The N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association has announced that eight chefs from eastern North Carolina will be competing in the first of five preliminary rounds leading up to the fourth annual NCRLA Chef Showdown, presented by Got to be NC Agriculture.
Three Wilmington chefs are among the eight who will compete at Carteret Community College in Morehead City on Monday: Attilio Cardelli, of On A Roll, Ramon Villasenor-Castro of Tequila Comida & Cantina, and Sam Cahoon of Savorez.
Representatives for the NCRLA said the showdown’s past success inspired this year’s expanded format of five preliminary rounds leading up to the three regional rounds that will determine who competes at the final Showdown event.
Preliminary competitors will prepare and serve dishes to three culinary experts tasked with scoring each dish based upon presentation, taste and use of North Carolina ingredients. The four top scoring chefs will move on to the regional competition to be held in Wilmington on Aug. 26 at Bluewater Waterfront Grill.
Local chef and James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef Southeast, Dean Neff, is one of the three judges for this round of competition, along with 2017 NCRLA Chef of the Year Matthew Krenz of Charlotte, and chef Mara Norris, Salud Cooking School director and instructor at Whole Foods of Charlotte.
The finals of this year’s competition will be held Sept. 30 at Angus Barn’s Bay 7 in Durham.
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