Chef Bios

2015 Triangle Chefs

2015 Triangle Chefs

Ben Adams

Piedmont in Durham

My cooking style is modern American, refined comfort, seasonally driven and local.

The NC ingredients I use include produce, cheese, pork, fish and chicken.

My competitive advantage is that I’ve got the best team in the triangle!

Connect with Piedmont via Facebook and Twitter

2015 Triangle Chefs

Spencer Carter

Weathervane in Chapel Hill

My cooking style is damn good!

I use as many NC ingredients as possible, for me it’s Got To Be NC!

My competitive advantage is my bad ass team and our knowledge of NC food.

Connect with Weathervane via Facebook and Twitter

 

2015 Triangle Chefs

Trey Cleveland

Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill

My cooking style is fresh, simple & flavorful with a big influence from my Louisiana heritage.

The NC ingredients I use include beef, pork chicken, seafood, produce, dairy, Topo organic spirits & brewery fresh beer.

My competitive advantage is the luxury of a fantastic team that has worked together for many years.

Connect with Top of the Hill via Facebook and Twitter

 

2015 Triangle Chefs

Ryan Conklin

Rex Health in Triangle Area

My cooking style is cooking for the masses every day, I am encouraged to keep things fresh and exciting for our customers.  Over time this has helped to craft a style that blends 4 things: simple, fresh, healthy, approachable.

The NC ingredients I use include sweet potatoes, kale, cheese, peanuts and more depending on season.

My competitive advantage is that I represent a handful of chefs in the region and nation that are truly passionate about elevating the reputation of “hospital food.”  When you mix that passion with talent, technique and poise, I believe anything is possible.

Connect with Chef Conklin via Facebook and Twitter

 

2015 Triangle Chefs

Patrick Cowden

Tobacco Road in Raleigh & Durham

My cooking style is southern cuisine rooted in some classic French techniques, my own southern heritage and a side of spontaneity. 

I set a standard of making sure at least 75% of the product I use is locally sourced.

My competitive advantage is my team.  No Chef is an island.  Even though I lead the team and have overall creative control, I am nowhere without the guys and gals that are in the trenches with me.

Connect with Tobacco Road via Facebook and Twitter

 

2015 Triangle Chefs

Teddy Diggs

Il Palio in Chapel Hill

My cooking style is rustic and regined regional Italian.

The NC ingredients I use include fruit, vegetables, cheese, seafood, beef, chicken, rabbit, pork and eggs

My competitive advantage is my ability to take familiar dishes and classical flavors and techniques and turn them into something different.

Connect with Il Palio via Facebook 

 

2015 Triangle Chefs

Gerry Fong

2012 Fire On The Dock Champion in New Bern

My cooking style is southern Asian with a French twist.  Creative and daring… flavorful.

I use roughly 75% NC products in my cooking.  

My competitive advantage is my 2012 Fire on the Dock Series win, my Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen win and my ability to think quickly in the kitchen.

 Connect with Chef Gerry Fong on Facebook and Twitter.

2015 Triangle Chefs

Benjamin Guaman

Governors Club in Chapel Hill

My cooking style is classic technique with modern influence.

The NC ingredients I use include Poulet Rouge, ginger, vegetables, pork, seafood and cheese.

My competitive advantage is that I work well with my team and have good time management

 

2015 Triangle Chefs

Benjamin Harris

Midtown Grille in Raleigh

My cooking style is new American with southern influences.

The NC ingredients I use include sweet potatoes, vegetables, seafood, pork and oysters

My competitive advantage is fresh perspective on classic technique combined with youth, perseverance and professionalism.

Connect with Midtown Grille via Facebook and Twitter

 

2015 Triangle Chefs

Christopher Hill

Faire in Raleigh

My cooking style is classical French foundation with southern influences.

The NC ingredients I use include pork, beef, bison, produce, dry goods and seafood.

My competitive advantage is my experience in this competition before, and taking missed opportunities from previous years and fine tuning them to make it further in the competition.

Connect with Faire via Facebook and Twitter

 

2015 Triangle Chefs

Chelsi Hogue

Ed's Southern in Goldsboro

My cooking style is nouveau southern fusion.  NC ingredients but with no restraints on preparation method, although I have strong French undertones.

