It’s been a long road since Fire on the Rock kicked off the first-ever Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series in January. Since then, 64 chefs from some of the state’s best restaurants have gone head-to-head in regional competitions in Blowing Rock, Wilmington, Raleigh and Greensboro.
Each region hosted a single-elimination bracket series featuring 16 area chefs. Two chefs competed in each round and prepared a six-course meal using two secret local ingredients revealed to them less than an hour before the competition.
“The response for this event has been overwhelming,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “I think it speaks volumes about the growing interest in N.C. food products and chefs who use them.”
Four chefs remain and will face off in the Final Fire to determine who is the top chef in the state. The Final Fire will be held tomorrow through Saturday at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel.
On Thursday, Michael Foreman of Bistro Roca in Blowing Rock will compete against George C. Neal of 1618 Seafood Grille in Greensboro. Friday’s competition features Andy Hopper of Chefs 105 in Morehead City and Ryan Payne of Weathervane in Chapel Hill. The winners from each night will cook off in a grand finale on Saturday.
Foreman, winner of Fire on the Rock, summed up the importance of the competition in a video interview earlier this year: “This is just a really good opportunity for all of us to come together and share everything we’ve learned and developed over the year, and put it out there one time, one chance for everybody to see what we try to achieve all year long.”
The finale is sold out, but you can follow results from the competition on Facebook and Twitter. You also can find more information about the participating chefs and their restaurants online at the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series website.