Greensboro, North Carolina – June 3, 2014 – The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series, a single-elimination tournament highlighting the best of the state’s food, agriculture and culinary talent, has named a regional winner for the Fire in the Triad series. Chef Tim Thompson of Marisol Restaurant on High Point Road in Greensboro took home the championship last night overcoming the battle of beer and bacon. Thompson beat out Chef Richard Miller of Graze Restaurant in Winston-Salem in the final Triad dinner competition after rising to the top of the 16-chef regional tournament that started back in April.
In front of a sold out crowd of more than 150 people, the final Fire in the Triad battle challenged the chefs to use two featured ingredients, FoothillsBrewery Hoppyum and Cottonwood Low Down Brown Ale of Winston-Salem and Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork bacon from Seven Springs. Crowd favorites from the night included the first courses prepared by each chef, which both incorporated scallops along with the featured ingredients. Thompson’s first course was the highest scoring dish of the whole evening and included Dijon and bacon panko crusted North Carolina flounder, pan-seared scallop, spicy mango and lime aioli, and an asparagus, almond, orange and bacon salad dressed with Foothills Hoppyum soy vinaigrette. (See complete scores and dishes at here.)
“It was a busy day in the kitchen leading up to the Fire in the Triad final and our strategy during the battle was simply to finish,” said Thompson. “I couldn’t have made it this far without my teammates Marvin Merida and Wayne Atkins, and they really deserve so much credit. I was thrilled to surprise them last night with the monetary prize from the competition.”
Thompson gifted the $2,000 cash prize from winning Fire in the Triad to his teammates as part of his acceptance speech after the battle. As part of his winnings, he also received a handmade chef knife by Ironman Forge and the coveted “Red Chef Jacket” provided by ALSCO. Additionally, the Marisol team moves on to the Final Fire Battle of Champions this fall where they will compete against the winners from each of the four other regional tournaments – Wilmington, Asheville, Raleigh and Charlotte.
“The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series is unlike any other dinner experience in the country, and last night’s high-energy battle didn’t disappoint,” said Jimmy Crippen, Competition Dining Series founder and host. “Chef Tim Thompson impressed diners with his culinary talents throughout the Triad series and his performance in the final competition was well deserving of the big win.”
In every Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series event battle, the two participating chefs each prepare three courses centered on the featured ingredient that comes from a North Carolina farmer or artisan producer. Those ingredients are revealed to the chefs only an hour before they start cooking that day and must be used in each course. Attending community members serve as judges alongside industry professionals, all blindly scoring each dish using an interactive app. In last night’s final Triad battle, the pro judges had the chefs finishing just a few tenths of a point apart from each other, but scores from the other diners helped Thompson clutch the victory.
The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series now moves on to the Triangle with that regional competition heating up in Raleigh starting June 23, before heading to Charlotte in August and then back to Raleigh for the Final Fire in November. Additional information and ticket reservations are available at www.competitiondining.com
About The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series
The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series is sponsored by the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Pate Dawson-Southern Foods, Certified Angus Beef®, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, the NC Wine & Grape Council, Hits Technology and local partners in each region of the state. The goal of the series is to celebrate local North Carolina products and agriculture, and to showcase the culinary ingenuity and talent across the state. For more information, visit www.competitiondining.com or get in on the conversation at www.facebook.com/competitiondining and @CompDiningNC on Twitter or Instagram.