RALEIGH, N.C. (Aug. 21, 2019) – The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association (NCRLA), the voice of North Carolina’s $23 billion restaurant, foodservice and lodging industry, will host its fourth annual NCRLA Chef Showdown Final Event, presented by Got to be NC Agriculture, featuring creations from 20 of the best chefs in North Carolina, on Monday, Sept. 30 from 6-8:30 p.m. at Angus Barn’s Bay 7 in Durham.
Guests are invited to taste and sip their way through the savory, pastry and mixologist competitions, acting as judges for NCRLA’s People’s Choice awards. The culinary participants, all based in North Carolina, advance after cooking up the highest-rated dishes across five statewide preliminary rounds and partaking in regional rounds in Raleigh and Charlotte.
The selected chefs – sorted into two food categories, savory and sweet – are vying for the 2019 “NCRLA Chef of the Year” and “NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year” awards. Their creations were judged by a panel of professional judges in the closed-door regional rounds, scoring on presentation, taste and use of local ingredients from North Carolina. Final results will be announced at the event at the conclusion of the night. Back by popular demand, NCRLA will also crown the “NCRLA Distillery and Mixologist of the Year,” as six North Carolina distilleries partner with hand-picked bartenders to craft cocktails for guests and judges to enjoy.
The 2019 NCRLA Chef Showdown finalists are:
- Thomas Card, 21C Hotels, Durham, N.C.
- Nicholas Chavez, Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, N.C.
- Thomas Cuomo, Papa Shogun, Raleigh, N.C.
- Amanda Ezzell, Ezzell’s Catering, Warsaw, N.C.
- Steven Goff, AUX Bar, Asheville, N.C.
- Richard Gras, Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville, N.C.
- Cory Haigler, The Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, N.C.
- Matthew Hannon, Ashten’s, Southern Pines, N.C.
- Richard Miller, Butcher & Bull, Winston-Salem, N.C.
- Adam Reed, Santé, Matthews, N.C.
- Brandon Shepard, Urban Street Eats, Cedar Point, N.C.
- Matthew Shephard, McNinch House Restaurant, Charlotte, N.C.
- Kyle Teears, Whiskey Kitchen, Raleigh, N.C.
- Paul Verica, The Stanley, Charlotte, N.C.
- Jake Vollmar, Village at River Landing, Wallace, N.C.
- Gerald Hawkins, Gaston Country Club, Gastonia, N.C.
- Ryan Stipp, Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville, N.C.
- Jamie Turner, Earl’s Grocery and Soul Food Sessions, Charlotte, N.C.
- Tie Whittaker, Plates Neighborhood Kitchen, Buttermilk Boutique, Raleigh, N.C.
- Mary Jayne Wilson, Amelie’s French Bakery & Café, Charlotte, N.C.
Mixologists & Distilleries
- Johnny Burritt, representing Apothecary Beverage Company, Asheville, N.C.
- Hannah Forde-Smith, representing Mother Earth Spirits, Kinston, N.C.
- Nicole Gubitosi, representing Lassiter Distilling Company, Knightdale, N.C.
- Shannon Healy, representing Durham Distillery, Durham, N.C.
- Jimmy Huyhn, representing Copper Barrel Distillery, Wilkesboro, N.C.
- Amanda Phillips, representing TOPO Organic Spirits, Chapel Hill, N.C.
The 2019 NCRLA Chef Showdown judges are:
Mixologist & Distillery Judges
- Caroline Delaney, Muddy River Distillery, Belmont, N.C.
- Sarah Malik, College of Hospitality Management at Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte, N.C.
- Joe Nicol, 2018 NCRLA Mixologist of the Year, Asheville, N.C.
- Chef Geoff Blount, International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach at Horry-Georgetown Technical College, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
- Chef David Moore, Cribbs Hospitality LLC, PHOSPHOR Hospitality Consulting, Spartanburg, S.C.
- Tim Parrish, NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Raleigh, N.C.
- Chef Catherine Rabb, Johnson & Wales University, Fenwick’s Restaurant, Charlotte, N.C.
Tickets for the NCRLA Chef Showdown Final Event cost $125 per person. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit ncrla.org/chefshowdown.
Established in 1947, the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association (NCRLA) works to advance and protect North Carolina’s $23 billion restaurant, foodservice and lodging industry. The association provides access to the resources and support restaurant and lodging professionals need to lead thriving businesses, while serving as conscientious, contributing members of an unparalleled industry. To learn more information about NCRLA or its membership opportunities and cost-saving benefits, please visit www.ncrla.org.