As many of you know I freelance in the culinary world, which means I have irons in many fires. I’m a food writer and blogger, I work with chefs and restaurants to fine tune and manage their social media, I teach cooking classes, I share stories in print and on television about local products and take my readers on virtual food and drink-centric three day weekends.
In addition to all of that I am most pleased to be working with the team at the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association – NCRLA as the organizer/coordinator, writer of blog posts and host of the 2017 NC Chef Showdown event to be held in Raleigh on August 21, 2017! I did the 2016 NC Chef Showdown as well, the inaugural year for this now annual event, but this year promise to be even bigger and better.
Sixteen chefs from across the state will compete for the titles of 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year... and I’ll be there to bring it all to you bite by bite!
Just take a look at the stellar line up of chefs and restaurants who will be participating in this year’s evening of competition. They will be there preparing dish which represents them and their restaurant. I am thrilled to be instrumental in helping them tell their story – getting to know these chefs from across the state of North Carolina, writing about them and their restaurants, inns and hotels and sharing with each of my readers, followers and fans what this talented group of North Carolina chefs does so well – can’t wait to see what fabulous sweets and savories they will bring to the table!
Just this morning I wrote a blog post similar to this one for the NC Chef Showdown Website & Blog announcing the list of chefs recently selected to participate in the 2017 NC Chef Showdown competition, and just in case you missed it -I wanted to share it here with you as well.
With nearly 40 talented applicants from across the state applying to compete, and only 16 spots to fill, the competition was fierce and the decision of the selection committee, a formidable one.
In all, 16 of North Carolina’s top culinarians will be competing on the evening of August 21, 2017. The event will take place in Raleigh, North Carolina at 214 Martin Street and Market Hall Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market and the presenting sponsor is the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
Cooking for a crowd of 300 plus, competing chefs will each have a station representing their restaurant or culinary outlet. Chefs will serve tasting-size portions to guests and plated tapas-sized portions to a panel of six culinary judges.
The presentation of the plates to the judges will be done live on stage in front of the crowd throughout the course of the evening. Chefs will have an opportunity to introduce themselves to the judges and the crowd and will share the concept of the dish they have each created for the evening.
This year’s event will see the following talented chefs on the savory side of the table competing for the title of the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year. If you just can’t wait to see what these talented chefs will be cooking in August, spend this summer visiting their restaurants and eat with them now! You can visit all of their websites here – be sure to #TellThemHeidiSentYou !
- Chef Thomas Card | Executive Chef | The Counting House Restaurant 21C Hotel in Durham. North Carolina
- Chef Jim Diecchio | Executive Chef | Rocksalt in Charlotte, North Carolina
- Chef Timothy Grandinetti | Executive Chef | Spring House Restaurant Kitchen & Bar in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
- Chef Matthew Krenz | Executive Chef + Culinary Director | The Asbury at The Dunhill Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina
- Chef Lil Lacassagne | Chef/Owner | Saint Jacques at The Burke Manor Inn in Gibsonville, North Carolina
- Chef Thomas Marlow | Executive Chef | Mimosa Grill in Charlotte, North Carolina
- Chef Scott Ostrander | Executive Chef | The Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina
- Chef Phillip Platoni | Chef De Cuisine | Southminster Continued Care Retirement Community in Charlotte, North Carolina
- Chef Adam Reed | Chef/ Owner | Sante in Matthews, North Carolina
- Chef Scott Schabot | Executive Chef | Cameron Bar and Grill in Raleigh, North Carolina
- Chef Bud Taylor | Chef/Owner | The Bistro Topsail in Surf City, North Carolina
- Chef Alyssa Wilen | Chef/Owner | Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen in Charlotte, North Carolina
And competing with dishes to satisfy the collective sweet tooth of the 2017 NC Chef Showdown crowd will be the following four North Carolina Pastry chefs all going for the title of 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year.
- Chef Julius Kalman | Owner/Pastry Chef | Vidalia in Boone, North Carolina
- Chef Shelby Smith | Pastry Chef | Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
- Chef Ann Marie Stefaney | Pastry Chef | Heirloom Restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina
- Chef Hannah Woociker | Pastry Chef | Highland Avenue in Hickory, North Carolina
All 16 chefs will be judged on the look and taste of the dish as well as the best use and number of local North Carolina ingredients including on each plate.
The judging panel of industry professionals will offer the top honors of 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and 2017 Pastry Chef of the Year, in addition to awards for competitors in both the sweet and savory categories for the “Best Use of a North Carolina Product” and the “Most Creative Presentation”
New in 2017, the NCRLA will also crown a 2017 NCRLA Mixologist of the Year, as six NC distilleries will be featured with hand-picked bartenders slinging their spirits. Look for the announcement of competing teams of distilleries and mixologists to come in the weeks ahead.
Attendees to the 2017 NC Chef Showdown will also get a say in the matter as each guest will get one vote in each category to determine the People’s Choice winners for Best Savory Dish, 2017 Best Pastry Dish and 2017 Best Cocktail.
The 2017 Chef Showdown will take place after the first day of the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo at the Raleigh Convention Center. Centrally located in the state’s capital city, this is an event that offers members of North Carolina’s hospitality industry two back to back days of meetings and seminars as well as a trade show.
Tickets for the 2017 NC Chef Showdown are priced at $125 per person. The event takes place on August 21, 2017 from 6-9 pm.
Your ticket price includes unlimited tasting sized portions from all 16 of these talented chefs, tasting sized cocktails from six North Carolina distilleries represented by six of the state’s talented mixologists, a chance to vote in the evening’s People’s Choice awards, a selection of wine or beer, a gift bag to take home and an evening of fun, live music and more! Don’t wait, Get Your Tickets Now!
Those of you who have a business that caters to the hospitality industry may be interested in playing a slightly bigger role in the 2017 NC Chef Showdown event. if you are interested in being a sponsor at any number of levels, please contact Mindy Wharton at the NCRLA with any questions or to work out all the details: 919.277.8585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions about becoming a member of the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association, visit the NCRLA website here.
To keep up with all the details of the 2017 NC Chef Showdown and to learn more about each of the competing chefs and their restaurants – go to the NCChefShowdown website and follow that blog just as you do this one.