Choose a blog

Chefs announced for Fire in the Triangle contest

The lineup of chefs have been announced for next month’s Fire in the Triangle cooking competition. Here is a list of the competing chefs and when they are battling each other:

  • July 8: chef John Childers of Herons at the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary vs. chef Jake Wolf of Capital Club 16 in Raleigh.
  • July 9: chef Jason Cunningham of Washington Duke Inn in Durham vs. chef Brian Battistella of Battistella’s in Raleigh.
  • July 10: chef Regan Stachler of Little Hen in Apex vs. chef Serge Falcoz-Vigne of 518 West in Raleigh.
  • July 15: chef Dean Thompson of Flights at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel in Raleigh vs. chef James Clark of The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill.
  • July 16: chef Scott James of Midtown Grille in Raleigh vs. chef Lemar Farrington of La Residence Restaurant & Bar in Chapel Hill.
  • July 17: chef Chris Hill of The Oxford in Raleigh vs. chef Dan Yeager of Bia Restaurant in Raleigh.
  • July 22: chef Chad McIntyre of Market Restaurant in Raleigh vs. chef Sokun Slama of New Southern Kitchen in Whiteville.
  • July 23: chef Sean Fowler of Mandolin in Raleigh vs. chef Steve Zanini of Jimmy V’s in Cary.

Fire in the Triangle is part of a statewide “Iron Chef”-style cooking competition. Each night of the contest, two chefs create three dishes using a secret ingredient revealed earlier in the day. The public can pay $59-$69 to eat what the chefs prepare and help decide the winner.

Winners advance to quarterfinals, semifinals and a final, where the regional winner is announced. The winner receives $2,000 and the runner-up receives $500. The Triangle dinners are held at 1705 Prime, 1705 Millbrook Road. Tickets are available at

UPDATE: Event organizers have now added N.C. craft beer to the event, highlighting a different brewer at the dinners. Here's the schedule:

July 8-10: Mystery Brewing Company
July 15-17: Carolina Brewing Company
July 22-23: Gizmo Brew Works
July 29-30: Trophy Brewing
Aug 5-6: Natty Greene's Pub & Brewing Co.
Aug 12-13: White Street Brewing
Aug 19-Final: Fullsteam Brewery

Catching up on a few of Greg Cox's restaurant reviews

Greg Cox has one of his mini-reviews today about Back in the Day Cafe in Cary and MoonRunners Saloon in Garner. Go HEREto read that review.

I forgot to post a link to Greg's review last week where he gave 3 1/2 stars to Durham's Page Road Grill - the latest restaurant from Chapel Hill Restaurant Group, which also owns Mez, 518 West and other restaurants. Go HERE to read that review.

16 chefs will compete in Iron Chef-style contest starting June 11 in Raleigh

Chef Jimmy Crippen, owner of Crippen's Country Inn and Restaurant in Blowing Rock, has brought his Iron Chef-style cooking competition to the Triangle starting June 11.

Crippen is the force behind the annual Fire on the Rock competition, which started seven years ago in Blowing Rock. This year, Crippen teamed up with the N.C. Department of Agriculture's Got to Be N.C. campaign to take the competition statewide. So now there are four contests across the state: Fire on the Rock in Blowing Rock, Fire on the Dock in Wrightsville Beach, Fire in the Triangle in Raleigh and Fire in the Triad in Greensboro.

Sixteen chefs have signed up for the Triangle contest starting June 11 with Four Square's Shane Ingram going up against The Twisted Fork's Adam Jones. The complete list of pairings was announced today at a press conference in North Raleigh.

Here's how it works: Two chefs with the help of two sous chefs each prepare three courses for about 100 people using a secret N.C. ingredient that is only revealed on the day of the competition. The chefs, whose cell phones are confiscated, have about six hours to plan their menus and cook their courses. That evening, the diners and a panel of guest judges will choose the winning dishes, not knowing which chef cooked which course. The winning chef moves onto the next round. The overall winner takes home $2,000, while the runner-up wins $500.

The public can buy tickets to the dinners. The cost is $49 excluding beverage, tax and tip for the preliminary rounds, and $59 for the semifinal and final rounds. Go HERE to purchase tickets. All events start at 6:30 p.m. at Rocky Top Hospitality's catering event space, 1705 E. Millbrook Road, Raleigh, which is the original Michael Dean's location.

