Tag Archives: La Farm Bakery

Trial By Fire: Battle – Spencer vs. Rhett

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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.

Contestants: Chef Spencer Carter from the Weathervane in Chapel Hill and Chef Rhett Morris from Rhett’s in Southern Pines. 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.

Secret Ingredient: Videri Chocolate Roasted Cocoa Nibs

Videri-Chocolate-FactoryThe Videri Chocolate Factory began as the shared dream of three chocolate lovers: Sam, Starr, and Chris. From the moment Sam first sunk his hands into a bag of cocoa beans, he knew he had a love for making delicious gourmet chocolate, and the talent to match. His mission was to turn his passion for handcrafted bean-to-bar chocolate into his profession. Sam’s wife, Starr, and his longtime friend, Chris, came on board to head up the business side of the company, and the three have been having a blast ever since.

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 LaFarm Bakery was placed on our table.

Table 4, my favorite table consisted of Belle my counterpart from Triangle Street Eats, Ryan Conklin, Chef from Rex Health, Collin Jennings and Steve Pexton, members of the Rex Healthcare team, Paul Amburn from Pate Dawson Southern Foods, Adam Moore representing Libbey,Inc. and Muffy and me (Mary Morehouse). We had a great table. Wonderful conversation, sharing of opinions and critiquing of the gastronomical creations served.   It was nice having Linda Barnes aka the Belle from our Blog Triangle Street Eats sharing the Competition Dining experience.

First Course: Videri Cocoa Nib-Cured Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork Belly, Brown Butter Logan Turnpike Grits, Goodnight Brothers Country Ham- “Nib” Gravy, Coddled Egg, House Made Cocoa Nib Croutons. Prepared by Chef Spencer Carter, with a score of 25.55

Second Course: Videri Cocoa Nib Ravioli, Confit of Heritage Farm Pork Cheeks, Looking Glass Creamery “Chocolate Lab cheese”, Arugula, Cocoa Nib Pesto and Romesco Sauce. Prepared by Chef Rhett Morris with a score of 21.75

Third Course: Chili-Videri Cocoa Nib-Crusted Certified Angus Beef registered brand “Bistro” Steak, “Nib” Braised Cippolini Onions, Scott Farms Sweet Potato-Horseradish Puree, Cocoa Nib-Current Steak Sauce, Horseradish Chips. Prepared by Chef Spencer Carter with a score of 27.49

Fourth Course: Fortnight Brewery ESB-Braised Venison Osso Bucco, Videri Cocoa Nib-Rosemary Logan Turnpike Grits Cake, Roasted Kalette and Caramelized Fennel. Prepared by Chef Rhett Morris with a score of 22.57

Fifth Course: Triple Layer Videri Cocoa Nib Blondie, Cocoa Nib-Coffee Whipped Cream, Chocolate Mousse, Maple-Nut-Cherry Compote. Prepared by Spencer Carter with a score of 33.75

Sixth Course: Videri Cocoa Nib Southern Tiramisu, Cocoa Nib Cookies, Coffee, Kahlua, Sweet Marscarpone, Charred Cocoa Nib Fluff, Candied Blood Orange, Chocolate-Caramel Sauce.   Prepared by Chef Rhett Morris with a score of 24.11.

The winner was Chef Spencer Carter from the Weathervane with a score of 28.61 beating out Chef Rhett Morris with a score of 22.82.

The cocoa nib was a difficult ingredient to use do to its strong flavor. The evening was filled with interesting preparations; some hits, some misses, but the hard work of the cooking teams and the production done by Jimmie Crippen and his crew are greatly appreciated. Triangle Street Eats is happy to be able to attend and promote these events.

A special mention to Ashley Korizis, otherwise known as, The Olive The Sea. It is always nice putting a face to the name. Good luck with your upcoming move to Charlotte. It is wonderful that Twitter, Facebook and the internet will allow us to continue following what we are doing. Hope you win tickets to come again to Competition Dining.

Please check out Chef Ryan Conklin’s blog: ‘New School’ Hospital Food – Raleigh, NC. It is very well written and an interesting read.

I have my ticket to attend the battle on Feb. 9: Chef Benjamin Harris from the Midtown Grill and Chef Ryan Conklin from Rex Healthcare. I loved what Chef Harris made at the first competition and am excited to experience what Chef Conklin has to offer. I am certain it will be a great battle of interesting gastronomical delights.

mary_smUntil Next Time – The Traveler.

 

 

 

 

Trial By Fire: Battle – Chelsi vs. Ben

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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.

Contestants: Chef Chelsi Hogue, from Ed’s Southern Bar and Grill in Goldsboro will compete against Chef Ben Adams from the Piedmont, a restaurant in Durham. 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.

