“Fire In the Triangle,” Competition Dining Event.

June 11, 2012 marks the start of the “Fire in the Triangle” Got to be NC Competition dining series where over the course of 15 evenings, 16 of the Triangle’s top chefs will battle it out “Iron Chef” style for the title of best chef. Guests can purchase tickets to attend and have the opportunity to sample each course in a blind tasting alongside a panel of judges and then cast their vote for best dish of the evening.

I am excited to report that the Durham Foodie blog will be the official blog site for the event. Myself (@durhamfoodie), along with guest bloggers Gabrielle Kassa (@nutellaisevil) with her son Noah and Matt Lardie  (@greeneatsblog) (See Bio’s below), will report back after each dinner with a look at what went on behind the scenes, details about the food, guests and lots of pictures. For up to the minute updates during each event, follow us on twitter at the hashtag #compdiningnc.

The competition dining series was developed by Host Jimmy Crippen, owner of Crippen’s Country Inn and Restaurant with “Fire on the Rock” in Blowing Rock, NC. This year the competition has gone statewide with four competitions; Blowing Rock (Fire on the Dock), Wilmington, NC (Fire on the Dock), Raleigh (Fire in the Triangle) and Greensboro (Fire in the

How it works: Each Got To Be NC Competition Dining chef challenge (also called a “battle”) features six courses prepared by two chefs cooking elbow-to-whisk in the event kitchen. The series starts with 16 chef teams of three members each. They cook in bracketed, single-elimination dinners until the final winner emerges. The winning chef receives $2500 and the coveted red chef’s jacket.

Fire In the Triangle Chefs: L to R Adam Rose; Matthew Hannon; Ryan Payne; Adam Jones; Chris Harris; Reto von Weissenfluh; Josh DeCarolis; John Childers; Serge Falcoz-Vigne; Michael Lee; Christopher Hill; Dean Wendel; Scott James. Not pictured: Shane Ingram

Each team builds their three courses for the evening around a “secret” or “featured” ingredient. The ingredient is revealed at noon before the chefs start to prep the night’s meal.  We work with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture to select the secret ingredients.” For a complete set of rules click here.

Some evenings are already sold out so I suggest getting your tickets as soon as possible.

Click here for Chef Bio’s

Dates and Chefs:      

June 11: Four Square, Durham (Shane Ingram) vs. The Twisted Fork, Raleigh (Adam Jones)

June 12: Il Palio Ristorante at the Siena Hotel, Chapel Hill (Adam Rose) vs. Jujube Restaurant, Chapel Hill (Josh DeCarolis) SOLD OUT

June 13: Weathervane Restaurant at A Southern Season, Chapel Hill (Ryan Payne) vs. Fork and Barrel, Raleigh (Chris Harris)

June 18: The Midtown Grille, Raleigh (Scott James) vs. Ashten’s Restaurant & Pub, Southern Pines (Matthew Hannon) SOLD OUT

June 19: Herons at the Umstead Hotel & Spa, Cary (John Childers) vs. Market Restaurant, Raleigh (Chad McIntyre) SOLD OUT

June 20: Mia Francesca Trattoria, Raleigh (Reto von Weissenfluh) vs. 518 West Italian Café, Raleigh (Serge Falcoz-Vigne)

June 25: Sono Japanese Restaurant, Raleigh (Michael Lee) vs. Flights at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel, Raleigh (Dean Wendel)

June 26: The Oxford, Raleigh (Christopher Hill) vs. Chapel Hill Country Club, Chapel Hill (Jimmy Reale)

July 9: Battle between winner of June 11 and June 12

July 10: Battle between winner of June 13 and June 18

July 16: Battle between winner of June 19 and June 20

July 17: Battle between winner of June 25 and June 26

July 23: Battle between winner of July 9 and July 10 (semifinals)

July 24: Battle between winner of July 16 and July 17 (semifinals)

July 31: Battle between winners of July 23 and July 24 (finals) SOLD OUT

The goal of the Got To Be NC North Carolina Competition Dining Series is showcasing North Carolina culinary talent and agricultural bounty. At each venue, a charitable donation will be made from a portion of the ticket sales to the Office of the State Fire Marshal in North Carolina to support local fire fighters, as cooking is the number one cause of house fires. Instructional tips about kitchen fire safety will be shared during the event.

Sponsors include The North Carolina Department of Agriculture (NCDA), Southern Foods/ Pate Dawson, OUR STATE Magazine, Crippen’s Country Inn & Restaurant in Blowing Rock, Whole Harvest Foods and H.ITS Technology. Local sponsors include the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau and Independent Weekly.

Triangle location for all dinners: 1705 Prime Catering and Events, the PREMIERE private event space for Rocky Top Catering at 1705 East Millbrook Road, Raleigh, NC 27609; http://www.rockytopcatering.com/our-venue/1705prime.php

Tickets are $49 each and sold in advance online. Tickets for the semi-finals and finals are $59 each. Beverages and tip are not included. Tickets are available at www.competitiondining.com. Tickets are not available at the door.

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 use the hashtag #compdiningnc and join the fun

Johanna  Kramer

Johanna Kramer is a North Carolina-based freelance writer who specializes in writing about food and food-related events through her popular blog, Durhamfoodie. She writes for magazines such as SavorNC and Edible Piedmont. She also hosts special events and develops business opportunities for Edible Piedmont, a member of the Edible Communities Publications, the recent recipient of the 2011 James Beard Award for Publication of the Year. More….

Gabrielle Kassa (Twitter: @nutellaisevil)

Gabrielle is a partner in Succotashed. At Succotashed, our personal chefs

offer in-home culinary education and event catering. Our mission is to

create inspired, seasonal cuisine with simple, real, and delicious foods.

Learn more about our workshops and events. Read our blog for delicious

recipes, insightful articles, and helpful cooking tips.

When she’s not in the kitchen, Gabrielle enjoys writing, photography, and

adventuring with her partner, Bill, and son, Noah.


Noah Kaasa is a kid who loves good food and loves to talk about it. He is

a rising fourth grader and lives in Durham, NC with his family.

Matt Lardie (Twitter: @greeneatsblog)

“Matt Lardie is the voice behind the local food and agriculture website

Green Eats Blog. He has a passion for local foods and businesses, and

works to connect customers with local food producers through his writing

as well as hosting food-centric events around the Triangle. He is also the

full-time manager for Hillsborough Cheese Company. Matt lives in

Durham with his husband and pets.”


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