Monday, October 28, 2013

Which chef caught the Fire?

Just before taking last week off, I was a judge for Fire in the City, the first time the statewide chef competition founded by Jimmy Crippen came to Charlotte.

 The original, Fire on the Rock, started in Blowing Rock and then added Asheville. That was followed by Fire on the Dock in Wilmington, Fire in the Triad in Greensboro and Fire in the Triangle in Raleigh. Final Fire, the finale, brings all the winners to Raleigh Nov. 20-23 for a last round of matchups.

So who is representing each town? Jon Fortes of Mimosa Grill will bring it for Charlotte, facing John Bobby of Noble's Grille in Winston-Salem on Nov. 20. The winner of that round will face Dean Thompson of Flights Restaurant in Raleigh on Nov. 21. Nov. 22 will feature Gerry Fong of Persimmons in New Bern against Adam Hayes of the Red Stag Grill in Asheville. Nov. 23 is the final finale, with the winners of the Nov. 21 and Nov. 22 rounds.

The Final Fire dinners are all held at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills; tickets are $119 and go on sale Wednesday, Oct. 30. (There's also a special rate available at the hotel if you don't want to face a three-hour drive home after a multi-course meal.)

For the details, chef bios and videos and reservations, go to