2017 NC Chef Showdown Competing Chefs Announced!

cropped-2017-chef-showdown-logo.pngFollowing hot on the heels of the Fourth of July fireworks, the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association, creators of the NC Chef Showdown, an annual one night culinary competition held in August, has some fireworks of their own to share!

“We are thrilled to announce the list of talented North Carolina Chefs  selected to participate in the 2017 NC Chef Showdown competition,” said Showdown organizer and co-host  Heidi Billotto.

With nearly 40 talented applicants from across the state applying to compete, and only 16 spots to fill, the competition was fierce and the decision of the selection committee, a formidable one.

In all, 16 of North Carolina’s top culinarians will be competing on the evening of August 21, 2017.  The event will take place in Raleigh, North Carolina at 214 Martin Street and Market Hall Raleigh’s historic downtown City Market.

Cooking for a crowd of 300 plus, competing chefs will each have a station representing their restaurant or culinary outlet. Chefs will serve tasting-size portions to guests and plated tapas-sized portions to a panel of six culinary judges.

The presentation of the plates to the judges will be done live on stage in front of the crowd throughout the course of the evening. Chefs will have an opportunity to introduce themselves to the judges and the crowd and will share the concept of the dish they have each created for the evening.

This year’s event will see the following talented chefs on the savory side of the table competing for the title of the 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year.

And competing with dishes to satisfy the collective sweet tooth of the 2017 NC Chef Showdown crowd will be the following four North Carolina Pastry chefs all going for the title of 2017 NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year.

All 16 chefs will be judged on the look and taste of the dish as well as the best use and number of local North Carolina ingredients including on each plate.

The judging panel of industry professionals will offer the top honors of 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year and 2017 Pastry Chef of the Year, in addition to  awards for  competitors in both the sweet and savory categories for the “Best Use of a North Carolina Product” and the “Most Creative Presentation”

New in 2017, the NCRLA will also crown a 2017 NCRLA Mixologist of the Year, as six NC distilleries will be featured with hand-picked bartenders slinging their spirits.  Look for the announcement of competing teams of distilleries and mixologists to come in the weeks ahead.

Attendees to the 2017 NC Chef Showdown will also get a say in the matter as each guest will get one vote in each category to determine the People’s Choice winners for Best Savory Dish, 2017 Best Pastry Dish and 2017 Best Cocktail.

The 2017 Chef Showdown will take place after the first day of the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo at the Raleigh Convention Center. Centrally located in the state’s capital city, this is an event that offers members of North Carolina’s hospitality industry two back to back days of meetings and seminars as well as a trade show.

static1.squarespaceTickets for  the 2017 NC Chef Showdown are priced at $125 per person. The event takes place on August 21, 2017 from 6-9 pm.

Your ticket price includes unlimited tasting sized portions from all 16 of these talented chefs, tasting sized cocktails from six North Carolina distilleries represented by six of the state’s talented mixologists, a chance to vote in the evening’s People’s Choice awards,  a selection of wine or beer, a gift bag to take home and an evening of fun, live music and more! Don’t wait, Get Your Tickets Now!



For more information about the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association, to become a member of the NCRLA, for more information about the 2017 NCRLA Expo and for all the latest news about the North Carolina Restaurant, lodging and hospitality industries visit ncrla.org




Save the Date: 2017 NC Chef Showdown On the Calendar for August 21, 2017

cropped-2017-chef-showdown-logo.pngThis year’s NC Chef Showdown will feature a competition between 16 chefs – 12 NC chefs  competing with savory entrees  and four NC Pastry Chefs competing with offerings on the sweeter side of things.

If you think you have what it takes to be North Carolina’s Chef or Pastry chef of the year or know someone else who does, Apply to compete today.

The application period for chefs to apply is now through May 31, 2017 after which a selection committee will review all applications. Chefs selected to participate will be notified and announced on these pages the first week in June.

At the 2017 NC Chef Showdown competition, each chef will prepare a single dish, making enough to serve all of the event’s attendees as well as a panel of six culinary judges. Each competing dish will be judged on taste, appearance, creativity and best use of a North Carolina ingredient.

2016.08.29NCRLA_ (210 of 809)Here is how it works: Each competing chef is  paired with a participating food wholesaler who will provide them with whatever product they request.  Chefs are also provided with funds courtesy the North Carolina Department of Agriculture to bring along and incorporate some of their favorite local ingredients, from farmers and local producers they support at their individual restaurants.

2016.08.29NCRLA_ (443 of 809)During the event, chefs will present their dishes to the panel to the judges table in front of the crowd and will have an opportunity to explain their use of local ingredients, the conceptualization of the dish and tell a little bit about themselves and their restaurant.

Throughout the event, event guests will also be able to taste each chef’s dish and will cast their votes for a People’s Choice Award.

The winners will be announced at the end of the evening and will also be recognized at the NCRLA’s annual Taste of North Carolina gala event.  As the audience of North Carolina food enthusiasts cannot live on food alone, six participating North Carolina Distilleries are paired with local mixologists who each create a custom craft cocktail for the crowd to sample.