Raleigh, N.C. — Fire in the Triangle continues its second round this week! Let's get to know some of the chefs.
Here's what McIntyre had to say about round one and looking ahead to round two:
What surprised you most about round one? Thoughts on your secret ingredient?
McIntyre: We were given heirloom tomatoes and TOPO vodka and gin. I don't think it was as much as a surprise as it was the chance to work with three mystery ingredients. Tomatoes and alcohol have always been a great pair. I love a good bloody Mary.
What secret ingredient in the first round did you most want to work with but didn't get?
McIntyre: After looking over the other first round events, we thought we might have Heritage Farms Pork. They raise an awesome pig and I've always loved using the product. The only downfall is that pork is held in such high revere in NC, that you have to deliver a dish that will blow the roof off of the place. No room for short cuts.
Going into round two, what do you absolutely not want to see as a secret ingredient? Any great combos you'd like to see - i.e. donuts and coffee?
McIntyre: I don't think that there are any really bad combos. Maybe chocolate and caviar, but both those have been done. I think that the Competition Dining team has put a lot of thought into what the chefs will be working with. They know that they also have to supply ingredients that the guest will enjoy. There are plenty of items out there that a chef would love to cook and a diner would never eat.
Do you know your competitor well? Any history of working together?
McIntyre: Unfortunately I haven't had the opportunity to work with Chef Zanini. Hopefully I will get the chance to cook along side of him in the future regardless of the outcome.
What do you want to get out of this competition, besides winning?
McIntyre: Since I first became involved in the event, the chance to cook with some of my peers in the Triangle has been the best part for me. Unless you work for the same restaurant, you usually never get to rattle pans in the same kitchen. Plus, adding a red chef coat to the collection would be nice.
One thing you want to share with diners about you and your restaurant.
McIntyre: I enjoy what I do. If any one has ever worked in the industry they know the money and hours are less than desired. You have to truly have a passion for it. Long hours and standing over a hot stove are not for the faint of heart. But the feeling of accomplishment that this career gives to those that are committed is nothing short of spiritual. At The Market, we take the role as ambassadors for the farmer to the guest. We want the diner to understand that the dish that they're about to enjoy has a longer life span that the 15 minutes it takes to get from the kitchen. Some product takes years before it is ready to be harvested and delivered to the restaurant. Unfortunately, this information hasn't been relayed to the final consumer. If we get to perform a little alchemy along the way, that's all part of the job. Great food has a great story.
McIntyre also shared one of his favorite home recipes he says his wife has perfected. "This pop up pancake is something the kids and I absolutely love. It's quick and tasty, and can be used in a number of dishes," he said.
Pop Up Pancake
- 6 Tbls of un-salted butter
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 6 eggs
- pinch of salt
Place the butter on a half sheet tray, or other baking tray, into oven while oven is preheating to 400 deg. In a bowl mix the flour, milk, eggs, and salt until smooth. Once the butter has melted and browned just slightly, pour it into the batter and mix in completely. Pour the batter back on to the heated, and buttered, sheet tray and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. The trick is to not open the door for the first 15 minutes. You are basically making a soufflé. The pancake will puff up and be nice golden brown color with spots of darker brown. You can top with honey, jelly, or even sausage.