The NC ingredients I use include produce, cheese, honeys, seafood, sweet potatoes and pork.

My competitive advantage is my passion.

Connect with Ed’s Southern Food & Spirits via Facebook 

 

2015 Triangle Chefs

Shane Ingram

Four Square in Durham

My cooking style is globally influenced American cuisine.

I use as many NC ingredients as I can, including seafood, produce and all types of meats.

My competitive advantage is my years of experience, my grace under fire, my unending creativity and my desire to crush the competition at any cost.

Connect with Four Square Restaurant via Facebook and Twitter

 

2015 Triangle Chefs

Rhett Morris

Rhett's in Southern Pines

My cooking style is fresh, local, southern gourmet.

90% of my menu is sourced from NC, including chicken, pork, beef, trout, catfish, seafood, dry goods, cheese, honey, eggs, dairy products, beer, vodka and produce.

My competitive advantage is an ever changing menu that is based on what the farmer produces weekly, and my ability to transform those ingredients to menu items that expose the general population to new culinary experiences.

Connect with Rhett’s via Facebook 

 

2015 Triangle Chefs

Curt Shelvey

Curt's Cucina in Southern Pines

My cooking style is classic Italian American with regional influences and techniques.

The NC ingredients I use include pork, poultry, shellfish, seafood, produce and cured meats.

My competitive advantage is my passion and love for cooking great food with flavor.

Connect with Curt’s Cucina via Facebook and Twitter

 

2015 Triangle Chefs

Brandon Stark

Michael's in Carolina Beach

My cooking style is North meets South.

The NC ingredients I use include produce, dairy, seafood, poultry and beef.

My competitive advantage is that I have had the opportunity to work with one of the best Chefs in this area.

Connect with Michael’s Seafood via Facebook

 

2015 Triangle Chefs

Ben Strange

Aperitivo in New Bern

My cooking style is classical French with a splash of southern.

The NC ingredients I use include meat, seafood and cheeses.

My competitive advantage is my versatility.

Connect with Aperitivo via Facebook

 

2015 City Chefs

2015 City Chefs

Clark Barlowe

Heirloom Restaurant in Charlotte

My cooking style is globally Inspired, Locally Sourced.  Every ingredient in the restaurant comes from NC Small Businesses and Farms and I change the menu daily based on those farms.

Do you utilize NC ingredients on your menu?  Every ingredient on my menu comes from NC farms and producers.  Also the beer, wine, and bar are all completely stocked from NC breweries, distilleries, and wineries.

My competitive advantage is that I work with these ingredients daily and change my menu just as often.  All of these work to my advantage.

 

Connect with Heirloom Restaurant via Facebook and Twitter

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Neil Bratton

Local Dish in Fort Mill

My cooking style is Southern, with a modern flair.

Do you utilize NC ingredients in your menu?  Sweet potatoes, micro greens, collards, kale, pork chops, ground beef, amberjack, snapper, tilefish, triggerfish, tomatoes, apples, eggs, lettuces, zucchini, ribeyes

My competitive advantage is that I push myself to think outside the box and come up with inventive ways to showcase a product that is familiar in an unfamiliar way. 

Connect with Local Dish via Facebook 
Connect with Chef Bratton via Facebook and Twitter 

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Melissa Joy Claude

Joy Bistro in Boone

My cooking style is  more of a classic French. I love making delicious sauces that will accentuate  the flavor of the dish.

The NC ingredients I use include  Sunshine Cove Farms micro greens, Heritage Farm Pork, Drake Family pastas, Ashley Farms chicken and squab.

My competitive advantage is  knowledge...not just how to prepare, but how to pair foods and ingredients.

Connect with Joy Bistro via Facebook 

 

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Chris Coleman

The Asbury in Charlotte

My cooking style is modern Southern.

Do you utilize NC ingredients in your menu? Yes. 85-90% of our menu comes from NC/SC. We utilize NC proteins, produce, grains, dairy, and artisan goods. 

My competitive advantage is my love of cooking, familiarity with local ingredients, and desire to win.

Connect with The Asbury via Facebook and Twitter
Connect with Chef Coleman via Facebook and Twitter

 

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Joseph Cornett

The Flipside Café in Fort Mill

My cooking style is  Classically trained Chef heavily influenced by southern cuisine.

