Tag Archives: Competition Dining

foodie b’eat: Competition Dining Battle of Champions Tickets!

bef7ffe7809952e01eb20dec_1220x1220Foodies, you know I ain’t shy about how much I love Got To Be NC Competition Dining. The Battle of The Champions takes place in mid-November and tickets are on sale now! It’s a foodie lovers dream..five nights of the state’s best, battling it out for the ultimate prize of Best in the State.

For information and tickets, click here. You can choose the dinner you want, if tickets are still available that is…

Representing us locally is Chef James Patterson and team Culinary Crushers from Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro. They take on Team Egg Heads from Another Broken Egg Cafe in Durham.

Their prelim battle is November 11. You can get tickets for that round here. 

Here’s the rest of the lineup….

Competing in the second preliminary round of the 2016 Battle of Champions series   Saturday, November 12, 2016

Team Ceviche’s  Wilmington Series Champs vs Team Vidalia Boom Winston-Salem Series Champs

Competing in the first semi-final round of the 2016 Battle of Champions series  Sunday, November 13, 2016

Team Radical Range Riders  Charlotte Champs vs Team Mirepoix   Raleigh Champs

The Second Semi-Final Round for the 2016 GotToBeNc Competition Dining Battle of Champions will take place on  Friday Nov 18

The winners of the November 11 Battle and the winners of the November 12 Battle vye for the remaining spot in the Battle of Champions Finale. 

The 2016 GotToBeNC Competition DIning Battle of Champions Finale takes place   Sunday, November 20, 2016 

It all happens on the campus of NC State at the Dorothy & Roy Park Alumni Center. Tickets prelim and semi-final events are $119 plus tax/service fee and the Championship is $139 plus tax/service fee. Ticket price does not include beverages.

Grab a loved one and your friends to pull for your favorite. You’ll walk away completely full and impressed and loving what these chefs do with local, seasonal ingredients. It’s a blast. It’s a locavore’s dream and the fellowship over food…it’s kind of indescribable.  We hope we see you!

 

 

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Review: Chef Dion Sprenkle

A Sprenkle of Deliciousness: “Let The Chef Surprise Us” 4.0

You can see this story in YES! Weekly

This is the continuing story of how we allow the chef to surprise us. We’re kind of changing it up recently. We now get a group of foodie friends/followers together and hit up a local restaurant. This time, Chef Dion Sprenkle…way out in Lexington (actually, a mere half hour from many cities in the Triad). I had visited Chef Dion’s restaurant a few weeks back after he attended a previous foodie gathering at 1703 Restaurant and then he volunteered himself for a similar event the next month. At the end of this post you’ll see where we’re headed next! 

Just as much as a focus on the food, this gathering was an opportunity to meet the chef and get to know him better. Chef Dion Sprenkle is a classically-trained chef, graduating in 1992 from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.  Before making his way South, Sprenkle was the chef de cuisine at the New York Palace Hotel, executive chef at The Water Club and at Spazzia Restaurant and chef de cuisine at Spartina Restaurant. He says he also gained valuable experience in the kitchens of Gotham Bar & Grill and The River Cafe. Previously in the Triad, Sprenkle was Executive Chef at Old Town Club in Winston-Salem.

Last year, Chef Sprenkle placed runner-up in the local Competition Dining series, getting edged out by Graze’s Chef Richard Miller in the final battle. Many people took notice of this incredibly talented chef, tucked away in Davidson County. We wanted to know…what on earth brought him to Lexington, where alcohol sales in restaurants are not permitted? “After an extensive search for restaurant locations in Winston, Greensboro and Salisbury areas, none of which suited what I was looking for, this space was available and we quickly realized the need for an upscale restaurant in the area,” Sprenkle told us. “Many people live in Davidson County and work in Forsyth, but come home to no restaurants and then have to travel back to Winston to get something to eat besides BBQ.”

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Sprenkle also features Wacky Wednesday, which offers a selection of chef-inspired burgers in addition to the fine dining menu. It’s a bustling night. The burgers change quite a bit, but the night that we checked out the burgers, I enjoyed a House-Smoked Pastrami Burger. It was a sizable, perfectly cooked burger topped with, I kid you not…a good inch of smoked pastrami. And it was delicious. The pastrami was so smoky and flavorful. It was almost a fork meal. Well, I turned it into a fork meal, anyway.

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Mr. foodie ordered a chicken dish from the menu and I forget what it was but it was really tasty.

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And he sent out dessert…strawberry  bread pudding

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We were then looking forward to what surprises he had in store for us when we got our group together.

