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foodie b’eat: Dining for a Cause and Providence Restaurant

You know how much mr. foodie and I HEART Chef Jeff Bacon and Triad Community Kitchen. This past summer, the folks at Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC announced that a dream has become a reality—that TCK, would finally have a full-fledged restaurant. Here’s a look back at their Grand Opening and how the new Providence Restaurant will keep changing and enhancing lives as you “Dine for a Cause.” This is a story not to be missed.

Read about it here in the latest CHOW!

Stay local, foodies!


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Return Of The Moravian


Ya’ll go have a beer for me!

Originally posted on Foothills Brewing:

Quick. Think of something synonymous with the holidays.

What’d you come up with? Santa Claus? Christmas trees? Ugly sweaters?

Here in Winston-Salem, this time of year is laden with the culture of the Moravians who originally settled our little slice of North Carolina. Which means holidays include Moravian stars, Moravian Lovefeasts . . . and Moravian cookies.

Last year, in a nod to the culture that so richly defines our home city, we borrowed a few ingredients from our favorite Moravian cookie recipe – ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, to name a few – and created a Moravian Porter.

It was introduced on Black Friday — and didn’t last a week.

So this year we made a little more. And bottled it. And got our friends up the street (literally) at Salem Baking to chip in some Moravian cookies to pair with the beer. It will be available only in the Triad.

porterWe’re throwing a

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foodie b’eat: Tanglewood Pizza Company via Chow in YES! Weekly

Hey, foodies:

Get ready…if you are in the area of Advance, Bermuda Run, Clemmons…you are in for a treat! Well, at least I hope so. The fact that Tanglewood Pizza Company is a true farm to table PIZZA place featuring local ingredients and beer and the fact that it has a widely respected chef at the helm means the chances are good that it will be delicious.

Read all about my interview with these guys here. It’s a pretty cool story. Five buddies/neighbors who enjoy spending time together got this crazy wackadoo idea to start a restaurant together.

And the rest is coming together.

Check it out here!

That Time a Hospital Chef Won A Renowned Chef’s Competition


I’m really not trying to be slack here. But I’m a tad delayed in getting this info out to you and wanted to share some photos as well as the official announcement regarding the winner of the Got To Be NC Competition Dining Championship. Five chefs from the winning battles across the state (two from Charlotte, one from the Triad, one from the Raleigh area and one from Greenville, SC all convened in Raleigh October 28-31 to take on one another to see who would be the CHAMP of the Champs in the Battle of Champions. Mr. foodie and I were able to attend representing triadfoodies and YES! Weekly on night two as our local champ, Chef Richard Miller of Graze Restaurant in Winston-Salem took on Chef Ryan Conklin, who’d defeated a Charlotte winner the night before.

Six courses later with featured ingredients Cheese and Apples, Chef Conklin won the night and moved on to the Finale, where he ultimately took the Grand Prize.

Now, the thing that Competition Dining can do is find diamonds in the rough. I’m not saying Ryan Conklin is one of them, because he’s battled before representing a different kitchen and done well. But this year, his main goal was to show that hospital food can be delicious. In fact, Conklin is part of the Black Hat Chefs NC, leading the way to transforming hospital food. They train hospital chefs nationwide. As a matter of fact, I know some people who make eating at Rex Hospital in Raleigh a destination. Imagine that!

Read more here from the folks at Competition Dining. The photos here are from our battle night when Conklin took on Miller.

Raleigh Chef Ryan Conklin Wins Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series Annual Championship

Raleigh, North Carolina  —  The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series, a single-elimination tournament highlighting the best of the Carolina’s food, agriculture and culinary talent applauds Chef Ryan Conklin of UNC REX Healthcare in Raleigh on his victory in the Battle of Champions. Conklin is one of 70 top chefs from across North and South Carolina who competed throughout the year, first taking home a regional win in the Triangle, and now earning the ultimate title.

Hosted Saturday, Oct. 31 at the Renaissance Hotel in Raleigh’s North Hills shopping center, Conklin won the championship battle in front of a sold out crowd, overcoming Chef Brent Martin of The Summit Room in Charlotte. The dinner included two featured ingredients: Jarrett Bay oysters and Outer Banks SeaSalt. Additionally, the chefs started their final battle day shopping. The two teams were each allotted $500 to spend at the Got to Be NC State Farmers Market and they had to use at least one local produce item in every course.

“It was an exciting and long few days of back-to-back battles to get to the finale, which we knew would be the most challenging event of them all, ” said Chef Conklin. “We never expected a day full of shucking nearly 700 oysters, which definitely cut into our cooking time, but it was a true test of our team’s culinary talents and a perfect fit for competitive spirit of the tournament. I couldn’t be prouder that we came out on top, showing not just the Triangle, but both states that we’re more than just hospital food.”

