Joseph Cornett of the Flipside Cafe in Fort Mill got the highest score of the night for his main dish, but still lost by a few points to Ryan Conklin of REX Healthcare of Raleigh in Tuesday night’s first round of the Battle of the Champions.
After making its way around the state, the winners of each part of the Competition Dining Series are now facing each other in Raleigh through Saturday night. After winning Tuesday, Conklin will now face Richard Miller of Graze in Winston-Salem Thursday night. Charlotte isn’t out of the running, though: Chef Brent Martin of The Summit Room faces Todd Warden of The Cliffs in Greenville on Friday night. The finale will be Saturday night. Tickets to both Friday and Saturday nights’ events are sold out.
In Tuesday night’s competition, the featured ingredients were Carolina-caught seafood and vegetables from the N.C. Farmers Market. Cornett got the highest score of the night for his dish of N.C. white shrimp with chimichurri, okra and green tomatoes, smoked bacon, charred cauliflower and marinated tomatoes in a smoked green-tomato butter. But he was still outscored by Conklin, 28.261 to 25.914.