Fire In The Triad Semifinal #1

Hey, Foodies…as promised here are a few pics from last night’s Fire in the Triad. I uploaded what we were served since they differ a bit from the really beautiful presentation shots on the series’ website. I mean, those photos are ART. I’m keeping it real by showing you what we were served. Still beautiful to look at, especially the sushi 🙂

This was a Foodie’s dream. A food crawl without moving from your seat. There is immense talent among us here in the Triad and, for sure, Chris Blackburn of Josephine’s Bistro and George Neal of 1618 West are without a doubt two of the best. This was my first Competition Dining Series seat and it was such a thrill to be there with Sister Foodie. After a lot of exciting introductions we found out that the secret ingredient was…..NC Eggs. What?!? Not pork belly or filet or prawns or truffles?? I had just told Mr. Foodie how eggs didn’t really do it for me. But, I couldn’t wait to see what the chefs came up with. After all they aren’t any old eggs… These were Ostrich, Quail and Poulet Rouge. As a participant and judge we had to vote on presentation, aroma,
flavor, accompaniments and then creativity and execution of the secret ingredients.
So here goes, a play by play on the courses and a very brief opinion.

Course 1
House-made Chorizo, Poulet Rouge Egg Samosa, Yellow Pepper Pesto, Poached Quail Egg with Chipotle Crema, Grilled Red Pepper Bisque, Cinnamon Pappadam, Cilantro/Chef Blackburn
Delicious. A little southwestern. The samosa was like puff pastry. That tiny little poached egg was remarkable and just let all the flavors come around it, while it added creaminess. So different!

Course 2
Pan-Seared Sea Scallop with Scrambled Egg and Chorizo Sushi Roll, Tempura-Chili Glazed Onion Ring, Pickled Radish, Quail Egg, Srirachi-Tomato Sauce, Bing Cherry Reduction/Chef Neal
Spanking good. Please put this on the menu! There was so much to look at, so many things to try. Absolutely beautiful to look at. That Bing Cherry Reduction was amazing.

Course 3
Pulled Pheasant, Smoked Lamb Crepes, Sauce Espagniole, Scallion Oil, Lemon-Aioli Slaw, Poached Shrimp Hollandaise, Parmesan Cookie/Blackburn
This was also quite different…Chef said he was playing on enchilada. It was way better than an enchilada. Most people didn’t seem to see how the Parmesan cookie fit. I agreed but it was still great. Maybe not my fave of the night but it was definitely creative.

Course 4
Grilled Cilantro-Lime Marinated Flank Steak topped with Caramelized Onions, served over Poulet Rouge Potato Cake, Ostrich Egg Hollandaise, 3-Mustard Sauce, Bacon-Deviled Egg/Neal
Oh my goodness. That steak was killer. And tender. And flavorful. On top of a ridiculously crispy and fluffy on the inside potato cake. The ostrich egg hollandaise was incredible. That deviled egg cannot be found at your church potluck….unfortunately. He had to use it and it was great. One of the highest scores of the night.

Course 5
Bacon-Molasses Coffee Cake, Roasted Pattypan Squash and Duck Egg Ice Cream, Blueberry Jam, Sweet Honey-Comb, Glass of Milk Crème Anglaise/Blackburn
This was my highest scoring plate. I can’t do the cake justice. It was a coffee cake, but was smoky and gingery and the ice cream was pure brilliance. Squash!! These people cook here right here in our town! A tiny little honey comb that looked like brittle but tasted like heaven. I couldn’t stop eating it. I didn’t stop. Well, when it was gone, I mean, when they took away the plate I stopped.

Course 6
Napoleon of Chocolate Torte, Poulet Rouge Caramel Cheesecake, and Chocolate Cake accompanied with Crème Anglaise Caramel Sauce/Neal
So it turns out I wasn’t as thrilled with this one. I love chocolate but normally don’t do chocolate desserts. But this tiny little thing was lovely and fudgey and everything it should’ve been. Interestingly, this dessert got huge marks from the voters, but not as high from the pros. I agreed with the pros on this one.

In the end it was Chef George Neal winning Battle Eggs. Who will win Semifinal #2? I’ll post pics on Wednesday! If you can’t wait, check them out at http://www.Competition Dining.com

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