What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Fire in the Triangle: Meet Chef Jason Cunningham

Posted July 29, 2013

Washington Duke Inn Chef Jason Cunningham (Image from Competition Dining)

Fire in the Triangle is moving into the second round this week. Let's get to know our second round chefs!

Jason Cunningham, of Washington Duke Inn will be competing Monday night against John Childers of Herons.

Cunningham defeated Brian Battistella of Battistella's during a hard fought battle involving the secret ingredient -  Videri Chocolate. 

Here's what Cunningham had to say about round one and looking ahead to round two: 

What surprised you most about round one? Thoughts on your secret ingredient?

Jason: I think the biggest surprise was how smooth everything went. I've done dinners in kitchens at other venues and timing and service have been a mess. The staff at 1705 did very well and the whole system was much smoother than I had expected. As far as the ingredient goes the best thing about it was the quality. It was outstanding chocolate - very clean, subtle favors on the palate from start to finish. The folks at Videri have a really good thing going. At first I was a little intimidated but once we started rolling the dishes really came together nicely. Was it a challenge? Absolutely. Was it fun? You bet!

What secret ingredient in the first round did you most want to work with but didn't get?

Jason: We were looking forward to something like peaches or heirloom tomatoes.

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?

Jason: Well tripe comes to mind... Kidding. We we aren't dreading anything in particular though I suppose coastal flounder would make for an interesting dessert experience for the guests. We are up for anything.

Do you know your competitor well? Any history of working together?

Jason: I don't know Chef Childers at all. I know their property and I respect what they do very much.

What do you want to get out of this competition, besides winning?

Jason: I want people to come dine with us.

One thing you want to share with diners about you and your restaurant.

Jason: I insist on having the freshest fish around. We have fish delivered 6 days a week to ensure the best for our guests.


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