Monthly Archives: August 2014

Competition Dining Chefs Fire It Up at the New Belk Home Store

It’s so fun to be a part of whatever Competition Dining is doing. On Thursday, August 14, the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series and Belk celebrated the new freestanding Belk Store (604 Green Valley Rd.) in Greensboro with a unique, interactive cooking class that taught us how to to cook like a Competition Dining Series chef! If you missed it, don’t despair, all the pics and even recipes are below.

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This is the first freestanding Belk Home Store devoted solely to tabletop and housewares. The  store has a tremendous selection of high-end kitchenware…some of which were put into action at the event. Two of the 2014 Fire in the Triad quarterfinalists – Chef Chris Russell of B. Christopher’s in Greensboro and Chef Kevin Reddick of Artisan Restaurant in Winston-Salem, shared some of their tricks of the trade with an onsite cooking demo. AND we got to taste the deliciousness and took home some recipes to boot! Some lucky winners even got to take home some Got to be NC swag. Belk also gave away an incredible Le Crueset grill pan to one of our winners.

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Chef Chris Russell

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Chef Kevin Reddick

These two chefs are very engaging and are at the helm of two of the Triad’s yummiest kitchens. We encourage you to give them each a try very soon! Chef Kevin shared with us a Marinated Tomatoes and Compressed Watermelon with Grouper. He vacuum sealed the melon on-site which gave the melon an interesting texture as well as intense flavor. Then he seared the grouper and placed it on top of the melon and tomato. Wonderful! His second dish was a Virginia Lump Crab Cake with Summer Corn Aioli. Chef also juiced corn with a juicer provided by Belk (juicing corn!!) and used that juice to add sweetness to his aioli and just added a hint of corn flavor. A delightfully different twist to a traditional aioli.

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Chef Chris Russell’s first dish was a Mini Crab Cake with Roasted Corn and Tomato Relish, which is one of his specialties at his restaurant. He seared his crab cakes but finished them in an “not so conventional” oven for our demo. The corn relish was really great and summery. Chef’s second dish was an Applewood Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with a great horseradish marmalade. There’s just something about bacon cooking, right?

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Ahh…the smells. The tastes! The chefs. So friendly and fun to watch. And these guys are busy…just after our event, Chef Russell headed out to cater a party for Crosby, Stills & Nash. How rockin’! And the following Monday, Chef Reddick was a featured chef at Dates Make a Difference’s Eat for a Cause.

The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series is unlike any other dinner experience in the country! It’s a single-elimination tournament highlighting the best of the state’s food, agriculture and culinary talent. The competition hosts five regional tournaments throughout the year, including the surrounding markets for Wilmington, Asheville, Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte. The 2014 Fire in the Triad series pitted 16 top local chefs against each other this past April through June until a final winner emerged. You can find all of the results from the regional competition here. And next year, be sure to attend. It will be an evening you won’t soon forget!

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From the Kitchen of Kevin Reddick | Artisan Restaurant | Winston-Salem, NC
Recipe: Marinated Tomatoes and Compressed Watermelon with N.C. Grouper

Ingredients:

3 large heirloom tomatoes 2 Tbsp. basil
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp. sliced chives

1 ripe watermelon
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
4 (4-6 oz) portions fresh grouper Vacuum seal bags
Vacuum sealer

Method:

For the melon: Dice melon into 1/2” cubes, reserving as much liquid as possible. 2 cups total. Slice chives very thin and harvest at least 2 tsp. Put 1/2 melon in each bag, cover with juice, a touch of kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. chives, and seal. Chill for 2 to 4 hours.

For the tomatoes: Slice 3 tomatoes into steaks (slices). Toss in bowl with 2 tsp. kosher salt, 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper, 2 Tbsp. basil, and 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Place in single layer in flat dish, cover, and chill for

2 to 4 hours, turning once.

For the fish: Heat cast iron skillet or pan of choice, add grape seed oil and cook until 120 to 130 degrees, turning once.

Place tomatoes and melon on serving platter of choice and top with seared grouper. Drizzle with good finishing quality olive oil, eat and enjoy!

From the Kitchen of Kevin Reddick | Artisan Restaurant | Winston-Salem, NC
Recipe: Virginia Lump Crab Cake with Summer Corn Aioli

Ingredients:

3-4 ears of fresh corn 1/2 cup corn juice
1 1/4 cups mayo
1 egg

2 Tbsp. chopped shallots 2 Tbsp. sliced chives
1/2 tsp. red chili powder 1/2 tsp. old bay

Zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs Juicer
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper

Method:

For the aioli: Harvest 1/2 cup corn juice and combine with 3/4 cup mayo and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt.
Chill for at least 1 hour.

For the crab cake: Drain and pick crab. Add all ingredients except breadcrumbs and gently combine. Add breadcrumbs and gently fold in. Portion into cakes and chill for at least 1 hour. Sauté until 120 degrees and golden brown on both sides. Place on plate with dollop of aioli and serve with your favorite sides or a nice summer salad.

From the Kitchen of Chris Russell | B. Christopher’s | Greensboro, NC
Recipe: Mini Crab Cakes with Roasted Corn and Tomato Relish

Ingredients:

1# jumbo lump crab meat
1/2 finely diced red bell pepper
1/2 finely diced white onion
3 Tbsp. mayo
3 Tbsp. panko (Japanese) bread crumbs 1/2 tsp. whole grain mustard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 ears silver queen corn (in husk)
3 Roma tomatoes. diced
1/2 finely diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of one lime
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Sweat pepper and onion in sauté pan with olive oil. Set aside. Mix mayo, mustard and lemon juice in mixing bowl. Add crab meat, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and fold trying not to break apart the crab lumps. Refrigerate for 30 min. Shape into small patties. In a hot oiled pan, brown both sides for approximately 30 seconds or until golden brown and set aside. Finish in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes. Serve with lemon-dill sauce.

For the salsa: With husks on, roast corn on pan sheet in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 40 minutes or until husks are completely brown in color. Let sit to cool. Unwrap corn and shave kernels off the cob. Mix all ingredients in mixing bowl and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving to let the mixture marry together for best flavor. Serve with crab cakes.

From the Kitchen of Chris Russell | B. Christopher’s | Greensboro, NC
Recipe: Applewood Smoked Bacon – Wrapped Shrimp

Ingredients:

Peeled and deveined white shrimp (tail on)

Applewood smoked bacon slices (thick cut)

6 inch skewers
Good quality orange marmalade Horseradish to taste

Method:

Wrap each shrimp with one piece of bacon, leaving tail exposed.

Skewer two shrimp per skewer.
Grill on Panini grill until bacon is cooked through.

Combine orange marmalade with horseradish to taste.

Serve the shrimp skewers with horseradish-orange marmalade dipping sauce or any favorite sauce.