Culinary and Mixology Competitors Announced for the 2023 NCRLA Chef Showdown presented by Got to Be NC
The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association ( NCRLA) proudly announces the seventh annual NCRLA Chef Showdown, North Carolina’s premiere culinary and mixology competition.
This annual competition is designed to promote and spotlight the talent of chefs, pastry chefs, and mixologists across North Carolina.
Presented by Got To Be NC, the NC Department of Agriculture, the Chef Showdown features culinary and mixology competitors who will showcase North Carolina proteins, produce and products on the competition plates and craft cocktails & mocktails they present to each panel of judges.
Tickets Are Now SOLD OUT for the August 14 NCRLA Chef Showdown Grand Finale!
Monday, August 14, 6-8:30 pm
The Pavilion at the Angus Barn, in Raleigh, NC
Open to the Public!
Meet the 2023 Semi-Finalist Chefs:
Chef Ade Carrena | Dounou Cuisine
Pastry Chef Ann Marie Stefaney | Restaurant Constance
Chef Bobby McFarland | Wye Hill Hospitality
Pastry Chef Catie Van Slyke | Krispy Kreme
Pastry Chef Emily Parker | Native Fine Diner
Chef Jamie Barnes | What the Fries
Pastry Chef Jill Wasilewski | Ivory Road Café & Kitchen
Chef John Wilson | Sophie’s Cork & Ale
Chef Keith Henning | Black Powder Smokehouse
Chef Kyle Teears | Craften Neighborhood Food & Drink
Chef Luke Owens | Native Fine Diner
Chef Mauricio Huarcaya | The Greenhouse Restaurant
Chef Michael Beers | River Run Country Club
Chef Nicholas Chavez | King Neptune
Chef Olajuwon Mason | Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel
Pastry Chef Savanna Brodar | Ballantyne Hotel
Chef Savannah Miller | Glasshouse Kitchen
Chef Sera Cuni | The Root Cellar Cafe
Chef Steve Boeger | Hendersonville Country Club
Chef Trenton Shank | Plum Southern Kitchen & Bar
For a list of North Carolina bartenders and distilleries competing in the NCRLA Chef Showdown mixology competition, click here.
The 2023 preliminary rounds of culinary competition featured 76 talented chefs and pastry chefs from across the state who were selected to cook their way through the first rounds of competition on the road to the 2023 win.
In addition, this year 18 individual NC bartenders, have each teamed with a North Carolina distillery, and are preparing to shake and stir things up in one of two regional rounds of mixology competition to be held in July 2023.
Each bartender will craft two cocktails and a mocktail for a panel of judges to consider, as they vie for one of six spots in the 2023 NCRLA Chef Showdown Grand Finale on August 14.
At stake, the coveted titles of NCRLA Chef of the Year, NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year, NCRLA Bartender of the Year and the NCRLA Distillery of the Year, to be awarded at the competition’s Grand Finale on August 14, 2023, at The Pavilion at Angus Barn in Raleigh, NC.
New for 2023:
The Undeniably Dairy Awards:
New this year, look for a trio of “Undeniably Dairy Awards” to be awarded at the Chef Showdown Grand Finale to the chef, pastry chef and bartender who best showcased the use of NC dairy products in the savory plates, the desserts and in the cocktails or mocktails, they present to judges during the season.
Competitors are not required to use dairy products in their competition dishes and cocktails, but if they do, they are eligible to be considered for this trio of additional Grand Finale accolades presented by The Dairy Alliance.
2023 People’s Choice Awards
In July, only 15 savory chefs and five pastry chefs will move on, based on judges preliminary round scoring, to compete in one of two regional culinary rounds of competition. The same 20 chefs move on to cook for the public at the Aug 14 Grand Finale. There they also have a chance at People’s Choice Award honors for Best Chef, Best Dessert, Best Cocktail and Best Mocktail.
The 2023 People’s Choice Awards made possible by the NC Sweetpotato Commission.
The 2023 Action Starts Here
The action all starts with five individual preliminary rounds of the 2023 NCRLA Chef Showdown series. All preliminary and regional rounds of competition are private events open only to competitors, judges, media, and invited guests. The public is invited to follow along on the NCRLA Chef Showdown social media feeds on Facebook and Instagram.
The NCRLA is proud to compete at some of North Carolina’s finest community college culinary schools throughout this competition, each one serving to teach and inspire the North Carolina hospitality industry of tomorrow.
The 2023 NCRLA Chef Showdown preliminary and regional rounds of culinary competition and the regional rounds of mixology competition are scheduled as follows:
- 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
The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association (NCRLA) NCRLA is the driving force behind the state’s $30 billion hospitality industry. The mission is to Protect, Educate, and Promote the North Carolina hospitality industry. To learn more information about NCRLA or its membership opportunities and cost-saving benefits, please visit www.ncrla.org.
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.