At our gathering, course after course came and it went a little something like this:

Course 1

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Watermelon Gazpacho shot with cucumber, rosemary goat cheese, citron sea salt and Fair Share Farms pea leaves

Course 2

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Sweet Corn Puree with Blackened Alligator and ramp oil

Course 3

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Roasted Oyster Mushrooms with oloroso sherry natural sauce

Course 4

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Spanish Lobster and Chorizo sausage Torte with eggs, potato, chili relish, cilantro, lobster tamale, lobster roe, cilantro

Course 5

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Vadouvon Spiced roasted cauliflower with onion, pancetta, basil and Argentinean Extra virgin sunflower oil

Course 6

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Hill Top farms ostrich and havarati cheese quesadilla, spicy chili relish aioli

Course 7

Tasting of Orange scented crème brulee and Ricotta cheese panna cotta with strawberry balsamic glaze, basil syrup and lemon confit.

As you can see, this is a great sampling of some of the menu items and a few “surprises,” just the way we like it. Chef Sprenkle’s cuisine is distinctly Mediterranean and he says he tries to source as much locally as possible as long as it’s of the highest quality. “I will always buy locally when I can, but to me the importance is quality.” 

Keep in mind that Chef Dion Sprenkle is a BYO alcoholic beverages and as customary for such restaurants, they do charge a corkage fee ($10/bottle of wine and $1/bottle of beer. Sprenkle tod me if you bring in a Davidson County Wine (Childress, Weathervane, Junius Lyndsey, Native Vines, or purchased from Tastings Wine and Beer Store) they only charge $5 per bottle.

The chef also says he’s not resting on his laurels and is looking at expanding to other areas in the Triad. He’s also consulting on another project that’s due to open in Winston-Salem in mid-July. While working on those efforts, Sprenkle says he doesn’t mind being “tucked away” as we call it. “Our clientele is diverse and see us as a destination restaurant, but the locals of Lexington sometimes dine with us at least three times a week and see us as their home dining room. Our location allows people in Winston, Clemmons, High point or Salisbury to arrive within 15 minutes. We also get quite a few people from Greensboro or Charlotte. They may stay in town for the weekend to visit the wineries and then come have dinner with us.” He adds, “We’ve survived now for 5 years in a location that is off the beaten path and without alcohol sales. Like I always said when I lived in NYC, If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere, and we have!”

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Wanna go? Chef Dion Sprenkle is located just inside Lexington at 5479 Old US Hwy 52.
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 5-9pm. The restaurant is also open for special holidays and brunches and is available for private events and catering. chefdion.com

If you’d like to participate in a future “Surprise Gathering,” follow triadfoodies on social media for all the details. Hint: Next stop is Tuesday, July 26 at Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar as Triad’s Best Chef (as voted by YES! Weekly readers) to get to know Chef Tim Grandinetti and let him surprise us. Just message me at Kristi@triadfoodies dot com to reserved your spot. We usually max out at 12-14 people to keep it intimate and it’s about $25 per person. 

foodie b’eat: Competition Dining Dates Announced…Get Your Pre-Sale Tix!!

Greetings, foodies!

Here’s the latest from our friends at the Got To Be NC Competition Dining Competition with schedule details for all the cities plus a link to PRE-SALE tickets!  The chefs are building their teams and we should know soon who’s on the Dream Teams. There will be teams this year in Winston-Salem AND in Greensboro, along with Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte and Wilmington and the winners of those cities will go to the battle of champions in the fall. And guess what? Once again, this year, I’ll be in WS and GSO for all the action so be sure to follow along at @compdiningnc on Twitter for photos and descriptions as well as chatter!  Below is a photo of last year’s winners. Winston-Salem’s own, Chef Richard Miller, of Graze, was our local winner and  Chef Ryan Conklin (second to left) of Rex Healthcare was state champ (that’s right…a HOSPITAL chef won…but Chef Ryan is no ordinary hospital chef.) Tickets are on sale beginning in April for the Durham event. Be sure to check out their webpage for PRE-SALE tickets . Many events sell out, so you might want to get a jump on it before tickets go on sale for the masses.

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Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series Announces 2016 Schedule with Battles in Six North Carolina Cities

Interactive Chef Tournament Launches Dream Team Concept for the Ultimate Dining Experience

The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series, a single-elimination tournament highlighting the best of the state’s food, agriculture and culinary talent, is back for 2016 with a total of eight tournaments across the state, each made up of four chef teams vying for the local title. The touring competition will have dual brackets in both Raleigh and Charlotte, and one tournament in each of Durham, Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Wilmington. It all culminates in October with the Battle of Champions to name a statewide victor.

Applications for chefs interested in competing are currently being accepted for all locations. This year, the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series is switching formats to allow chefs to create All-Star Dream Teams. The change allows chefs from different restaurants to partner together to create their three-person team, upping the potential caliber and creating a more fun and competitive atmosphere for all.

“We’re excited to introduce this new Dream Team concept that will further showcase the immense culinary talent and agriculture in North Carolina with the 2016 Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series,” said Jimmy Crippen, Competition Dining Series founder and host. “Our mission is to connect and celebrate with foodies across the state through this dynamic, entertaining culinary experience. We look forward to sharing unique chef collaborations with our diners to make for an unprecedented year of highly competitive events with innovative dishes like never before.”

Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series battles include two chef teams each preparing three courses centered on a featured ingredient that comes from a North Carolina farmer or artisan producer. Featured ingredients are revealed to the chefs the morning of the dinner event and must be used in every course. Ticketed guests get in on the action, savoring the full-service, six-course meals without knowing which chef prepared which plate. Alongside culinary and guest judges, diners rate each dish using an interactive app, ultimately determining who moves on to the next round and who goes home.

The 2016 Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series dinner battles will be held in:

Durham: April 18, 19 and 21
Winston-Salem: May 22, 23 and 25
Greensboro: June 20, 21 and 23
Raleigh (two brackets): July 11, 12, 14, 18, 19, 21 and a finale to name one Raleigh champion July 24
Charlotte (two brackets): Aug. 8, 9, 11, 22, 23, 25 and a finale to name one Charlotte champion Aug. 28
Wilmington: Sept. 19, 20 and 22

The six winners will move on to compete in the Battle of Champions at the end of the year. Since Raleigh and Charlotte teams must compete in an extra battle to win their local title, these chefs will receive a bye for the first round of the championship.

Tickets to attend an interactive dinner battle are $59 to $69 each and will officially go on sale for each series once that local bracket is announced. Discounted pre-sale tickets for all tournaments are available now for $10 less than standard pricing at http://www.competitiondining.com. Tickets are expected to sell out quickly, and people interested in attending are encouraged to signup for the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series e-newsletter for the most recent ticket updates and news.

All chefs are invited to apply to compete in any of the six tournaments. The application and a complete list of rules are available at www.competitiondining.com/compete.

The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series is sponsored by the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Pate Dawson-Southern Foods,Certified Angus Beef®, and local and regional partners throughout the state. The goal of the series is to celebrate North Carolina products and agriculture, and to showcase the culinary ingenuity and talent across the state. For more information, visit http://www.competitiondining.com or get in on the conversation at www.facebook.com/competitiondining and @CompDiningNC on Twitter or Instagram.

foodie b’eat: Competition Dining is Back…with a Twist!

Here’s the latest from our friends at the Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series.

They’re back again this Spring and Summer with a slight twist. Here’s the latest and if you’re a chef, a link for building your team! What’s cool this year is a 3 night showdown in Winston-Salem AND then, two weeks later a similar showdown in Greensboro. The 6 winners will go on to face each other in brackets in October. Read on for info.

2016 Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series
The Year of the All-Star Dream Teams!

Build your team and apply now

Dear Chefs,

This year we are mixing it up, stirring the pot and putting a new spin on things with an exciting collaborative twist for North Carolina’s most competitive chefs!

Over the years through competition dining and various other events, you, the North Carolina culinary community, have come together to become a close knit family. You have collaborated on exciting theme dinners, charitable causes and disaster relief fundraisers just to mention a few. 

So, in the spirit of collaboration, and in keeping with Competition Dining’s #1 Rule – Have Fun, get together and create your All-Star Dream Team! 

Teams can comprise of 3 members from your own establishment, or from 3 separate establishments. Our only requirement is that team members are professionally employed by, or in business as, a foodservice establishment.

This concept will be less taxing on the labor force of any one given establishment by only requiring one member to be out of his/her kitchen to participate in a battle. Also, you’ve only got to win twice to get to the Battle of Champions!

2016 teams will be selected by March 10th so get your application in now! 

Call me if you have questions and we’ll see you on the Battlefield!

Jimmy Crippen 

828-265-9075

jimmy@competitiondining.com

 Details

Durham – 4 Team Bracket – April 18th, 19th & 21st

Winston-Salem – 4 Team Bracket – May 23rd, 24th & 26th

Greensboro – 4 Team Bracket – June 13th, 14th & 16th

Raleigh -Two 4 Team Brackets – First Bracket:July 11th, 12th, 14th & Second Bracket: July 18th, 19th, 21st, Final Battle July 24th (Winner gets bye in Battle of Champions)

Charlotte – Two 4 Team Brackets – First Bracket: August 15th, 16th, 18th & Second Bracket: August 22nd, 23rd, 25th Final Battle Aug 28th (Winner gets bye in Battle of Champions)

Wilmington – 4 Team Bracket – September 19th, 20th & 22nd

Battle of Champions – 6 Team Bracket – October dates TBA

Thank you for your ongoing support and enthusiasm for the 2016 Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series.  We look forward to seeing you! 

Click Here To Apply

Follow Competition Dining on Twitter @CompDiningNC, Facebook at Competition Dining and Instagram at @CompDiningNc for all of the delicious details and inside scoop on all the action – you can even join in on the fun and get in on the conversation – plate by plate, bite by bite.

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

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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 www.competitiondining.com/results/rex-healthcare-vs-the-summit-room).

“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 www.competitiondining.com

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 www.competitiondining.com or get in on the conversation at www.facebook.com/competitiondining and @CompDiningNC on Twitter or Instagram. 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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