Fire in the City: It's back!
Luca Annunziata of Passion8 Bistro and Clark Barlowe of Heirloom kick off Charlotte's second round of competition dining
Competition dining comes back to Charlotte next month, and this year's bracket has lots of new chefs. You probably know the drill, but if you missed the whole thing last year, essentially these events are Iron Chef-style events, in which local chefs are given a secret ingredient and asked to use that ingredient to create a three-course menu. The key difference between the live event and the TV version: at these ticketed events (each seat costs about $75), the diners are the judges. (Want more details? Here's a link to the official rules.)
Only four chefs are returning to compete again this year: Luca Annuniziata of Passion8, Brian Mottola of E2 Emeril's Eatery, Nicolas Daniels of The Wooden Vine, and defending champ Jon Fortes of Mimosa Grill. Several competitors are from newish restaurants including Fahrenheit, The Summit Room, The Asbury and Heirloom.
The competition looks to be fierce right from the start—the first match-up pairs Annunziata of Passion8, who made it into the finals last year, with Heirloom's Clark Barlowe, who competed last year in Fire on the Rock, the sister event in Blowing Rock.
The full lineup for the series, which launches August 18, is below, with links to the restaurants we've reviewed. I suspect these events will sell out (finale tickets are already gone!), so if you want a ticket, don't wait.
- August 18: Luca Annunziata of Passion8 vs. Clark Barlowe of Heirloom
- August 19: Tom Dyrness of Mama Ricotta's vs. Brian Mottola of E2 Emeril's Eatery
- August 20: David Feimster of Fahrenheit vs. David Quintana of Southminster
- August 25: David Moore of Gallery Restaurant vs. Ben Philpott of Block & Grinder
- August 26: Brent Martin of The Summit Room vs. Jon Spencer of Epic Chophouse
- August 27: Chris Coleman of The Asbury vs. Brian Williams of Upstream
- September 2: Nicolas Daniels of The Wooden Vine vs. Paul Ketterhagen of Carpe Diem
- September 3: Jon Fortes of Mimosa Grill vs. David Sullivan of Fish Market Bar & Grill