Raleigh, N.C. — The Fire in the Triangle competition kicked off Monday night with one of the closest battles in the event's history. The winner edged out his competition by a quarter of a point!
Let's get to the recap!
The secret ingredient was a first for the Fire in the Triangle - peaches!
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.
Juice Wine Purveyors handled the wine selections for the evening and for the first time a local brewery was on hand with two beer selections for the evening.
This week's brewery is Mystery Brewing in Hillsborough. Owner Erik Lars Myers, who was my dining partner in crime for the evening at Table 11 (represent!), selected the Evangeline Saison and Queen Anne's Revenge, a Carolinian Dark, for this week. The chefs did a great job of pairing the dishes with the beer, since Myers had no idea what the secret ingredient was when he made his picks.
Here's a rundown of the courses, who made them, my thoughts and then the final score diners gave each dish (all scores are out of 30):
First course: Peach Poached Shrimp, Crab Salad, Fennel, Bread and Butter Peaches (Herons) - The crab salad was outstanding but not enough peach for me. Dish score: 18.74
Second course: Peach Lacquered Quail, Green Lentil Salad, Toasted Party Nuts, Fried Cipollini Onion, Grilled Peach, Peach Vinaigrette (Capital Club 16) - I liked this, especially the lentil salad and those toasted party nuts. Dish score: 22.72 (HIGHEST SCORING DISH OF THE NIGHT)
Third course: Peach BBQ Chicken and Pork Belly, Peach Caramel, Charred Corn Salad, Slaw, Candied Peanuts and Rosemary (Herons) - I absolutely LOVED this dish! All of the ingredients blended beautifully together. The pork belly was tender and the chicken had just the right amount of peach barbecue. The corn salad and the slaw were the perfect accompaniment. The candied peanuts really topped off the dish with that hint of sweetness. Dish score: 22.57 (WINNING TEAM'S HIGHEST SCORING DISH) Get the recipe for this dish
Fourth course: Roasted Pork Shoulder with Peach and Vegetable Stuffing, Maple Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Peaches, Crispy Potato Dumplings, Thyme - Mystery Brewing Co. Evangeline Gravy (Capital Club 16) - This dish was just too heavy for me. After such a great, summery third course, I just wasn't feeling this one. I liked the stuffing and the gravy was my favorite part. And I'm not just saying that because I was seated next to Mystery's founder. Dish score: 19.18
Fifth course: Sweet Pickled Peaches, Salty Pecans, Chevre Donut, Caramelized White Chocolate, Blackberry Cream (Herons) - My second favorite dish of the night! A great balance between the sweet and salty. The blackberry cream was also a great accompaniment to the crispy doughnuts! Dish score: 21.66
Sixth course: Peach Gallette, Strawberry Peach Bourbon Sauce and Sweet Cream (Capital Club 16) - After a google search to figure out what gallette was (we were impatient at Table 11!), we were happy to find out it was a pie! This dish was just too sweet. The peach bourbon sauce was just too strong for me. It was all just too much. Dish score: 20.37
In the end, Childers just barely bested Wolf to keep Herons in the competition.
Shout-out to the ingredients used: Heritage Cheshire Pork!
The Fire in the Triangle website has more on how scores are tabulated.
WRAL's Out and About is the official blogger for Fire in the Triangle, so look for exclusive content, interviews and more from each battle!
Fire in the Triangle is part of the Got to Be NC competition dining series. The winner from the Triangle will go on to compete against the winners of the Fire on the Rock, Fire on the Dock, Fire in the Triad and Fire in the City competitions. The last chef standing wins $2,000 and the coveted red chef’s jacket. The runner-up will get $500.