It’s hard to believe this week has gone by so quickly, but atlas, tonight is the final battle in the preliminaries of the “Got to be NC” Competition Dining Series, “Fire on the Rock,” Asheville.
To purchase tickets to next weeks semi-finals go here.
“The “Got To Be NC” Competition Dining Series is unlike any other dinner experience in the country! Taste course-by-course during a series of 15 dinner competitions hosted in five regions of the state throughout the year. Each evening, two restaurants “battle” it out side by side in a single elimination, “Iron Chef”-style format. As our guest, you get to savor a six-course menu (three courses from each chef without knowing whose food you’re tasting) created around a “secret” North Carolina ingredient. The featured ingredient is revealed to the chefs at noon the day of their battle and it must be used in each of their three courses.”
“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.” So far this week, we’ve had the pleasure of dining through “Battle Cheese;” Ashe County Cheddar & Bailey Mountain Tomme by Spinning Spider Creamery, “Battle Pork Butt,” from Heritage Farms and “Battle Triggerfish,” from Beaufort, NC. What will the North Carolina Secret Ingredient be tonight?
Special thanks to the sponsors who make this event happen. North Carolina Department of Agriculture, Southern Foods/Pate Dawson,Crippen’s Country Inn & Restaurant, Our State magazine and local partners in each region of the state.
Tonight’s battle pits Chef Jason Roy from Lexington Avenue Brewery (LAB) vs Chef Mauricio Abreu from Chef Mo’s. Diners will eat and vote for their favorite dishes to determine who will battle Chef Matthew Miner from Blackbird (previously from The Asheville Public), winner of last nights Battle Triggerfish, in the semi-finals next Wednesday, January 23, 2013.
MEET THE CHEFS
CHEF JASON ROY, LAB
My cooking style is: Eclectic and spontaneous
The NC ingredients I use are: beef that we raise ourselves as well as local cheese, produce, honey, goat’s milk, and eggs.
CHEF ROY Q & A
Me: With the competition dining series focusing on NC products, how do you as a chef incorporate local ingredients onto your menu?
Chef Roy: Creatively, tastefully, and with style. We find ways to create our menu around what is in season and what we ourselves can raise. We have raised and served our own beef, quail, and pork. I shop around at local farmer/tailgate markets and we incorporate items from the WNC market daily.
Me: How Important is sourcing locally for your restaurant to you?
Chef Roy: Highly important. Do you love your community? Do you want to see it succeed? Then you have to buy local, it keeps the money in the region and keeps our community at work.
Me: Is this your first experience in the Competition Dining Series? If yes, what made you decide to compete? If no, what was the most important thing you learned in last year’s competition?
Chef Roy: We competed in another chefs competition last year, and we learned that you have to think outside of the box. We like to get out of our comfort zone for this thing, it makes the food more spontaneous and in turn keeps the crowd guessing. With that said, we try not to go over anyone’s heads with our creations because every vote counts. And you have to think about the crowd/judges.
Me: As for the secret ingredient, what are you most hoping for?
Chef Roy: BEETS
Me: Least hoping for?
Chef Roy: TRIPE
Me: How have you prepped yourself and your team for this event?
Chef Roy: we have cultivated a strong competition minded team of highly trained an fierce culinarians for a combined total of 87 years, we have been preparing for this our whole lives.
Me: Do you have a strategy for winning over your opponent?
Chef Roy: Make really, really great and beautiful food.
Me: What do you think it takes to win?
Chef Roy: Really, really great and beautiful food.
Me: Aside from winning, of course, what are you looking to walk away from this experience with?
Chef Roy: The memories of the experience itself.
Me: Any other comments you would like people to know about you and your team?
Chef Roy: We are here to win.
CHEF MAURICIO ABREU, CHEF MO’S
My cooking style is: Comfort food
The NC ingredients I use are: beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and produce