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You can still taste Fire in the Triangle's winning dishes

If you missed dining at the recent Fire in the Triangle competition, you can still taste the winning dishes of Weathervane chef Ryan Payne.

Payne will be offering his winning menu from Battle Cheese from Aug. 16-18, and the menu from the competition's final, Battle Grits and Chocolate, from Aug. 23-25. Call 919-929-9466 for a reservation at the Chapel Hill restaurant inside Southern Season.

Payne survived three rounds to get to the finals. He beat chef Chris Harris of Raleigh's Fork and Barrel in "Battle Country Ham." He bested chef Scott James of Raleigh's Midtown Grille in "Battle Angus Beef." He won "Battle Cheese" against chef Adam Rose of Chapel Hill's Il Palio. Then Payne won in the finals against Herons chef de cuisine John Childers in a battle involving grits and chocolate. He walked away with $2,000 and a red chef's jacket declaring him the winner.

This was the first year for Iron Chef-style competition that originated in Blowing Rock to come to the Triangle. It pitted 16 chefs against each other in various ingredient battles. Diners and judges helped choose the winner after each six-course meal.

Tickets are still available for the Fire in the Triad competition, which starts Monday in Greensboro. For more information and tickets, go HERE

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.

Tap City becomes Fork and Barrel in North Raleigh

Read the details in today's Retailing column in the business section.

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