Do you utilize NC ingredients in your menu?  yes, UAV cheeses, produce from Rosemary Pete, Harmony Ridge, Tega Hills, etc

My competitive advantage is  I have won this competition before, but my name wasn't on the check.

Connect with The Flipside Café via Facebook and Twitter
Connect with Chef Cornett via Facebook and Twitter

 

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Ryan Daugherty & Eric Litaker

Dogwood Southern Table & Bar in Charlotte

My cooking style is  Elevated Southern Cuisine.  Regionally Inspired.  Locally Sourced. 

Do you utilize NC ingredients in your menu?  Heritage farms pork, Sunburst farms trout, NC Shrimp, Carolina Bison, Rowland Family Farm Chicken, produce from Poplar Ridge Farms / Commonwealth Farms / Rowland Family Farms, Cheese from Looking Glass Creamery / Fishing Creek Creamery, roots/spices/herbs and other such foods from whoever will bring us the most delicious offerings

Our competitive advantage is our drive as competitors and chefs as well as the depth of the talent pool at our restaurants.  We push each other daily to making ourselves better as individuals and as a restaurant. 

Connect with Dogwood Southern Table & Bar via Facebook and Twitter

 

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Tom Dyrness

Mama Ricotta's in Charlotte

My cooking style is calmed with Southern influences.  Fresh and local.

Do you utilize NC ingredients in your menu?   Many local farms for produce, grass fed beef, bacon, cheese.

My competitive advantage is  a clear defined approach to cooking.  I have a creative vision and am able to execute it.

 Connect with Mama Ricotta's on Facebook and Twitter

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Jon Ernst

Café Monte French Bakery and Bistro in Charlotte

My cooking style has a classic french background, with a mix of southern cuisine, and I like to use a lot if bright and fresh elements.

The NC ingredients I use include a lot of local meats and cheeses, local trout. And we have a local farmer that provides some of our produce.  Such as baby carrots, beets, and greens.

My competitive advantage is  that I have been a part of fire in the city for the past two years. Those were as a part if a team this is my first time to truly showcase my skills. Also as a graduate of Johnson and wales in 2013 I have worked my way up through the kitchen and became a chef relatively quickly.  Being a part of the tournament before helps me realize where I had made mistakes and what to expect. 

Connect with Café Monte French Bakery and Bistro via Facebook and Twitter

 

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Michael Fisera

Lexington Avenue Brewery in Asheville

My cooking style is I take classic techniques to modern ideas

The NC ingredients I use include beef, chicken, pork, vegetables, dairy and anything I can get my hands on

My competitive advantage is the fact that I see every day in the kitchen as competition

 Connect with Lexington Avenue Brewery via Facebook and Twitter

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Ryan Forte

Southminster Retirement Community in Charlotte

My cooking style is  nutrient dense, Southern sensibility with a modern aesthetic.

The NC ingredients I use include Sweet Potato Boulangere, Butternut Squash Bisque, Beet Salads, greens, potatoes, asparagus, NC Wild Turkey Farms pork butts, pork belly, half pigs...etc. 

My competitive advantage is that our culinary team prepares over 500 meals a day, with a new menu every day, to the tune of 220 unique published menus per month.

Connect with Southminster via Facebook 
Connect with Chef Forte via Facebook and Twitter 

 

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Vincent Giancarlo

Cantina 1511 in Charlotte

My cooking style is  Latin inspired flavor profiles and give them New American twists to create extremely fresh and edgy tacos as well as composed entrees, appetizers and small plates that play with the guests palate.

Do you utilize NC products in your menu?  Yes, we use micro greens and lettuces from Tega Hills Farms as well as a number of proteins from Hickory Nut Gap Farms in Asheville, NC and grits and oats from Anson Mills, SC

My competitive advantage is my ability to work outside the box with any ingredients presented to me, and use the techniques that i have learned in my 14 years of culinary experience to create an amazing meal.

Connect with Cantina 1511 via Facebook and Twitter

 

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Steven Goff

King James Public House in Asheville

My cooking style is rustic, modern American.

