Raleigh, N.C. — Fire in the Triangle is moving into the second round this week. Let's get to know our second round chefs!
Childers bested Capital Club 16's Jake Wolf in a battle involving the secret ingredient peaches. It was close with Childers winning by a fraction of a point.
Here's what Childers had to say about round one and looking ahead to round two:
What surprised you most about Round One? Thoughts on your secret ingredient?
John: There is still never enough time! Our prep time feels like it flies by. I was happy with the secret ingredient. I had a sneaking suspicion that peaches were going to be the secret ingredient.
What secret ingredient in the first round, did you most want to work with but didn't get?
John: Texas Pete is one that I would like to work with. Hot sauce is a pantry staple, but creating a meal around a condiment would be challenging and exciting.
Going into the next round, 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?
John: I’m glad that chocolate is out of the way. I did not want to work with it. The doughnuts and coffee combo looked fun. There was a competition last year that combined sturgeon with fruit purees. That is my favorite battle combo to date.
Do you know your competitor well? Any history of working together?
John: I do not know Chef Jason Cunningham personally. No, we have never worked together.
What do you want to get out of this competition, besides winning?
John: I hope to create approachable food, that will help further our diners repetoire and hopefully inspire them to create with North Carolina’s bounty.
One thing you want to share with diners about you and your restaurant.
John: I aspire to one of the faces on Mt. Rushmore. Herons in North Carolina’s only Forbes 5 Star Restaurant.
John also shared with us a special recipe from the Herons kitchen!
Chilled Corn Soup
4 ears, Yellow Corn, Peeled, Cleaned
1 quart Spring Water
½ Large Yellow Onion, Julienned
4 cloves, Garlic, Peeled, Sliced
1 Tbsp. Ginger, Peeled, Sliced
1cup, 2% Milk
Salt, As Needed
Remove the corn from the cobs with a knife. Add the cobs to a sauce pot and cover with water (chicken stock or vegetable stock can be substituted). Bring to a simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the cobs and add the corn. In a separate sauté pan, sweat the garlic, onion, and ginger until opaque. Add the aromatics to the corn broth. Bring the soup to a simmer for 25 minutes. Add the milk and blend the mixture in three or four batches with a blender. Strain through a fine sieve and adjust seasoning with salt. Chill the soup until very cold. Serve in chilled bowls, garnished with candied ginger, popcorn, and huckleberries