I was already feeling lucky to be asked to judge one of the Fire in the Triangle chef competition sponsored by Got to Be NC. Then I learned I’d be judging the semifinals, on July 23, meaning I’ll get to sample the cream of the crop. And now, with the regular season finished, I finally know who will be competing during my judgeship, causing me to float on even higher clouds: Adam Rose of Il Palio versus Ryan Payne of Weathervane, two outstanding chefs from outstanding restaurants in Chapel Hill. Both heartily endorse the use of fresh and local ingredients, and I cannot wait to find out what the NC-sourced mystery ingredient will be. Past choices have been cantaloupe, turkey, blueberries, and, most recently, corn. Maybe tomatoes? That’s too easy, isn’t it? But it’s July, so that’s an obvious choice. Whatever it is, cannot wait!
The event has been sold out for months, but tickets are available for Fire in the Triad , which starts soon and is worth the drive.
My pal Johanna Kramer at Durham Foodie is the official blogger for the series and has written terrific recaps here. Don’t read them when you’re hungry unless you have time to whip up a tasty meal afterward.