After a year of 79 competition dining events and 54,000 dishes created in Asheville, Blowing Rock, Charlotte, Wilmington, the Triangle and the Triad, the Final Fire statewide showdown begannight. Last night, with two chefs left standing, Chef Adam Hayes of Red Stag Grill edged out Chef John Bobby of Noble’s Grille in Winston-Salem.
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Raleigh, NC () In the most competitive and heated battle of the year, Chef Adam Hayes’ Red Stag Grill team from Asheville edged out Winston-Salem’s Noble’s Grille team led by Chef John Bobby. At each series battle, chefs are required to use one (or two) featured NC products in each of their courses. Last night's featured products included Black Winter Périgord truffles and truffle honey from Keep Your Fork Farm in King, NC. Each chef team prepared three courses using both truffle products for 170 diners in a sold-out ballroom at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel.
Hayes’ highest scoring dish of the evening was dessert: Orange-Scented Brioche Doughnut with Truffle Honey Crème, Cashew Truffle Tuille, Saldo Zinfandel Gastrique, Caramelized White Chocolate Mousse, Keep Your Fork Farm Truffle Dulce de Leche. John Bobby’s highest score of the evening was a dish that caused quite the buzz on Twitter: Keep Your Fork Farm Truffle Honey Glazed Cheshire Pork Belly, Truffle Spoon Bread, Calvados Creamed Spinach, Mushroom Duxelle, Truffle Crema, Cipollini Onion Agrodolce, Yuca Chips.
Culinary pro judges for the evening included Ryan Payne, the 2012 Final Fire champion and executive chef of Weathervane at Southern Season in Chapel Hill, NC; Vivian Howard of Chef and the Farmer in Kinston, NC and star of hit TV show, A Chef’s Life; and Southern Living Deputy Editor Jennifer V. Cole. Culinary pro scores counted 70 percent for the evening. The diner scores counted 30 percent. Caroline Brown of The Daily Meal was a special guest.
A $4000 check was presented to Hayes by Mac Sullivan, chief executive officer of Pate Dawson-Southern Foods and Jimmy Crippen, event host and founder of the Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series. Bobby’s team received a $1000 check. Ironman Forge in Charlotte presented a custom, handmade set of chef knives to the champion, Hayes.
Jon Fortes of Mimosa Grill in Charlotte, Dean Thompson of Flights in Raleigh, and Gerry Fong of Persimmons in New Bern were the regional winners who competed in Final Fire this week. “Good sportsmanship and integrity mean everything to Competition Dining, and these five chefs represent this sport impressively,” says Crippen.
For scores and complete details of last night’s NC food extravaganza, visit http://www.competitiondining.
ABOUT GOT TO BE NC COMPETITION DINING SERIES
The Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series, in its second 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. Each statewide competition features 16 chefs and 15 single-elimination dinner battles judged by the public. Final Fire is part of the Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series.
Statewide sponsors for the event include the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Pate Dawson-Southern Foods, OUR STATE Magazine, Certified Angus Beef, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, Swisher Hygiene, and Competition Dining LLC.
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