"And the Secret Ingredient Is....." I'll be Judging as Triangle Chefs Battle it Out in NC Dining Competition

I cannot wait to hear these words, "And the Secret Ingredient is" when I judge one night of the upcoming "Fire in the Triangle" Got to Be NC Dining Competition series this summer. 

The secret ingredient remains a secret until the night of the competition. It is revealed to the Chef's earlier in the day so they can prepare for that evening's battle. 

I hope my secret ingredient on my judging night is not too strange. It could be anything.  Eggs. Pork. Chocolate. Coke. 

I'm judging on July 9.  On this particular night, Chef Jason Cunningham of the Washington Duke Inn in Durham will battle against Chef Brian Battistella of Battistella's in Raleigh

Folks, this is just like TV show.  I think it's going to be fun. 

Audience members judge, too and will dine on appetizers, entrees, and dessert prepared by the Chefs using the night's secret ingredients.  The audience will not know which chef prepared which dishes during the tasting. 

16 Triangle Chefs will battle it out in the Triangle. Founder Jimmy Crippen (Back-row, left) poses with all the chefs. He's like the guy on TV that says, "And the secret ingredient is......"

Each competition will be held at 1705 Prime in Raleigh. Competition nights sell out fast so get your tickets now.  

Check out the CompetitionDining website to check out pairings.  The event runs though August 19. 

If you go on July 9, say hello to me. 

HOW IT WORKS: Paying guests will savor each course in a blind tasting alongside a panel of culinary and celebrity judges in a series of 15 dinner competitions. Each evening, two restaurants “battle” it out side-by-side in a single elimination format. Guests savor a six-course menu (three dishes from each chef without knowing whose food they’re tasting) created around a “featured” ingredient. For each dinner, the ingredient will come from a North Carolina farmer or artisan producer. The featured ingredient is revealed to the chefs only an hour before they start cooking, and it must be used in each of the three courses.

Diners, alongside culinary and guest judges, will rate each dish and determine who moves on to the next round and who goes home. At stake in each series is a grand prize of $2,000, a handmade chef knife by Ironman Forge in Charlotte, and the coveted “Red Chef Jacket.” The runner-up receives $500. Tickets for dinners cost $59 excluding beverage, tax and tip. The semi-final and final ticket prices are $69. Diners can attend as many dinners as they like. 

Tickets are on sale now at www.competitiondining.com. Hurry. Tickets go fast. The Final Event is already sold out. 

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