The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association (NCRLA), the driving force behind North Carolina’s $23.5 billion restaurant, foodservice and lodging industries, is now accepting applications for its fourth annual NCRLA Chef Showdown, presented by Got to be NC. The culinary competition features the talents of chefs, pastry chefs and mixologists from across the state. Applications will be accepted through April 17, 2019.
“This one-of-a-kind competition showcases our state’s flourishing culinary scene, as well as the flavorful ingredients produced here in North Carolina,” said NCRLA President and CEO Lynn Minges. “We welcome applicants from all areas of the state as we identify the best-of-the-best in our industry.”
New for 2019, culinary competitors will compete in private preliminary and regional events prior to the final ticketed event that is open to the public on September 30 at Angus Barn’s Bay 7 in Durham.
The three highest-scoring savory chefs and highest scoring pastry chef from each preliminary round will move on to regionals and the finals. In every round, competitors will be judged on the presentation and taste of their dish, as well as the best use of local North Carolina ingredients on each plate. Fans will be able to follow the preliminary and regional action & results on the NCRLA and Chef Showdown social media pages.
NCRLA is also accepting applications from North Carolina distilleries that will each partner with an NC-based mixologist to create a craft cocktail with their brand. Mixologist/distillery teams will prepare sample-sized craft cocktails for showdown attendees and judges while competing for the NCRLA Mixologist of the Year award.
Preliminary rounds will be held in:
- New Bern, May 6 @ Carteret County Community College
- Asheville, June 3 @ Princess Anne Hotel
- Charlotte, June 24 @ Heirloom
- Greensboro, July 8 @ The Painted Plate
- Chapel Hill, July 22 @ The Great Room at Top of the Hill
Regional rounds will be held in:
- Raleigh, August 12 @ Vidrio
- Charlotte, August 19 @ Central Piedmont Community College
- Wilmington, August 26 @ Bluewater Waterfront Grill
Finals will be held in:
- Durham, September 30 @ Angus Barn’s Bay 7
A panel of distinguished judges will determine the winners of NCRLA Chef of the Year, NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year, and NCRLA Mixologist & Distillery of the Year. At the final event, chefs will prepare sample-sized offerings for attendees who will determine the recipients of the “People’s Choice” awards. The NC Department of Agriculture will also name six North Carolina Culinary Ambassadors, which will be an elite team of chefs who will represent the department. Event tickets for the final are $125 which includes tastings from 20 chefs plus wine, beer, and spirits.
At the 2018 NCRLA Chef Showdown, Travis Myers of Willow’s Bistro won the coveted NCRLA Chef of the Year, Miranda Brown of The Asbury at the Dunhill earned NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year, and Joe Nicol took home NCRLA Mixologist of the Year for Fainting Goat Spirits.
For more information, to apply, or to purchase tickets to the finals to the 2019 NCRLA Chef Showdown, visit ncrla.org/chefshowdown.