NC Dining Competition Enters Round Two

Last preliminary battles are complete in #GotToBeNC cookoff

Last night's battle between Dogwood Southern Table & Bar and The Mandrake wrapped up the preliminary round in the #GotToBeNC Competition Dining Series in Charlotte. With all the winners in place, we now have a clear picture of the cook-offs that will take place in the coming weeks. The quarter-finals will follow the same rules, with a chef and two teammates cooking three courses using secret ingredients sourced from North Carolina. The ingredients are unveiled the morning of their contest, and guests with tickets to the event will taste each dish blindly, scoring them on an app. Three chef judges will also vote, with 30 percent of the final score coming from the chefs' scores and the remainder coming from the audience vote. Here's how the last two battles turned out:

Monday, April 6:

Chefs: John Morey of Bank of America Stadium vs. Brady Lutz of The Cypress Club and The Copper Grille 
Surprise ingredient: Uno Alla Volta Ricotta and New Town Farms Bordeaux Spinach.
Audience pick: Morey (30.533) over Lutz (27.838)
Pro pick: Morey (26.778) over Lutz (24.333)
Advancing: Morey, with a score of 29.40620915 to Lutz’s 26.78679868
Morey’s highest-scoring dish of the night (pictured at right): Braised Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork Cheek, Asparagus, Uno Alla Volta Ricotta-New Town Farms Spinach Quiche (weighted score: 30.116)

Tuesday, April 7:

Chefs: Ryan Daugherty and Eric Litaker of Dogwood Southern Table & Bar and Travis Garrett of The Mandrake Small Plates & Wine
Surprise ingredient: Chapel Hill Creamery Calvander & Smith Farms Organic Arugula
Audience pick: Daugherty and Litaker (30.204) over Garrett (26.827)
Pro pick: Daugherty and Litaker (24.778) over Garrett (19.444)
Advancing: Daugherty and Litaker, with a score of 28.57646432 to Garrett’s  24.61217949
Daugherty and Litaker’s highest-scoring dish of the night (pictured at right): Handmade Maple Leaf Farms Duck Chorizo, Wood Grilled Breast of Duck, Scallion-Chapel Hill Creamery Calvander Grits Cake, Smith Farms Organic Arugula Verde, Pickled Radish (weighted score: 30.594)

Chef Morey will advance to take on Chef Brent Martin of The Summit Room on April 27; Chefs Daugherty and Litaker will cook against Chef Michael Fisera of Lexington Avenue Brewery in Asheville. Buy tickets and see the full schedule here.

Before the competition started, we asked who you thought would win each battle. The poll results predicted only four of the eight first-round battles correctly. Who do you think is a favorite in round two?

Categories: Dine & Dish, Food + Drink