The preliminary contests are these:

The quarterfinals will be July 9-10 and July 16-17. The semifinals will be July 23-24. The final competition will be July 31.

A portion of  ticket sales will be donated to N.C.'s Office of the State Fire Marshal to support local fire fighters because cooking is the number one cause of house fires.

Page Road Grill to open in Durham by year's end

The folks behind Chapel Hill Restaurant Group who brought us Mez, Spanky's and 518 West, are at it again. They hope to open Page Road Grill before the end of 2012.

Greg Overbeck, co-owner and  marketing director, says Page Road Grill, which is the working but not-as-yet final name for the restaurant, will be an American gastropub serving sandwiches, salads, burgers, steaks, chops and seafood. There will be a focus on serving local beers, including those from Top of the Hill and Carolina Brewery.

Overbeck says the new restaurant will be at 5416 Page Road, near their Mexican restaurant, Mez. (Go HERE to see architectural drawings of the project.) The 8,000-square foot space will have 160 seats and an outdoor patio. He describes the design as "steampunk," which is so intriguing to me that I may go just to see that.

The restaurant will be a LEED-certified green building. Overbeck says they are exploring such environmentally-friendly measures as having beehives or a worm farm.

Downtown Raleigh Restaurant week starts Aug. 22

About 30 downtown Raleigh restaurants will be offering special prix fixe menus this week as part of the annual Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week, which runs from Aug.22-28.

Restaurants, such as Babylon, bu.ku and Tasca Brava 607, will offer three-course meals for either $20 or $30. And this year, for the first time, many restaurants will offer beer or wine pairings for an additional $10.

For example, 518 West in Glenwood South is offering goat cheese and tomato bruschetta, N.C. seafood over grilled corn and summer squash risotto and housemade vanilla gelato for $20.

Also, there will be a "Taste of Restaurant Week" during the Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24. Nine restaurants will prepare free, bite-sized samples of their restaurant week menu items to hand out at the market.

To see menus and the complete list of restaurants, go to

The Raleigh Wine Shop opens in Glenwood South

The Raleigh Wine Shop will be having a grand opening celebration from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. this Saturday, May 21. The wine shop is opening at 126 Glenwood Ave., across from 518 West. The owners are familiar faces for those who shopped at Raleigh's Seaboard Wine: Seth Hoffman was a manager at Seaboard for seven years and Jeff Bramwell was a manager there for two years. They have teamed up with Ryan Fulkerson, who used to work on the wholesale side of the wine business. 

Hoffman says their shop focuses on "handmade wines," where you know who grew the grapes and who made the wines, as opposed to mass produced wines. He said all three owners have tasted every wine they sell and can offer advice on wine selection.

The store also includes a provisions section with the same theme: excellent handmade products, many of them local, Hoffman explained.

Saturday's event will feature wine tastings from 11:30 a.m. onward, the Farmhands Foods Sausage Wagon and hopefully coffee and cheese samples.

Go HERE to read an earlier story about the store's opening.

Meet Earl "The Pearl" Monroe at 518 West tomorrow

NBA hall-of-fame basketball star Earl "The Pearl" Monroe will be dining from 12:30-2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 518 West to support diabetes education.

Monroe, the former Bullets and Knicks player, is a spokesman for Diabetes Restaurant Month campaign, designed to educate diabetics on how they can eat out at their favorite restaurants. Monroe will be dining with a fan and a diabetes educator to promote an educational discussion about diabetes. Go HERE to read a testimonial from Monroe.

518 West is located at 518 W. Jones St. in the Glenwood South area of Raleigh.

Deadline today: 518 West recipe contest

Reminder: Today is the deadline for 518 West's recipe contest. You could win a $100 gift card.

Taking Stock: 518 West summer specials

I want to make sure you guys didn't miss Sue Stock's post about summer specials at 518 West.

Heck, $5.18 for a nine-inch, wood-fired pizza is a good deal. There are also wine and drink specials.

Read the post at her blog, Taking Stock

518 West offers recipe contest

Raleigh's 518 West Italian Cafe is sponsoring its first recipe contest. If you have an original "Fresh Italian" recipe, you could win a $100 gift card, a chance to see your dish featured at the restaurant and an opportunity to cook with executive chef Blaine Nierman. 


Cars View All
Find a Car
Jobs View All
Find a Job
Homes View All
Find a Home

Want to post a comment?

In order to join the conversation, you must be a member of Click here to register or to log in.