestown (Tim Barbrey)

May 5: Artisan, Winston-Salem (Kevin Reddick) vs. New Town Bistro, Winston-Salem (Donny Smith)

May 6: GRAZE, Winston-Salem (Richard Miller) vs. District Roof Top Bar and Grille, Winston-Salem (Brandon 
Sherrill)

May 7: River Birch Lodge, Winston-Salem (Travis Myers) vs. Mad Hatter, Winston-Salem (Mitchell Nicks)

May 13: Battle between winner of April 22 and April 23

May 14: Battle between winner of April 28 and April 29

May 19: Battle between winner of April 30 and May 5

May 20: Battle between winner of May 6 and May 7 (quarterfinals)

May 27: Battle between winner of May 13 and May 14 (quarterfinals)

May 28: Battle between winner of May 19 and May 20 (semifinals)

June 2: Battle between winner of May 27 and May 28 (finals)

Fire in the Triad also announced a new partnership with Senior Resources of Guilford’s Mobile Meals Program based in Guildford County. Senior Resources of Guilford’s Mobile Meals Program utilizes a cadre of over 1,000 volunteers to deliver 365 meals a day to frail, homebound seniors age 60 and older who are unable to obtain or prepare a meal for themselves Monday through Friday. There is always a waiting list for seniors in need of nutritional support. Dining guests will have the option of making monetary donations when they purchase tickets to Fire in the Triad and when they attend battles.

The Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series is part of a larger movement. Because we are all chefs, farmers, or diners, our mission is to connect and celebrate this community through a dynamic, entertaining experience.

Sponsors include the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Pate Dawson-Southern Foods, Certified Angus Beef®, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, and the NC Wine & Grape Council.

HOW IT WORKS: Paying guests will savor each course in a blind tasting alongside a panel of culinary and celebrity judges in a series of 15 dinner competitions. Each evening, two restaurants “battle” it out side-by-side in a single elimination format. Guests savor a six-course menu (three dishes from each chef without knowing whose food they’re tasting) created around a “featured” ingredient. For each dinner, the ingredient will come from a North Carolina farmer or artisan producer. The featured ingredient is revealed to the chefs only an hour before they start cooking, and it must be used in each of the three courses.

Diners, alongside culinary and guest judges, will rate each dish and determine who moves on to the next round and who goes home. At stake in each series is a grand prize of $2,000, a handmade chef knife by Ironman Forge in Charlotte, and the coveted “Red Chef Jacket.” The runner-up receives $500. Reservations for dinners cost $59 excluding beverage, tax and tip. Reservations for the semi-finals and final are $69. Diners can attend as many dinners as they like. Reservations open now at www.competitiondining.com. Hurry. Reservations go fast.

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For more information, contact Kristen Baughman at (704) 651-9019 mobile or kristen@gadaboutfood.com (PR Specialist)

or

Susan Dosier at (704) 993-7871 mobile or susan@DKcommunicationsgroup.com (PR Consultant)

www.competitiondining.com offers event dates, ticket sales, and bios on participating chefs

www.facebook.com/competitiondining offers daily news and updates, photos of chef dishes and more

www.youtube.com/user/CompDiningNC shares videos of the winner after each competition, video bios on each 
chef and more

www.Twitter.com/compdiningnc uses the hashtag #compdiningnc to enjoy the fun, ongoing conversation

www.Instagram.com/compdiningnc shares photos of the chefs, dishes and more

Chef Steven Goff of King James Public House Wins Battle Kerala Curry and Hillsborough Cheese Co. Labneh

Chef Steven Goff of King James Public House defeats Chef Michael Fisera of Lexington Avenue Brewery in Battle Kerala Curry and Hillsborough Cheese Co. Labneh. A Fashion Foodie has the recap.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Chef Sam Etheridge of Ambrozia Wins Battle Goat Lady Dairy Chévre and Texas Pete® Cha!

Chef Sam Etheridge of Ambrozia defeated Chef Edwin Bloodworth at The Gamekeeper in Battle Goat Lady Dairy Chévre and Texas Pete® Cha! A Fashion Foodie has the recap. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Chef Michelle Bailey of Season’s at Highland Lake Wins Battle Mushrooms and Krupnikas

Chef Michelle Bailey of Season’s at Highland Lake defeated Chef Michael Mahoney of ISIS Restaurant in Battle Two Shoes Farms Oyster Mushrooms and The Brothers Vilgalys Krupnikas. A Fashion Foodie has the recap.

Chef Samuel Ratchford of Vidalia wins Battle Shrimp and NC Beer

Chef Samuel Ratchford of Vidalia defeats Chef Anthony Cerrato of Strada Italiano in Battle Wanchese Shrimp and Highland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter. A Fashion Foodie has the recap.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Partnership with Asheville Car and Taxi Co. for Fire on the Rock

One of the top rules of Competition Dining is Safety First!  In this spirit, we have partnered with Asheville Car and Taxi Co. to help provide cost effective transportation services for our Fire on the Rock guests.  If you want to enjoy some great NC beer and wine please be sure to get a safe ride to and from the event!  For a flat rate of $10, Asheville Car and Taxi Co. will pick you up and get you to the event and safely back to your home or hotel.  

To arrange your ride, simply call or text (828) 333-1976 with your pickup location and time. $10 flat rate! Up to 6 passengers to/from downtown and: Tunnel Rd. Hotels, Biltmore Village, Haywood Rd, and Merrimon Ave. to Beaver Lake.