Tag Archives: 1705 Prime

Trial By Fire: The Final Battle – Chef Ryan of Rex Health and Chef Curt of Curt’s Cucina

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How it works: Paying guests get to sample each course in a blind tasting alongside a panel of culinary and celebrity judges in a series of 15 dinner competitions hosted in the four regions of the state. 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 “secret” ingredient. For almost all series, the secret ingredient will come from a North Carolina source. The secret ingredient is revealed to the chefs only an hour before they start cooking and it must be used in each of their three courses Diners, alongside culinary and guest judges, will rate each dish and determine who moves to the next round and who goes home. Semi-Final Round – both chefs had competed and won in the first round of competition.

Contestants: Chef Ryan Conklin CEC from Rex Healthcare and Chef Curt Shelvy of Curt’s Cucina.   At stake is a grand prize of $2,500 and a coveted red chef jacket.

Location: Fire in the Triangle takes place in Raleigh, at 1705 Prime, E Millbrook.

Secret Ingredient #1: Certified Angus Beef Short Loin

Secret Ingredient #2: Uno Alla Volta Cheeses

First Course: 1: Uno Alla Volta Ricotta & Arugula Gnudi, Winter Vegetable Fricassee, Parmesan Brodo, Peppered Certified Angus Beef Charred Rare Tenderloin, UAV Hay-Smoked Mozzarella prepared by Chef Shelvy with a score of 28.367

Second Course: Bourbon Barrel Smoked Salt & Pepper-Horseradish Rubbed Certifed Angus Beef Strip Loin, Uno Alla Volta Hay-Smoked Mozzarella Logan Turnpike Grits, Béarnaise, Asparagus-UAV Burrata Whey Purée Fennell & UAV Ricotta Little River Crab Salad, and Tangerine prepared by Chef Conklin with a score of 25.140

Third Course: Whole Roasted Certified Angus Beef Strip Loin, Fingerling Potato Confit, Una Alla Volta Mozzarella-Shallot Fondue, Green Tomato Salsa Verde, and Natural Jus prepared by Chef Shelvy with a score of 22.148

Fourth Course: Braised Certified Angus Beef Tenderloin, Una Alla Volta Ricotta-Lusty Monk Original Sin Spätzle with Bacon & Brussels Sprouts, Pickled Onion-Perry Lowe Orchards Apple Salad, Melted Leeks,and Fried Parsnip prepared by Chef Conklin; with a score of 24.223

Fifth Course: Marcona Almond-Logan Turnpike “Polenta” Cake, Vanilla Scented Uno Alla Volta Ricotta, Chocolate Soufflé Glacé, Black Pepper Anglaise, and Pomegranate-Strawberry Compote prepared by Chef Shelvy with a score of 26.505

Sixth Course: Uno Alla Volta Ricotta-Toffee Cornmeal Upside Down Cake, UAV Ricotta Semifreddo, Meyer Lemon-Blueberry Compote, UAV Ricotta-Vanilla Bean Cannoli Cream, Pine Nut Crumble, and Balsamic-White Peach Coulis prepared by Chef Conklin; with a score of 28.546

The winner was Chef Ryan Conklin CEC of Rex Healthcare with a score of 25.975 over Chef Curt Shelvy with a score of 25.674.

Conklin took home a $2,000 cash prize, a handmade chef knife by Ironman Forge and the coveted “Red Chef Jacket” provided by ALSCO. Additionally, the Rex Healthcare team moves on to the final battle of champions in October where they will compete against the winners from each of the other North Carolina tournaments.

