20 North Carolina chefs move on to compete in the Regional Rounds
RALEIGH, N.C. (June 21, 2021) – After four springtime preliminary rounds of competition across the state of North Carolina, the field of 48 chefs and pastry chefs competing for the coveted titles of NCRLA Chef of the Year and NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year has narrowed to 20.
All 20 talented chefs will present to the same panel of four judges at one of two regional finals in July. It is here chefs will cook for the win, as the judges’ scores will determine the competition’s two top winners. This year, the regional judges are all chefs themselves as well as past NCRLA Chef Showdown winners.
Of the 20 regional finalists, 15 chefs are competing with savory dishes, and five pastry chefs are going head-to-head on the sweeter side of things. Each of the dishes must feature ingredients grown, raised, caught, or made in the state of North Carolina.
“We are so excited to see this up-and-coming culinary talent in our state, especially after the taxing and stressful year we have just been through. They exemplify not only the energy and creativity of the restaurant industry, but its strength and resiliency too,” said Lynn Minges, President & CEO of the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association.
Regional round winners will be announced on Aug 9, 2021, at the NCRLA Chef Showdown Grand Finale at Bay 7 in Durham, NC. Here all 20 chefs will re-create tasting-sized portions of the same regional round dishes for the public to sample.
Also, at the August 9 Grand Finale, six North Carolina mixologists representing six NC distilleries will shake and stir things up as they compete live on stage for the title of NCRLA Chef Showdown Mixologist of the Year and NCRLA Distillery of the Year. The mixologists will also be serving sample-sized portions of their creations to the crowd.
NCRLA Chef Showdown-goers will be invited to vote for People’s Choice Award winners for the best sweet dish, the best savory dish, and the best cocktail.
Tickets for the Aug 9 event go on sale on Monday June 21, 2021, at https://www.ncrla.org/ncrla-events/chefshowdown
For details and a complete list of the 2021 Regional Round winners, in addition to each of the competing mixologists and distilleries, please visit https://www.ncrla.org/ncrla-events/chefshowdown.
The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association (NCRLA) serves to advance and protect the interests of more than 20,000 businesses that employ 11 percent of the state’s workforce and generate more than $27.3 billion in sales annually. To learn more information about NCRLA or its membership opportunities and cost-saving benefits, please visit www.ncrla.org.