Secret Ingredient: Ran-Lew Cream Top Milk

Randy Lewis has started bottling cream top milk on his family’s dairy farm in Snow Camp, NC. The unhomogenized milk comes from cows kept on pasture. His milk products are outstanding. Samples of milk and chocolate milk was shared with the dinners

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. I was sitting next to Jennifer Noble Kelly, publicist representing La Farm Bakery and Chef Ben Adams from the Piedmont Restaurant and Amanda MacLaren from Durham Magazine.

First Course: Pan-Seared Scallop, Aromatic and Spice infused Ran-Lew Dairy Cream Top Milk Broth, Creamed Parsnip, Pinot Noir plumped Cherries, Crushed Cashews and Fried Leeks. Chef Hogue, of Ed’s Southern Bar and Grill prepared it. It received a score of 28.66.

Second Course: Anchovy, Little G Farms Bibb Lettuce Puree, Caper Berry, Marcona Almond, Crispy Parsnip, Ran-Lew Dairy Whey Cucumber Vinaigrette. Chef Adams of the Piedmont Restaurant prepared this dish. It received a score of 23.57.

Third Course: Pan-Roasted Joyce Farms Naked Chicken Breast, Chili-Fingerling Potato Shitake Mushroom Hash, Browned Johnson County Mangalitsa Ham, Ran-Lew Dairy Cream Top Milk Gravy, Smoked Tomato Butter, Basil Pesto – prepared by Chef Hogue with a score of 25.31

Fourth Course: Ran-Lew Cream Top Milk Braised Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork, Curry Scott Farm Fingerling Sweet Potatoes, Black Garlic, Herbs – prepared by Chef Adams, with a score of 24.77.

Fifth Course: Ran-Lew Cream Top Milk Ricotta, Blood Orange, Pomegranate Seed, Fennel Black Current Puree – repaired by Chef Adams with the score of 27.39.

Sixth Course: Ran-Lew Cream Top Milk and Yeast Beignet, Spiced Sugar, Apple Butter Coconut Chantilly Cream, Chocolate Milk and Honey Sauce – repared by Chef Hogue with a score of 27.08.

The winner was Chelsi Hogue from Ed’s Southern with a score of 27 with a close win against Chef Ben Adams with the score of 25.27.

I had a great time. Both Chefs out did themselves with their creations. We had a great crew at our Table 4; Jennifer Noble Kelly, Amanda McLaren, Marcus Hall and his wife, owners of The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, Mike Turner Director of Sales of Pate Dawson, Leah Carter, Chef Spencer Carter, Bo and Vanessa.

I plan on attending the battle on Feb. 2: Spencer Carter of the Weathervane Restaurant in Chapel Hill, versus Rhett Morris of Rhett’s Restaurant in Southern Pines. Chef Carter assured me that he would be preparing 3 outstanding courses.

Sponsors:

  • Got to Be NC Products
  • Pate Dawson Southern Foods PDF Chain
  • Pepsi Bottling Ventures
  • Joyce Farms
  • Certified Angus Beef Brand
  • Libbey Food Services
  • NC Egg Farmers: North Carolina Egg Association
  • Whole Harvest Foods
  • HITSTECH
  • La Farm Bakery

mary_smUntil Next Time – The Traveler

Trial By Fire: Triangle Street Eats Introduction to North Carolina’s Competitive Dining

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The friends saw the twitter buzz last fall about the North Carolina Dining Competition; Fire in the Triangle and was interested to find out more about it. I volunteered to see how this competition worked, since it reminded me of Iron Chef, but only better. Since I am a newbie to this dining experience, I was interested in the history of how it all began.

logo2Background of Competition: The first competition; the original Fire on the Rock, held in 2005 in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, was organized by Mr. Jimmy Crippen. The competition was started as a way to build business during the off-season and has since exploded into a series across the state promoting local North Carolina ingredients, chefs and local restaurants. Jimmy Crippen was the owner of the acclaimed Crippen Country Inn and Restaurant in Blowing Rock, NC, which closed in 2013. The closure allowed Crippen to shift his focus to his Got to Be NC Competitive Dining Series full-time. He emcees each competition in the Fire series. In year’s past the competition has focused on five regions of the state, but host and creator Jimmy Crippen said the focus has changed to only three sections of the state – the Triangle, Charlotte and the Triad. Competing chefs will come from the surrounding areas of each region.

Battle Ben and Gerry: January 19, 2015

Location: Fire in the Triangle, will take place in Raleigh at 1705 Prime.

