Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series Reveals Chefs and Brackets for 2015 Triangle Tournament

Top Quote Statewide Chef Competition Comes to Raleigh Offering 15 Fun, Interactive Dinner Events Starting Jan. 19. End Quote
  • Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC (1888PressRelease) January 10, 2015 - The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series, a single-elimination tournament highlighting the best of the state's food, agriculture and culinary talent, will pit 16 of North Carolina's most competitive chefs against each other in the upcoming Triangle events. The series includes 15 dinner experiences in which two chefs battle it out and diners from the community and across the state serve as judges for a blind six-course meal. Tickets to the interactive dinner battles, which take place Jan. 19 through March 2 in Raleigh, are available now at

    Chefs from across the state applied to take part in the competition and final participants were selected based on culinary talent, menu development experience, training, personality, proven creativity and more. The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series' Triangle chefs and preliminary match-up battles include:

    First-Round Brackets
    - Jan. 19 Dinner: Gerry Fong of Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant in New Bern, versus Benjamin Harris of Midtown Grille in Raleigh
    - Jan. 20 Dinner: Trey Cleveland of Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery in Chapel Hill, versus Ryan Conklin of Rex Healthcare in Raleigh
    - Jan. 21 Dinner: Shane Ingram of Four Square Restaurant in Durham, versus Ben Strange of Aperitivo at Lawson's Landing in New Bern
    - Jan. 26 Dinner: Christopher Hill of Faire Steak & Seafood in Raleigh, versus Teddy Diggs of Il Palio in Chapel Hill
    - Jan. 27 Dinner: Ben Adams of Piedmont Restaurant in Durham, versus Chelsi Hogue of Ed's Southern Food & Spirits in Goldsboro
    - Jan. 28 Dinner: Patrick Cowden of Tobacco Road Sports Cafe in Raleigh/Durham, versus Curt Shelvey of Curt's Cucina in Southern Pines
    - Feb. 2 Dinner: Spencer Carter of Weathervane in Chapel Hill, versus Rhett Morris of Rhett's Restaurant in Southern Pines
    - Feb. 3 Dinner: Benjamin Guaman of Governors Club in Chapel Hill, versus Brandon Stark of Michael's Seafood Restaurant in Carolina Beach.

    In every Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series event battle, the two participating chefs each prepare three courses centered on a secret or featured ingredient that comes from a North Carolina farmer or artisan producer. Featured ingredients are revealed to the chefs only an hour before they start cooking that day and must be used in every course.

    At the dinner events, ticketed guests savor the combined six courses without knowing which chef prepared each. Alongside culinary and guest judges, diners rate the dishes using an interactive app, ultimately determining who moves on to the next round and who goes home.

    "This year's Triangle tournament features an exciting lineup of chefs who are sure to impress foodies throughout the region," said Jimmy Crippen, Competition Dining Series founder and host. "The competition's interactive dinner events connect communities and foster a dynamic atmosphere to celebrate North Carolina's culinary talents and agriculture - because we are all chefs, farmers or diners. At the battles you'll see families, loved ones and friends both new and old socializing and debating, while people at home are following along through live Tweets (using the hashtag #CompDiningNC). The innovative culinary creations and passion that emerges as locals cheer on their hometown favorites is what makes each dinner just as exciting as the last."

    The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series is unlike any other dinner experience in the country. It hosts three regional tournaments throughout the year, including the surrounding markets for Raleigh, Charlotte and Winston-Salem. For 2015, some of the most competitive chefs from around the state will compete until a final winner emerges in each area.

    At stake in each regional series is a grand prize of $2,000, a handmade chef knife by Ironman Forge and the coveted "Red Chef Jacket." Additionally, all regional winners move on to compete in the battle of champions at the end of the year.

    Along with the preliminary battles listed previously, Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series' Triangle events include:

    - Feb. 9 Dinner: Jan. 19 winner versus Jan. 20 winner
    - Feb. 10 Dinner: Jan. 21 winner versus Jan. 26 winner
    - Feb. 16 Dinner: Jan. 27 winner versus Jan. 28 winner
    - Feb. 17 Dinner: Feb. 2 winner versus Feb. 3 winner.

    - Feb. 23 Dinner: Feb. 9 winner versus Feb. 10 winner
    - Feb. 24 Dinner: Feb. 16 winner versus Feb. 17 winner.

    Final Battle (Triangle championship event)
    - March 2 Dinner: Feb. 23 winner versus Feb. 24 winner.

    All Triangle events are held at 1705 Prime, located at 1705 E. Millbrook in Raleigh. Tickets to attend a preliminary battle cost $55 each and tickets for a quarterfinal battle are $59 each, excluding beverage, tax and service fee. Tickets to attend a semifinal battle cost $69 each and tickets for the final competition are $75 each, excluding beverage, tax and service fee. Community members can attend as many dinners as they like. Reservations are open now at

    About The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series
    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®, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, Hits Technology and local partners in each region of the state. The goal of the series is to celebrate local North Carolina products and agriculture, and to showcase the culinary ingenuity and talent across the state. For more information, visit or get in on the conversation at and ( @ ) CompDiningNC on Twitter or Instagram.

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