1 Secret Ingredient, 2 Chefs, 6 courses: The Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series

What is the Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series? Imagine Iron Chef (2 chef led teams, 1 or 2 secret ingredients) meets Chopped (3 dishes made from scratch, with no recipe) + a presidential election (popular vote determines the winner, wait, no that’s wrong, but you get the point). That is Competition Dining. Did I mention the brackets?

There are a series of dinners and at each dinner a winner is crowned. The winning chef advances up the bracket until they get to the Final Four and then the ultimate cooking showdown. This is the Sweet 16 of eating.

This isn’t called Got to Be NC for nothing. All the ingredients are locally-made or sourced. Last year I attended a competition and the secret ingredients were Calvander cheese from Chapel Hill Creamery and sorghum syrup, a sassy Southern sister to maple syrup. That my friends was a blissful dinner. In years past the secret ingredients have ranged from Krispy Kreme donuts to goat cheese to corn. No one asked me but if they did I have a few secret ingredients in mind:

These are in no particular order:

1) Cheerwine and Nabs. Don’t you dare say you don’t know what a Nab is.

2) Red Hots – If anyone from Comp Dining is reading do not, I repeat do not, confuse these with a Brightleaf hotdog

3) Mt. Olive Pickles

4) Locally-brewed beer and peanuts

The competition is a lot of fun and no matter the ingredients you are in for six courses of delicious, if not ahem, adventurous (cheese ice cream anyone) food. The series has been so successful that the Competition is expanding to Durham this year. Tickets tend to sell out quickly so if you want a seat at the table buy sooner rather than later. Oh one last thing, how about this combination of secret ingredients: pork and Cackalacky Sauce. Too easy for the chefs but man 6 courses of that would be good.

For tickets:

Competition Dining – Durham consists of two semifinal battles which will be held April 18 and April 19. The winning chefs on each of those evenings advances to the Finale on April 21st. All events are at American Tobacco, Bay 7.

Competition Dining – Raleigh consists of six battles held July 11-21. The winner of the semifinals advances to the Finale July 24th. All events are at 214 Martin Street.

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