Competition dinning shows are fun to watch on TV, and now folks in the Charlotte area can experience the heat, excitement and flavor of competition dining from some of the best chefs from some of our best local restaurants. It’s called “Fire in the City” hosted by GotToBeNC Competition Dining. There are 16 restaurants, lined up bracket style…which means it is win or go home for the chefs and their teams.
Each chef has two teammates, usually their colleagues from their restaurants. Each team is responsible to create three dishes and every dish has to have a secret ingredient. The day of the event, competitors arrive and create their menus, cook and present in a six hour time span. They can only use ingredients provided by a food truck outside of the venue.
Tom Dyrness from Upstream said “Navigating the kitchen is kind of new and everything is outside. You got to get your game plan together and really be organized.”
Brent Martin from The Peculiar Rabbit said his biggest challenge was being in “the cooler for about a half hour trying to cut out little squares of jello shots.”
Chefs can’t cook from their restaurant’s menus or any signature dish they may have. And to enforce the rules there are two “Chef Refs”, that not only monitor what’s made, they also create the menu for guests.
Guests start arriving at 6:30pm without a clue of what will be served. Behind the scenes, once each team has finished their cooking, everyone works together to plate the food.
The guests are the judges and have to digitally, with their phones, rank the course based on aroma, presentation, flavor, and creativity. Some diners tried to “guess the chef”, others really enjoyed playing the judge. But it seemed that everyone enjoyed the entire experience. Guests are seated with their party and joined by others whom they don’t know. The adrenaline of the event, combined with the flavors of the food caused new friendships to be built by table-mates.
The winner of this competition was Brent Martin’s team from The Peculiar Rabbit, which means they move on to the next round.
This series runs through October 21st, 2013, with the winners competing regionally at the Final Fire, the brackets of champions. There are still a few tickets left, visit www.competitiondining.com