2023 NCRLA Chef Showdown
Presented by Got To Be NC Agriculture
Grand Finale: Monday, August 14, 6-8:30 pm
The Pavilion at the Angus Barn, in Raleigh, NC
Open to the Public!
Now in its seventh season, this prestigious, can’t-miss culinary and cocktail competition is the only statewide contest in which the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association names the NCRLA Chef of the Year, NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year, and NCRLA Bartender of the Year and the NCRLA Distillery of the Year.
“Chef Showdown has become the place to showcase the incredible talent of the North Carolina hospitality industry. Our seventh annual event promises to once again feature North Carolina’s most innovative chefs, each working with local NC products; and a group of incredibly creative bartenders all representing distilleries from across the state.”– Lynn Minges, President & CEO of NCRLA
Who will take the top titles and top honors in 2023?
You can’t win, if you don’t enter…Do It Now!
Don’t Wait— Applications close Monday, April 17, 2023!
The NCRLA Chef Showdown 2023 Competition Schedule:
The 2023 season begins with five preliminary rounds of culinary competition and two regional rounds of mixology competition.
All preliminary regional rounds of competition are private events open only to competitors, judges, media, and invited guests.
The August 14 Grand Finale is open to the public. Tickets will go on sale July 2023.
- May 8 Preliminary Round – In the Triad at Wilkes Community College Culinary School, Wilkesboro
- May 15 Preliminary Round – In the Mountains at AB Tech Community College Culinary School in Asheville
- May 22 Preliminary Round – At the Coast at Carteret Community College Culinary School in Morehead City
- June 12 Preliminary Round – In the Triangle at Wake Tech Community College School of Baking and Pastry Arts in Raleigh
- June 26 Preliminary Round – In Metrolina at Central Piedmont Community College Culinary School in Charlotte
- July 10 Regional Round – Eastern NC Mixology Competition at The Ginger Fox in Winston-Salem
- July 17 Regional Round- Western NC Regional Culinary Round at Central Piedmont Community College Culinary School in Charlotte
- July 24 Regional Round – Eastern NC Regional Culinary Round at Wake Tech Community College School of Baking and Pastry Arts in Raleigh
- July 31 Regional Round – Western NC Mixology Competition at The Ginger Fox in Winston-Salem
- August 14 – 2023 NCRLA Chef Showdown Grand Finale at The Pavilion at The Angus Barn in Raleigh, NC
We are proud to announce that our 2023 preliminary and regional round culinary venues are all North Carolina community college culinary schools, teaching and training the hospitality industry of the future.
Our venue for the 2023 rounds of mixology competition are at The Ginger Fox in Winston Salem, home base for our 2022 NCRLA Bartender of the Year, David Bowen.
Here’s How It All Works:
Chefs, pastry chefs, and teams of NC distilleries and mixologists apply to compete during the 2023 open call for competitors. Once accepted, competitors will present sweet or savory dishes and cocktails and mocktails to respective judges in an assigned round of preliminary competition.
At the end of the preliminary rounds of culinary competition, 15 savory chefs and 5 pastry chefs will be selected, based on judges scores, to move on to the regional rounds of culinary competition.
The same 20 chefs will compete for NCRLA top honors, a chance to be a 2023-24 Got To Be NC Culinary Ambassador, and will vie for the People’s Choice Awards at the August 14 Grand Finale at The Pavilion at Angus Barn in Raleigh NC.
Alongside the culinary competition, bartenders and distilleries will compete in one of two private regional rounds of our 2023 Mixology Competition. Here, North Carolina bartenders partner with NC Distilleries to shake and stir their way into the top six semi-finalist spots at the August 14 Grand Finale.
In each phase of the competition, chefs and mixologists are judged on execution & technique, the conceptualization of their dish or cocktail, interpretation & style, the best use of local North Carolina ingredients on each plate and in each glass; and, of course, the taste!
Let’s Be Social
Follow the preliminary and regional round action and see each of the dishes and cocktails created this year on the NCRLA Chef Showdown social media feeds.