Additional Sponsors:

  • Hitstech
  • NC Agriculture
  • JoyceFarms
  • Pepsi
  • Certified Angus beef
  • SouthernFoods NC
  • Whole harvest
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Trial By Fire: Battle – Christopher vs. Ryan

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logo2How it works: Paying guests get to sample each course in a blind tasting alongside a panel of culinary and celebrity judges in a series of 15 dinner competitions hosted in the four regions of the state. 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 “secret” ingredient. For almost all series, the secret ingredient will come from a North Carolina source. The secret ingredient is revealed to the chefs only an hour before they start cooking and it must be used in each of their three courses Diners, alongside culinary and guest judges, will rate each dish and determine who moves to the next round and who goes home. Semi-Final Round – both chefs had competed and won in the first round of competition.

Contestants: Chef Christopher Hill of Faire and Chef Ryan Conklin CEC from Rex Healthcare At stake is a grand prize of $2,500 and a coveted red chef jacket.

Location: Fire in the Triangle takes place in Raleigh, at 1705 Prime, E Millbrook.

Secret Ingredient #1: The incredible edible North Carolina Egg

10995903_894144763975816_8967496200503378977_oNorth Carolina Egg Association Representing NC Farmers. Egg production is an important segment of the agriculture industry in North Carolina. The Egg Industry ranks 7th in North Carolina commodity receipts.

Our egg farmers are located all over the state from Dare County to Cherokee County. We have approximately 9 million birds which lay about 7 ½ million eggs a day. That is about one bird per person North Carolina. And since the average person eats about 255 eggs per year, we produce enough eggs to feed our residents. Hens lay an egg about once every 26 hours and usually skip a day in the week.

Secret Ingredient #2: Poplar Ridge Farm Sunchokes

11004591_894144213975871_11912609820241294_oPoplar Ridge Farm is a North Carolina Organic Certified Farm Established in 1995 – Owner/Mgr Marianne Battistone – Contrib Expert SELF Magazine since 1980. Poplar Ridge Farm is a Certified Organic Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm offering produce & flower memberships, weekly online orders, an open to the public on-farm market stand, and deliveries to Charlotte metro restaurants.

A sunchoke is a tuber, like a potato, and is often prepared and eaten as a root vegetable. Light brown and bumpy on the outside and white inside, the sunchoke looks somewhat like a small potato or ginger root. It is native to North America and was cultivated by Native Americans prior to the arrival of European settlers. Also called a Jerusalem artichoke, its name can be a source of confusion because the plant is not closely related to the artichoke; rather, it is a member of the same flower family as the sunflower. With a nutty, somewhat sweet flavor, many cooks enjoy adding bits of the crunchy, raw vegetable to salads or salsas, while others prefer them roasted or mashed.

lonerider Topo Distillery, LoneRider Brewery and the North Carolina Beer Guys supplied drinks. I loved my spicy Bloody Mary again last night. While we were waiting a basket of bread supplied by La Farm Bakery was placed on our table. Ymm! Belle enjoyed her Shotgun Betty Hefeweizen.

Table 13, a change from my favorite table #4, consisted Linda Barnes, Belle of Triangle Street Eats, Lisa and Jeff, Katey and Matt, John and his date, Christy and Cole and myself. Everyone was excited to be at the dinner. Lisa and Jeff had attended the competition with cocoa nibs. Katey and Matt recently had a baby girl, and were on a date celebrating their anniversary (wink wink) and Linda was celebrating her birthday. They received glasses from Libbey.

First Course: Poplar Ridge Farm Sunchoke-Sweet Potato Steam Bun, Spicy Braised Octopus, Cheshire Pork Belly, Sunchoke-Collard Kimchi, Anaheim Pepper Purée, Sunchoke-Carrot Hoisin. Prepared by Chef Hill receiving a score of 21.85

Second Course: Roasted Veal Medallions, Black Truffle, NC Egg Hollandaise, Poplar Ridge Farm Sunchoke-Bacon, Homemade Mac & Cheese, Rainbow Chard, Perry Lowe Orchard Apples, Sunchokes prepared by Chef Conklin; receiving a score of 29.5

