Raleigh, N.C. — Since Ryan Conklin's first Got to Be NC Competition Dining battle earlier this year, he was the one to beat. He and his team from Rex Healthcare put up scores only seen by previous Competition Dining veteran Dean Thompson of Flights.
From Conklin's first battle, the Rex Healthcare executive chef rarely made a misstep - producing an array of delicious dishes that helped propel him to the Competition Dining Triangle title and the final Battle of Champions dinner Saturday night.
Conklin faced Chef Brent Martin, of The Summit Room in Charlotte, in a battle featuring two secret ingredients - Outer Banks sea salt and Jarrett Bay Oysters.
The highest scoring dish of the night was Conklin's cornmeal fried Jarrett Bay Oyster with slow roasted tomatoes and rosemary chimichurri.
In the end, Conklin edged out Martin by about two-and-a-half points.
As the winner of Competition Dining, Conklin and his team received black chefs jackets, $4,000, and Ironman Forge knives.