It was another relatively close battle last night during Fire in the Triangle.
The secret ingredient was a good one - country ham!
Guests were treated to a six course meal - three dishes from each chef. Diners and judges were not told which chef made which dish. Voting was done on a dish-by-dish basis via smartphone.
Here's a rundown of the courses:
First course: Bacon & Shrimp Dumpling with Grilled Shrimp, Sweet Potato Puree & Coconut Curry (Fork and Barrel)
Second course: Lobster & Lump Crab Strudel with Crispy Johnson Co. Ham, Mesclun Salad & Bacon Vinaigrette (Weathervane)
Third course: Seared Duck with Smoked Bacon & Mushroom Risotto & Tart Cherry Country Ham Jus (Fork and Barrel)
Fourth course: Bacon-Blue Cheese Grit Cakes with Crispy Country Ham, Fresno Chilies & Champagne Tarragon Vinaigrette (Weathervane)
Fifth course: Flourless Chocolate Cake with Bourbon Bacon Anglaise & Cherry-Apple-Ham Compote (Fork and Barrel)
Sixth course: “Bacon Moon Pie” of Banana Marshmallow, Bacon Anglaise, Candied Bacon & Mangalitsa Cookie (Weathervane) - The highest scoring dish of the night!
In the end, Weathervane's Ryan Payne took the crown and will move to the next round.
The Fire in the Triangle website has more on how scores are tabulated.
If you would like to get in the action, you might be out of luck because all rounds are sold out!
Here is a look at the rest of the first round match-ups:
June 26: Christopher Hill (The Oxford) vs. Jimmy Reale (Chapel Hill Country Club)
Fire in the Triangle is part of the Got to Be NC competition dining series. The winner from the Triangle will go on to the "final four" to compete against the winners of the Fire on the Rock, Fire on the Dock and Fire in the Triad competitions. The Rock and Dock winners have been selected, and the Triad competition is coming up in August and September. The last chef standing wins $2,000 and the coveted red chef’s jacket. The runner-up will get $500.