Secret Ingredient: Mangalitsa Ham

thVBJS0W8UMangalitsa (US spelling), Mangalitza (UK spelling) or Mangalica (original spelling) is a natural breed of pigs from Europe that are descended directly from wild boar populations. The Mangalitsa pig is unusual as it grows a hairy ‘fleece’, akin to that of a sheep. The Mangalitsa was formerly bred as a lard pig, and animals were large and round. Because of the drop in demand for lard, the breed’s popularity has declined and it is now regarded as a “rare breed“.

We were instructed to arrive at the competition at 6 pm. Heidi Billotto, a fellow blogger from Charlotte, representing La Farm Bakery, greeted me. She was very busy taking pictures and doing interviews, so I greatly appreciated her taking the time to seek me out. I was taken to my table, number 4. The blog team of Triangle Around Town was already seated to my right at our large table. On my left was Jennifer Simmons, a delightful person who loves and appreciates food

Topo Distillery and the North Carolina Beer Guys supplied drinks. I loved my spicy Bloody Mary and the beer made with orange peel and minimal hops, which decreased the bitterness of the beer. While we were waiting a basket of bread supplied by La Farm Bakery was placed on our table. Not being shy and since the basket was placed next to me, I sampled a white chocolate baguette, which was phenomenal!   I did not want to eat too much, so I could appreciate the gastronomical creations by Chef Fong and Chef Harris.

The excitement was building and the clock was slowly counting down the time to discovering what the secret ingredient would be. The clock reached zero and Jimmy Crippen began his role of Emcee. He was engaging and entertaining. He introduced the Chefs and finally announced the secret ingredient, Mangalitsa Country Ham.

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. Culinary, as well as guest judges, rate each dish and determine who moves to the next round and who goes home. At stake in each series is a grand prize of $2,500 and a coveted red chef jacket.

First Course: Pan-Roasted Scallop, Logan Turnpike Stone Ground Grits, Saffron. Chili. Crispy Johnson County Mangalitsa Ham. Chef Harris and his team from the Midtown Grill created this. It received a score of 28.16.

Second Course: Lavender and Thyme Seared Giant Sea Scallop, Rice Noodle Salad, Sautéed Parsnip & Johnson County Mangalitsa Ham, Currant-Cranberry Compote. Chef Fong of Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant of New Bern, NC prepared this. It received a score of 26.97.

Third Course: Confit of Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork Belly and Butter-Poached Crawfish, Looking Glass Creamery “Chocolate Lab” Rustic Porridge, Butternut, Red Onion Jam Red Eye Gravy. Prepared by Chef Harris with a score of 25.41

Fourth Course: Coffee and Johnson County Mangalitsa Ham crusted Certified Angus Beef Brand Rib Eye, Wild Mushroom, Mangalitsa Ham and Looking Glass Creamery “Ellington” Goat Cheese Risotto, Carmel Roasted Butternut Puree, Mangalitsa Ham and Citrus Brussel Sprouts, TOPO Old White Well Demi. Prepared by Chef Fong with a score of 26.81.

Fifth Course: Milk Chocolate Custard, Dark Chocolate Torte, Buttermilk Fluid Gel, Johnson County Mangalitsa Nam salted Carmel, “Fluff”.   Prepared by Chef Harris with the score of 28.61.

Sixth Course: Johnson County Mangalitsa Ham & Chocolate Stout Cake with Mangalitsa Ham and Pomegranate Sorbet, Vanilla Chil & Lime Anglaise Candied Beets. Prepared by Chef Fong with a score of 27.7.

The winner was Benjamin Harris from the Midtown Grill with a score of 27.42 with a close win against Chef Gerry Fong with the score of 27.16.

I had a great time. Both Chefs out did themselves with their creations. Mangalitsa Country Ham is a challenging ingredient. I was hoping for an ice cream from one of the Chefs, but enjoyed the desserts that were created.

I loved meeting Stephanie Beck from WRAL Out and About. I know she follows Triangle Street Eats on Twitter, but I invited her to check out our blog and Facebook Page. I was also fortunate to meet Felicia Perry. She is delightful.   I hope to run in to her again at other events. I loved the NC Beer Guys and hope to see them at the 214 Martin Street Beer Dinner with Raleigh Brewing Company Thursday night.

I plan on attending more of these battles. I hope our readers will attend and follow our gastronomical experiences as well as our choices for Restaurant Week. Here are the upcoming NC Dining Competitions.

Here are the first round match-ups supplied by WRAL: 

Sponsors:

Got to Be NC Products

  • Pate Dawson Southern Foods PDF Chain
  • Pepsi Bottling Ventures
  • Joyce Farms
  • Certified Angus Beef Brand
  • Libbey Food Services
  • NC Egg Farmers: North Carolina Egg Association
  • Whole Harvest Foods
  • HITSTECH
  • La Farm Bakery

mary_smThe Traveler