Third Course: Poplar Ridge Farm Sunchoke-Black Garlic Glazed Certified Angus Beef Bistro Steak, Goat Lady Dairy Goat Cheese-Bacon-Caramelized Onion NC Egg Tortellini, Black Truffle Lacinato Kale, Sunchoke, and Veal Glace Cream prepared by Chef Hill; receiving a score of 25.64

Fourth Course: Rack of Lamb, Poplar Ridge Farm Sunchoke-Potato- NC Egg Puff, Tomato-Shiitake Jam, and Lacinato Kale Salsa Verde prepared by Chef Conklin; with a score of 23.94

Fifth Course: Coffee-Choclate IncredibleEggs, NCEgg Cake, Burnt Italian Meringue, Poplar Ridge Farm Sunchoke Caramel, Cabernet Fluid Gel, and Sunchoke Graham Cracker Butter Cookie prepared by Chef Hill with a score of 25.92

Sixth Course: Poplar Ridge Farm Sunchoke & Sweet Potato Beignet, Milke Chocoalate Glacé, Apple Cider- NC Egg Sabayon, Candied Pistachio Crumbs, and Salted Caramel prepared by Chef Conklin; with a score of 30.94

The winner was Chef Ryan Conklin CEC of Rex Healthcare with a score of 28.14 over Chef Christopher Hill with a score of 24.47. It was a battle to the end, who both chefs preparing an outstanding culinary experience, Conklin’s Chocolate Ice cream was the winning course that pushed his score over the top.

The final battle will be between Chef Ryan Conklin of Rex Healthcare and Curt Shelvey of Curts Cucina on March 9. It will be a great competition between two great competitors!

Additional Sponsors:

  • Hitstech
  • NC Agriculture
  • JoyceFarms
  • Pepsi
  • Certified Angus beef
  • SouthernFoods NC
  • Whole harvest

mary_smUntil next time – The Traveler

Trial By Fire: Battle – Benjamin vs. Ryan

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logo2How it works: Paying guests get to sample each course in a blind tasting alongside a panel of culinary and celebrity judges in a series of 15 dinner competitions hosted in the four regions of the state. 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 “secret” ingredient. For almost all series, the secret ingredient will come from a North Carolina source. The secret ingredient is revealed to the chefs only an hour before they start cooking and it must be used in each of their three courses Diners, alongside culinary and guest judges, will rate each dish and determine who moves to the next round and who goes home. Quarter Final Round – both chefs have competed and won in the first round of competition.

Contestants: Chef Benjamin Harris from the Midtown Grill and Chef Ryan Conklin CEC from Rex Healthcare At stake is a grand prize of $2,500 and a coveted red chef jacket.

Location: Fire in the Triangle takes place in Raleigh, at 1705 Prime, E Millbrook.

Secret Ingredient #1: Chestnut Flour

High Rock Farm is currently the largest chestnut orchard in the mid-Atlantic. With over five hundred chestnut trees High Rock Farm produces about 26,000 pounds a year of chestnuts. Harvesting happens between September and October. This is done by picking up the chestnuts by hand every day.  Once in the barn the chestnuts go through a cleaning and sorting process which removes the unwanted debris from the nuts as well as any weevil eggs. After the nuts are sorted into various sizes the chestnuts are then stored in cold storage before they are shipped off to market. Some of the chestnuts are dried and are sold as kernels. These can be re-hydrated and then used in a wide range of foods and assorted dishes. Many of the nuts are dried and grounded into gluten free flour and sold at market. Since the chestnut is naturally gluten free the flour remains gluten free since it is grounded chestnuts with no additives.

Secret Ingredient #2: Certified Angus Beef

In 1981, Joe and his wife, Robin, began Back Creek in Mt. Ulla, N.C. He says they wanted something they could do together – and the decision to raise Angus cattle is one he’s never regretted.

Angus is everywhere these days. Over the last couple of decades it’s even become a bit of a buzzword. It’s true. Angus beef is good. But the Certified Angus Beef ® brand? It’s on an entirely different level. It defines the standard by which all beef is measured. No shortcuts and with a virtual obsession with flavor and juiciness.

