Fire in the Triangle 2014

This is no ordinary out-to-dinner experience. It’s Fire in the Triangle.

A series of dinner experiences, Fire in the Triangle features two chefs per event, battling it out as local diners — that is, you — serve as judges for a blind six-course meal.

These single-elimination tournaments, part of the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series, highlight the best of the state’s food, agriculture and culinary talent.

“The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series is part of a larger movement,” said Jimmy Crippen, Competition Dining Series founder and host. “Because we are all chefs, farmers or diners, our mission is to connect and celebrate regional communities through a dynamic, entertaining culinary experience.

“The events are interactive not only with guests grading the dishes, but also connecting … diners are socializing and debating with everyone around them, and people at home are following along through live Tweets, all with a central appreciation for the great foods from right here in North Carolina.”

Fire in the Triangle battles begin on June 23 in Raleigh.

Western Wake chefs taking part in the first rounds of competition include John Childers of Herons in Cary; Adam Jones of Dean’s Seafood Bar & Grill in Cary; Steve Zanini of Jimmy V’s Steak House & Tavern in Cary; and Regan Stachler of Little Hen in Apex.

Here’s the lineup:

First-Round Brackets

June 23:  Dean Thompson of Flights in Raleigh, versus Joseph Yarnell of Cantina 18 in Raleigh

June 24: John Childers of Herons in Cary, versus Scott Jankovictz of The Station in Raleigh

June 25: Spencer Carter of Weathervane in Chapel Hill, versus Nunzio Scordo of Driftwood Southern Kitchen in Raleigh

June 30: Christopher Hill of The Oxford in Raleigh, versus Younes Sabouh of City Kitchen in Chapel Hill

July 1: Serge Falcoz-Vigne of 518 West in Raleigh, versus James Clark of Carolina Crossroads in Chapel Hill

July 2: Peter Spear of Pup's Steakhouse in Wilson, versus Adam Jones of Dean’s Seafood Bar & Grill in Cary

July 7: Sean Fowler of Mandolin in Raleigh, versus Steve Zanini of Jimmy V’s Steak House & Tavern in Cary

July 8: Regan Stachler of Little Hen in Apex, versus Beth LittleJohn of Coquette Brasserie in Raleigh

In each battle, the two participating chefs each prepare three courses centered on a secret or featured ingredient that comes from a North Carolina farmer or artisan producer. Featured ingredients are revealed to the chefs just one hour before they start cooking that day, and must be used in each course.

At the dinner events, guests enjoy the combined six courses without knowing which chef prepared each, and alongside culinary and guest judges, rate each dish to determine who moves on to the next round. (Track winners at

Other regional tournaments for the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series will be held throughout the year in Wilmington, Asheville, Greensboro and Charlotte.

Each regional winner earns a grand prize of $2,000, a handmade chef knife by Ironman Forge and the coveted Red Chef Jacket. That chef also moves on to the Final Fire Battle of Champions, set for November in Raleigh.

Tickets to attend a preliminary and quarterfinal battle dinner are $59; tickets for the semifinals and the final battle are $69. You can attend as many dinners as you’d like; get tickets at


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