Have fun on your summer break March Madness, there is a new bracket in town.  The Got to Be NC Competition Dining series presents “Fire in the Triangle” beginning June 23.  This one of kind culinary faceoff puts Triangle chefs in a head to head competition, where you are the judge.  Put yourself in the game and indulge in the three course meal prepared by each chef.  That’s a total of six courses (I advise everyone to wear elastic pants).  Each dish delivered to your table will feature a secret ingredient from North Carolina.


Fire in the Triangle is one of five competitions held in our state.  The finalists of each competition will convene in Raleigh for the Final Fire Dinner Battle.  Business Partner Mac Sullivan, owner and CEO of Pate Dawson-Southern Foods, plays an integral role in the statewide competition.  “We do Fire in the Triad, which is Greensboro, Highpoint, Winston Salem.  We do Fire on the Rock up in Asheville, Fire on the Dock in Wilmington and Fire in the City in Charlotte.”


Jimmy Crippen is the Master Mind behind the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series.  An experienced entrepreneur Crippen has developed a competition with as much energy and entertainment seen on shows such as Top Chef and The Next Iron Chef, minus the drama.  According to James Clark of Carolina Crossroads everyone is friendly in the kitchen.  “If one team finishes before the other, that team helps plate the remaining dishes” he shared.  Out of all the competition locations, Raleigh is expected to be the city with the biggest guest attendance.  “The Triangle is the most vibrant market we have in the state.  For two years in a row all tickets have sold out before the first battle ever occurred” said Crippen.  Each dinner battle will take place at 1705 Prime in Raleigh.  An intimate setting adorn with modern décor, this upscale venue is the perfect location for Fire in the Triangle.  Visit competitiondining.com to reserve your table. 


Steve Zanini of Jimmy V’s Steakhouse and Tavern in Cary is making his second appearance as a Fire in the Triangle competitor.  He is ready to go all the way and show just what he’s team is made of.  “I think we have a good profile of what guests like…it will take us a little bit further this year.”


There is one woman strong enough to compete in this male dominated competition and her name is Beth LittleJohn.  Beth has been a chef for eight years and is currently working at Coquette Brasserie in Raleigh.  This is Beth’s first time competing in Fire in the Triangle and she is looking forward to showcasing her expertise.  “I think I have a unique perspective being the only woman in the competition this year.  We have a certain touch in the kitchen as women that maybe a man may not have.  I make really good food and I think people will enjoy it.”


This competition is one of the awesome events that make the Triangle a great place to live.  Remember all battles are guaranteed to sell out so get your tickets now.  Which competing chef is from your favorite restaurant?  What type of dishes would you like to see brought to your table?  Lastly who do you see winning Fire in the Triangle?  Let’s get the conversation going.  Head over to the Competition Dining series Facebook page and share your thoughts! 


First-Round Brackets