Topo Distillery and the North Carolina Beer Guys supplied drinks. I loved my spicy Bloody Mary again last night. While we were waiting a basket of bread supplied by La Farm Bakery was placed on our table.

Table 4, my favorite table, consisted of Gwynn a psychology professor from Meredith College, her husband Brad a manager at SAS, Alison and Justin psychologists. (It is a small world Justin was from a dairy farm turned cattle ranch from upstate NYC close to where my Father’s came from.) Erin, Matt and Rebecca. These couples have been experimenting with food by hosting a supper club monthly.

Shaluka Perera co-founder of Nicklepoint Brewing; Shaluka also works at IBM. His partner Bruce Corregan, also a former IBM employee was not able to attend. They are pleased with their rapid rise in the microbrewery in the Triangle region, providing Strong Scotch Ale or Nickelpoint English IPA for the nights beer drinking pleasure.

Nickelpoint Brewing Co.® is a craft microbrewery located in Five Points neighborhood north of Raleigh, North Carolina offering classic European style ales. It is a family and dog friendly establishment. It was nice making a new friend. Located at 506 Pershing Road in Raleigh, NC 27608

First Course: Dashi: Black Garlic, Homemade High Rock Farm Chestnut Flour Pasta Braised CertAngusBeef Tri-Tip, Smoked Fennel Kimchi prepared by Chef Harris; receiving a score of 27.21

Second Course: Latin Braised CertAngusBeef Tri-Tip: High Rock Farm Chestnut Flour-Crusted Butternut Squash Guacamole, Perry Lowe Orchards Pink Lady Apple-Fennell-Radish Salad prepared by Chef Conklin; receiving a score of 29.82

Third Course: Carpetbagger: High Rock Farm Chestnut Flour-Fried Virginia Oyster, Grilled Tri-Tip, Benton’s Bacon Emulsion, Goat Lady Dairy Chevre goat cheese Polenta, Foy Farms Radish Sprout and Harissa prepared by Chef Harris; receiving a score of 30.49

Fourth Course: Seared @CertAngusBeef Tri-Tip: High Rock Farm Chestnut Flour & Cocoa Crust, Smokey Red Chimichurri, Scott Farms Sweet Potato-Bacon-Farro Salad, Avocado Purée and Foy Farms Radish Sprouts prepared by Chef Conklin; with a score of 28.18

Fifth Course: Buttermilk Cake: Meringue, Carbonated-Pickled North Carolina Blueberries, Chestnut Flour Crumble and White Chocolate Cream prepared by Chef Harris; with a score of 27.87

Sixth Course: Free Form Cobbler: Perry Lowe Orchards Caemo Apple- Chestnut Flour-Foie Gras Cobbler, White Chocolate Semi Freddo and Butter Pecan Syrup prepared by Chef Conklin; with a score of 29.71

The winner was Chef Ryan Conklin CEC of Rex Healthcare with a score of 29.23 over Chef Benjamin Harris with a score of 28.52. It was a battle to the end, who both chefs preparing an outstanding culinary experience.

The talk at our table was questioning how a Hospital Chef could be competing in Trial by Fire. After learning Chef Conklin had been a chef at the Four Seasons in NYC, we quickly were made aware of Chef Conklin’s abilities and why he is helping to change hospital dining along with the other Blackhat Chefs.

A special mention to Felicia Perry, for all the tweets and retweet. Trish W @tdub_hokie, who I met and enjoyed her tweets, as well as making a new friend. Also, a shout-out to the elusive Triangle Explorer, who I finally had the opportunity to met. Now that we have met, I hope to speak with you at other events.

I have my ticket to attend the battle on Feb. 17 to see Chef Spencer of the Weathervane battle with Chef Brandon Stark of Michael’s Seafood Restaurant.

mary_smUntil next time – The Traveler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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