Helen Schwab

Charlotte chef competition update

Neil Bratton (Local Dish)’s dish.
Neil Bratton (Local Dish)’s dish. Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series

So we’re down to one Charlotte chef in the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series – but there are four chefs left in the competition, which ends in a double-finale May 18 and 19.

Confused? Let me help: This year’s competition has a “Charlotte-area” bracket, which began with 24 chefs, including several from outside the city limits and three from farther away (Asheville and Boone).

The setup will produce two winners from this bracket, who’ll go on to face one winner each from the Raleigh area, the Winston-Salem area and Greenville, S.C., in October in Raleigh.

Semifinals have produced the four finalists for the Charlotte finales – two from Fort Mill places, one from Asheville and one from Charlotte.

In the May 18 finale: Joseph Cornett from The Flipside Cafe (in Fort Mill and Rock Hill) and Steven Goff (he’s no longer with the restaurant he entered the competition representing, but came from Asheville).

In the May 19 one: Neil Bratton of Local Dish (Fort Mill) and Brent Martin from The Summit Room in Charlotte.

Both finales, held at Bonterra in Dilworth, are sold out, but you can get on a waiting list at www.competitiondining.com.

Details on the semis:

May 4

Matchup: Tom Dyrness of Mama Ricotta’s and Steven Goff from Asheville.

Featured ingredients: N.C. seafood and Foy Farms mushrooms.

Highest scoring dish of the night: Lemon-scented Goat Lady Dairy classic chèvre cheesecake, Nueske’s applewood-smoked bacon and Foy Farms mushroom lace cookie, berry compote, vanilla bean-Foy Farms mushroom anglaise (Dyrness).

Advancing: Goff, 27.87368421 to 26.88014981.

May 5

Matchup: Ben Miles of BLT Steak and Joseph Cornett of The Flipside Café.

Featured ingredients: La Farm Bakery bread and Una Alla Volta butter.

Highest scoring dish of the night: Kalamata-olive-infused pappardelle, La Farm Bakery jalapeño cheddar persillade, U.A.V. buerre blanc, Little River lump crab, marinated tomato-sheep’s milk feta tapenade (Cornett).

Advancing: Cornett, 28.60572917 to 25.66111111.

May 11

Matchup: Mike Suppa of Vivace and Neil Bratton of Local Dish.

Featured ingredients: Strawberries and cream.

Highest scoring dish of the night: Seared sea scallop, Britt Farms strawberry gnocchi, cream sauce made with Chapel Hill Creamery calvander and local Greek yogurt, Heritage Farms pork belly crouton, pickled green strawberries (Bratton of Local Dish)

Advancing: Bratton, with a score of 29.90266323 to Suppa’s 27.59458545

May 12

Matchup: Brent Martin of The Summit Room and Ryan Daugherty and Eric Litaker of Dogwood Southern Table & Bar.

Featured ingredients: Windcrest Farms fresh herbs.

Highest scoring dish of the night: Sous vide lamb lollipop, Merquez-Windcrest Farm organic bronze fennel butter, parsnip puree, parsnip chip, caper berries, tomato-WFO borage vinaigrette (Martin).

Advancing: Martin, 28.19533333 to 25.57567568.

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