The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series has culminated its double-header tournament in Charlotte with the naming of two winners. Chef Joseph Cornett of The Flipside Café and Chef Brent Martin of The Summit Room in Charlotte each beat out 11 other chefs to win their respective brackets. The Charlotte series, which started in March and was hosted at Bonterra Dining & Wine Room, highlighted the best of the state’s food, agriculture and culinary talent in the highly competitive single-elimination tournament.
Chef Cornett and Chef Martin each receive a grand prize of $2,000, a handmade chef knife by Ironman Forge and the coveted “Red Chef Jacket” provided by ALSCO. Additionally, they will both move on to compete in the battle of champions in October that will pit these two chefs against winners from the Triangle, Triad and first-ever South Carolina series – which was just recently announced to be hosted in Greenville later this summer.
“With so much culinary talent and fan excitement throughout the region, it was a perfect fit to add South Carolina this year as well as the exciting dual bracket in Charlotte that gave almost twice as many chefs the chance to compete,” said Jimmy Crippen, Competition Dining Series founder and host. “And the two championship battles in Charlotte this week took the competition to an even higher level! Chef Cornett and Chef Martin pulled out incredible dishes, unique flavor combinations and impeccable team execution to take home the wins.”
In front of a sold out crowd of more than 150 people at each of the two championship Charlotte dinner battles, the chefs took risks and impressed the judges. Both nights challenged the competitors to incorporate the same feature ingredients, Ran-Lew Dairy cream top milk, buttermilk and chocolate milk, and Cloister wildflower honey and ghost pepper whipped honey. Highlights from the battles include:
- The May 18 dinner pitted Chef Cornett against Chef Steven Goff from Asheville. One of the crowd favorites of the night and the highest scoring dish of the whole battle was Cornett’s course three, which included Cloister wildflower honey braised Nueske’s applewood smoked pork belly, Ran-Lew Dairy buttermilk cornbread, buttermilk-San Guiseppe Spanish chorizo panna cotta, Cloister ghost pepper whipped honey-corn emulsion and A Way of Life Farm sugar snap peas.
- The May 19 dinner saw Chef Martin battle it out with Chef Neil Bratton of Local Dish in Fort Mill. Topping the scoreboard for the night was Chef Bratton’s course two, Benton’s bacon-spinach mezzalunas, Ran-Lew Dairy cream top goat cheese alfredo, Cloister wildflower honey glazed crispy kale chips and butter poached lobster.
Complete dish descriptions and scores can be seen at www.competitiondining.com/events/city.
In every Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series dinner event, two chef teams battle it out preparing three courses each centered on a featured North Carolina ingredient that is revealed only an hour before they start cooking that day. Ticketed dinner guests savor a full-service, six-course meal without knowing which chef prepared which dishes. Unlike any other cooking competition, attendees vote on each course using a free app, and ultimately help determine who moves on to the next battle round and who goes home.
The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series is now in Winston-Salem with battles through July 7. Additional information and ticket reservations are available at www.competitiondining.com
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 will expand outside North Carolina in 2015 with a new 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.