One of the crowd favorites of the night, and Conklin’s highest scoring dish of the battle, was the second course. The dish included cornmeal fried Jarrett Bay oyster, slow roasted tomatoes, rosemary chimichurri, pan fried NC grouper, cauliflower puree, Outer Banks SeaSalt, black truffle, and sorrel and langoustine salad (see complete scores and dishes at

“Chef Ryan Conklin consistently impressed diners with high-scoring dishes throughout his regional series and these championship events, pulling out unique flavor combinations and impeccable team execution in every battle,” said Jimmy Crippen, Competition Dining Series founder and host. “His passion for cooking and competitive drive is a perfect representation of this competition and his performance in the championship battle certainly earned him the big win. We are honored to call him our 2015 champion.”

As part of Chef Conklin’s victory, he not only gets bragging rights, but also took home the grand prize of $4,000 cash, two handmade chef knives by Ironman Forge and a trip to the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley, California, compliments of Kikkoman and the Pro Chef Program.

Continued Conklin, “I felt confident about how the day went in large part to my two teammates, Chef Steve Pexton and Collin Jennings. Both chefs have been extremely instrumental in every battle, from our regional series to this championship. I wouldn’t be where I am in this competition without either of them.” 

In every Competition Dining Series dinner throughout the year, two chef teams battle it out preparing three courses each centered on a featured regional ingredient that is revealed the morning of the event. Ticketed 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. Learn more at

About The Got to Be NC 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 expanded outside North Carolina in 2015 with a series in Greenville, South Carolina. For more information, visit or get in on the conversation at and @CompDiningNC on Twitter or Instagram. 


COURSE 1 Clemson Blue Cheese Bruleed Bourbon Marinated Certified Angus Beef Brand Tenderloin, Roasted Acorn Squash, Asian Pear and Perry Lowe Apple Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette, Apple-Radish Bok Choy Salad, Muscadine Apple Core Red Wine Reduction Chef Richard Miller


COURSE 2 Certified Angus Beef Brand Braised Short Ribs, Perry Lowe Pink Lady Apple-Fishing Creek Creamery Oakley Hills Tomme and Blue Cheese Risotto, Glazed Local Beets, Butternut Squash and Cloister Honey Puree, Fried Parsnip  Chef Ryan Conklin


COURSE 3 Smoked Salt Seared Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast, Clemson Blue Cheese Grits, Iberico Perry Lowe Apple Cider Braised Collards, Apple Butter-Fig-Duck Bordelaise, Pepper Jelly, Dried Perry Lowe Apples and Clemson Blue Cheese Dust, Fried Pink-Eyed Peas Chef Richard Miller


COURSE 4 Grilled Veal Tenderloin, Perry Lowe Apple Hollandaise, Smoked Pork Belly with Perry Lowe Apple Cider Glaze, Collard Greens with Iberico Bacon, House Made UAV Ricotta Mac and Cheese, Crisp Pink Lady Apple and Vegetable Salad Chef Ryan Conklin


COURSE 5 Perry Lowe Apple Pound Cake, Apple Cider-Bosky Acres Guernsey Cow Cream Cheese Ice Cream, Apple Spearmint Gastrique, Cream Cheese Cloister Honey Apple Mousse, Cranberry Nut Crumble Chef Richard Miller


COURSE 6 Hazelnut and Fishing Creek Creamery Oakley Hills Tomme Mousse, Chocolate Ganache and Cider Cake, Perry Lowe Pink Lady Compote, UAV Vanilla Ricotta, White Chocolate Ricotta Ice Cream, Hot Apple Fudge, Salted Apple Cider Sauce, “Peanut-tella” Chef Ryan Conklin


foodie b’eat: Xia Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar via CHOW in YES! Weekly

A year ago or so, we took a lunch break from our office in WS to Xia to check out their sushi. It was pretty good, but we really didn’t get back there (even though it’s next door) because we discovered that Wen Hwa (a few blocks over) was the microfoodies’ favorite place to eat in the history of kidkind.

So we went to Wen Hwa. A lot. And that was our Asian Fusion fix for a good 6 months. Until the unspeakable happened. Wen Hwa was damaged in a fire a mere 2 hours after we had just eaten  lunch there. We waited and waited for months, but it just didn’t open. And then recently they announced they would not reopen.

Anyway, we went back to Xia because guess what??? They also have Pho. Pho! Something that’s been absent in this town. We have had no Pho in #WSNC. But Xia has it. And you should check it out. And all the other stuff they have too. Heck, try the sushi too. Read all about it here.


This is the Honey Sesame Chicken. Ours order it with no sesame. Very similar to General Tso. It will look like this, but be spicy.


Fried Spring Roll


Jasmine Tea


Pho Beef Combo (with rare beef and meatball)