FINALLY!!! I finally had the opportunity to attend a Got to be NC Dining Competition last night and boy was it fun. Last night’s competing chefs were Chad McIntyre of Market Restaurant vs John Childers of Herons at The Umstead Hotel and Spa, both amazing chefs, both fabulous restaurants. I knew it was going to be a night to remember. This was the first battle in the series to sell out so the dining room at 1705 Prime, the official location for all Fire in the Triangle events, was packed to the max with an excited crowd of guests waiting to find out what the secret ingredient was.
And the secret ingredient?………… Butter Ball Turkey!
I’m not sure how to express the shocked look on people’s faces at the announcement, there was a definite “oh no” feeling rippling throughout the room. Butter Ball? Turkey? And then of course, oh my goodness, what is dessert going to be?
I must say, both Chad and John and their fabulous teams executed an excellent meal and turned “Butter Ball” into “Butterlicious.”
Of the six courses, four really stood out to me.
Course one came out and we were presented with an Herbed Turkey Terrine with Pineapple Chutney & Turkey Chicharones. This course was a Chad creation and I absolutely loved it. The terrine was moist and flavorful and the chutney the perfect balance of sweet to the herbaciousness of the terrine. The Chicharones? All I can say, I wanted more. They were Crunchy and salty, and when broken up into little pieces and a small piece eaten with each mouthful of terrine and chutney, a perfect accompinament.
Courses 3 and 4 were a tie for me. Both offered perfectly cooked turkey and I ate every last morsel of meat on each plate. The nice thing for diners between these two dishes was the chance to sample both dark and white turkey meat. Chad delivered the Oven Roasted Leg of Turkey over Fresh Egg Noodles with Chorizo & Andouille Veloute and John the Grilled Turkey Breast with Mushroom Ragout, Polenta & Currant-Mustard Jus. The onlt thing not mentioned in the description of Chad’s dish was a cheese cracker of some sort served on top and it was SOOOOO good.
And then it was dessert…..what in the world to do with turkey…seriously, WHAT is one to do with turkey for dessert….
As far as my table was concerned, Team Herons won this course. Toasted Butter Cake with Candied Turkey Skin, Blueberries & Pepper-Ginger Jam. And oh that jam, I will be dreaming about it over and over again it was that good. Again it came back to the sweet and salty combination of the jam and salty turkey skin for me. It’s a combination I fall for every time =)
Overall, both chefs competed well and the commradery between the two was heartfelt and made for a fun battle. But alas only one chef can win, and for last night’s battle that win went to Chef John Childers of Herons. Congratulations Chef for a wonderful 3 courses. For full the official results go here.
No win is a win without a celebration, so that’s just what we did. After the event was over I popped over to Falls Village Taproom and with team Herons and Team Market to toast a day of friendly competition and a job well done.
Of course by this point our chefs were hungry, so what did they order? Turkey Bacon Melts? Good gosh, they did! Lol!
Preliminary #5 Battle Turkey
Chef Chad McIntyre, Market, Raleigh Chef John Childers, Herons, Cary
Course 1 Herbed Turkey Terrine with Pineapple Chutney & Turkey Chicharones McIntyre
Course 2 Turkey Confit Hash with Chorizo, Smoked Tomatoes & Sabayon Childers
Course 3 Oven Roasted Leg of Turkey over Fresh Egg Noodles with Chorizo & Andouille Veloute McIntyre
Course 4 Grilled Turkey Breast with Mushroom Ragout, Polenta & Currant-Mustard Jus Childers
Course 5 Sweet Steamed Bun filled with Candied Turkey Minced Meat with Cranberry Basil Jam, Thymed Whipped Cream & Fried Mint Leaf McIntyre
Course 6 Toasted Butter Cake with Candied Turkey Skin, Blueberries & Pepper-Ginger Jam Childers
Happy Eating Y’all