Friday, March 30, 2012

Chef Bio Videos

We're posting the chef video introductions on our YouTube channel. Follow the link below, or visit the "Chef Bio" section on our website and click on the link for your favorite chefs.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

First Week at Fire on the Dock

We had a great first week at Fire on the Dock!

Congratulations to the winning chefs, Chef Antoine Murray from Cape Fear Country Club in Wilmington and Chef Joshua Woo from YoSake in Wilmington.

Chef Joshua Woo
Chef Antoine Murray

Chef Murray, who was the winner in Battle Flounder, will move on to compete on May 1st with the winner of the April 17th challenge. Chef Woo, our winner from Battle Cheerwine will compete again on May 2nd against the winner of the April 18th battle.

Thanks to all of our judges who participated this week: Liz Biro of The Daily Dish blog; John Batchelor, food writer from the Greensboro News and Record and Winston Salem Journal; Shea Carver from Encore Magazine and founder of Encore Restaurant Week; Bethany Turner from Encore Magazine; Laura Huff, publisher of the Carolina Epicurian and food writer; Joseph Morcos, food lover from Hometown Wilmington Media; and Beau Gunn, a self-proclaimed foodie from 98.3 The Penguin and 103.7 The Bone.

To see all of the wonderful dishes the chefs created this week and their scores, click on this link for the Competition Dining website:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fire on the Dock Begins Tonight!

Tonight marks the beginning of the first ever Fire on the Dock competition. Sixteen Wilmington-area chefs will compete, but only one will come out on top.

The chefs competing tonight are Chef Antoine Murray from Cape Fear Country Club and Chef Pat Green from Elijah's. When asked about his cooking style, Chef Murray described it as contemporary American cuisine with light Southern flair, commenting, "At the end of the day, I just want to make really good food!" For Chef Pat Green, this will be her first time competing in a bracket-style competition. When asked why she wanted to compete, she said, "I want to showcase my unique flavor profiles and display the endless hard work of my team."

One of the most exciting things about the Competition Dining Series is that the audience, along with a panel of judges, helps decide who moves on in the competition.  Tonight, we have four judges who will weigh in on the dishes: Liz Biro, John Batchelor, Shea Carver, and Bethany Turner.  Liz Biro is a freelance writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in Taste of the South magazine, National Fisherman, The Indianapolis Star, North Carolina's Our State Magazine, US Airways Magazine, and Wilmington's StarNews. She also tracks Cape Fear restaurant news and reviews restaurants for her blog, The Daily Dish, at  John Batchelor is a restaurant reviewer for the Winston-Salem Journal and the Greensboro News and Record.  He is also the author of "Chefs of the Mountains: Restaurants and Recipes from Western North Carolina," to be published in the fall by John F. Blair.  Shea Carver is editor in chief on Encore Magazine, the founder of Encore Restaurant Week, and also a culinary writer/contributor for Encore Magazine. Bethany Turner is an editorial assistant at Encore Magazine and a representative for Encore Restaurant week, as well as a food photographer. Thank you to all of our wonderful judges for participating with us in this exciting event!

To find out more about Fire on the Dock, visit

Chefs, we wish you the best of luck tonight!

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 20-21

The final battle is almost here. This week will determine who will compete in the finale.

On Tuesday, our winner from Battle CAB® and Battle Mustards, Chef Guy Thomas from Glidewell's, will take on Chef James Welch from Green Park Inn, our winner from Battle Carolina Classic Catfish and Battle Heritage Farms Premium Pork.


         Chef Guy Thomas                                                                        Chef James Welch

Wednesday night, we have Chef Sam Ratchford, winner of Battle Sunchoke and Radishes and Battle Old Mill of Guilford Stone Ground Grits, competing against Chef Michael Foreman of Bistro Roca, our winner from Battle Cinnamon and Lavender and Battle Sturgeon. 



        Chef Sam Ratchford                                                         Chef Michael Foreman 

Good luck Chefs!              

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sheri Castle to judge Fire on the Rock March 6 & 7

SHERI CASTLE — a highly regarded mountain girls comes back home to judge FOTR and sign her cookbooks!

Sheri Castle is known across the South as a story teller and humorist….and one who cooks and writes recipes with a gift found only in the mountains. Sheri grew up in Boone, NC, and even though she now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, you can tell her heart…and part of her palate is still alive in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains. That’s why we’re so pleased to welcome her to FIRE ON THE ROCK as judge for the next two nights!

She is the author of The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Recipes for Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers’ Markets, Roadside Stands and CSA Boxes, The University of North Carolina Press, 2011. Among the accolades, this book was named a NY Times notable book of the season and was selected as an Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance as one of the best new titles of the season. Recipes from the book have appeared in dozens of newspapers, magazines, and journals across the country.

Sheri won the 2011 AIWF Foundation Scholarship for Recipe Writing presented in honor of Julia Child, and this year, she’s a nominee for a 2012 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) New Media Award for instructive food articles with recipes.

Sherri’s no stranger to great magazines. Her work has appeared in Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Fine Cooking, WNC Magazine, Living in Style, Edible Austin, Edible Dallas, Edible Memphis, Edible Piedmont, Taste of the South, Cornbread Nation 3 and 4 and more.  

When it's professional associations, she hangs out with the best of Southern culinary peeps, including Southern Foodways Alliance, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Slow Foods USA, the North Carolina Writers Network, and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. 

As we said, lives in Chapel Hill, NC, today, with her husband Doug Tidwell, daughter Lily Castle Tidwell, and beloved dog Domino. (The dog always gets the love. He probably has eaten a few of her recipe testing leftovers, too. Lucky dog.)
—Susan Dosier

Monday, March 5, 2012

Coming up March 6th and 7th

This week, we begin the second round of Fire on the Rock.

On Tuesday, Chef Jessica Grogan from Crave, our winner of Battle Stokes County Purple Sweet Potatoes, will compete against the winner of Battle Certified Angus Beef®, Chef Guy Thomas from Glidewell's.


Wednesday night, our winner from Battle Carolina Classic Catfish, Chef James Welch from the Laurel Room at Green Park Inn, will compete against Chef Gina Paolucci from Paolucci's Italian Bar and Grill, the winner from Battle Ashe County Cheese.


The winners from both nights will compete against each other on March 20th.

Good luck chefs!

Friday, March 2, 2012

This Week's Recap

Congratulations to our winners this week!

On Tuesday, Chef Sam Ratchford from Vidalia Restaurant & Wine Bar was victorious in Battle Sunchoke and Radishes.  He will compete on March 13th with the winner of Battle Ashley Farms Guinea Fowl, Chef Monte Weber.


In Battle Rabbit on Wednesday, Chef Andrew Long took the win for Storie Street Grille in Blowing Rock. The Storie Street Grill team will move on to compete March 14th with Chef Michael Foreman, the winner of Battle Cinnamon and Lavender.

Please visit the Fire on the Rock website to see all of the wonderful dishes from this week.