It was another epic battle at 1705 Prime Tuesday night during the final round of the Fire in the Triangle competition.
Since it was the finals there were two secret ingredients – Old Guilford Mill Grits from Greensboro and Mona Lisa Chocolates from Hendersonville – that had to be featured in each chef's menu.
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: Roasted Quail with Creamy White Grits, Red Wine Sausage & Bittersweet Chocolate (Herons)
Second course: Housemade Grits Sausage with Mole, Creamy Grits & Pickled Apple (Weathervane) - Highest scoring dish of the night
Third course: Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder with Toasted Grits Pave, Spiced Chocolate & Crispy Onion (Herons)
Fourth course: Cocoa Crusted Petite Filet with Coffee-Cocoa Butter Glaze & White Chocolate Grits Cake (Weathervane)
Fifth course: Sweet Grits with Milk Chocolate Cake, Burnt Marshmallow & Salted Caramel (Herons)
Sixth course: “S’mores” - Lightly Smoked Dark Chocolate with Grits-Graham Cracker-Pistachio Crust & Torched Marshmallow (Weathervane)
In the end, Payne defeated Childers by 10 percentage points and was named the Fire in the Triangle winner. The Fire in the Triangle website has more on how scores are tabulated.
Payne and his team took home the Fire in the Triangle trophy, a $2,000 check, Dansko clogs and the coveted red chef's jacket. Childers and his team won $500.
Fire in the Triangle is part of the Got to Be NC competition dining series. As the winner of the Triangle, Payne 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 set to begin Aug. 13.