NCRLA’S Chef Showdown 2021 first preliminary round features local talent

North Carolina

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) – The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association is having its fifth annual NCRLA Chef Showdown. It’s billed as North Carolina’s premier culinary and mixology competition of the year.

The annual competition is designed to promote and spotlight the talent of chefs, pastry chefs and mixologists across North Carolina. Presented by Got To Be NC Agriculture, the Chef Showdown features competitors who will use only North Carolina ingredients in their creations.

The preliminary rounds of competition will feature 48 chefs and pastry chefs from across the state who applied in February to cook their way through the first step. Now, they take on the road and the judges to win the 2021 coveted titles of NCRLA Chef of the Year and NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year.

The chefs featured in the first preliminary round include:

  • Sam Smith with Sugar Island
  • Amanda Ezzell with Ezzell’s LLC
  • Evan Parker with Bluewater Waterfront Grill
  • Antonio Campolio with Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant
  • James Patterson with McConnell Golf
  • Massimo Mannino with Nino’s Cucina Italiana

Other dates for preliminary rounds include:

  • April 26 – Carteret Community College │ Morehead City
  • May 17 – Central Piedmont Community College │ Charlotte
  • June 7 – Bobby Boy Bake Shop │ Winston-Salem
  • June 14 – Wake Tech Baking & Pastry Arts │ Raleigh

Preliminary judges’ scores narrow the field of competitors to 20 chefs who will cook for the win in one of two semifinal regional rounds of competition to be held in July.

The same 20 chefs move on to cook for the public and a chance at People’s Choice honors at the August 9 Grand Finale in Durham.

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