The NC products I use include  whole hogs, Cheerwine, cheese, bread, vinegars, produce.

My competitive advantage is my tenacity. I will try my hardest against all odds and also be humble and enjoy the experience for what it is, win or lose.

Connect with King James Public House via Facebook and Twitter

 

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Brady Lutz

The Cypress Club in Charlotte

My cooking style is  everything from Italian to Chinese and tailor our menu to our members’ tastes.

The NC ingredients I use include Carolina Bison, Prestige Farms Chicken, Heritage Farms Pork and Sunny Creek Produce to name a few.

My competitive advantage is my diversity. We have to stay on the cutting edge because our members dine with us daily. Most restaurants serve the same thing everyday; we have to keep it new and exciting. 

Connect with The Cypress Club via Facebook and Twitter

 

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Thomas Marlow

Mimosa Grill in Charlotte

My cooking style is thorough and energetic, it's not complicated or over the top, it's simply approachable. We like to tell the story behind what we've cooked and how it influenced us in how we prepare each and every dish. I enjoy being able to showcase the ingredients I have the chance of working with everyday. 

Do you utilize NC products in your menu?  Yes, currently at Mimosa we are purchasing baby carrots, rainbow carrots, kale, arugula, spinach, collards, onions, basil, thyme, rosemary, mint, cilantro, tarragon, oregano, apples, sorghum, all of our eggs, honey and honey comb, and proteins such as whole pigs, lamb, chicken, duck, and beef from time to time.

My competitive advantage is simple, I've competed in several competitions in the Charlotte series and have had the chance to be on two consecutive winning teams. I know how to play "the game" and know what it takes and the type of product is required to get the win.

Connect with Mimosa Grill via Facebook and Twitter
Connect with Chef Marlow via Facebook and Twitter 

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Brent Martin

The Summit Room in Charlotte

My cooking style is a refined Southern approach to my cooking but, in general, my culinary roots are based on old school techniques with modern, advanced plating.

The NC ingredients I use include cheeses, greens, produce.

Connect with The Summit Room via Facebook and Twitter

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Ben Miles

BLT Steak in Charlotte

My cooking style is French bistro & refined rustic

Do you utilize NC ingredients in your menu?  I utilize local ingredients whenever I can, whenever they are made most available to me.  When I'm working on special menus, I make a specific effort to use local ingredients if possible

My competitive advantage is  precision cooking.

Connect with BLT Steak via Facebook and Twitter

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

David Moore

Gallery Restaurant in Charlotte

My cooking style is an “in-season – local ingredient forward – hyper-technique driven – progressive Southern approach to creating delicious and beautiful indigenous cuisine that justly represents North Carolina agricultural arts and reflects our drive to be ferociously passionate culinary professionals.”

The NC ingredients I use include microgreens, grass-fed beef, eggs, chicken, dairy, produce, cheeses, honey and seafood

Connect with Gallery Restaurant via Facebook and Twitter

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

John Morey

Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte

How would you describe your cooking style?  I like for food to taste like it was intended to taste. Not masked or over enhanst. I enjoy bringing out the flavors and characteristics of the food that I'm preparing.

The NC ingredients I use include seasonal produce, farm raised proteins, Joyce farms poultry, seafood.

My competitive advantage is the drive to honor the hard work of the farmers and fisherman that produce and harvest the regional foods we enjoy.

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Miles Payne

littleSpoon in Charlotte

How would you describe your cooking style?   I like to cook food that people enjoy. I am not locked in to a certain genre. I just love to cook.

Do you utilize NC ingredients in your menu? I try to utilize all NC ingredients, we source other products from SC based on availability. 

My competitive advantage is creativity.

Connect with littleSpoon via Facebook 
Connect with Chef Payne via Facebook and Twitter 

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Ben Philpott

Block & Grinder in Charlotte

My cooking style is Southern food with classic French technique.

The NC ingredients I use include ground beef, greens, fresh produce.

Connect with Block & Grinder via Facebook and Twitter

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Aaron Rivera

Tapas 51 in Fort Mill

My cooking style is modern and elevated Hispanic.

The NC ingredients I use include UAV cheeses, different vegetables from farms like Barbee, lucky clay and leaf, Cheerwine

My competitive advantage is that I am a line cook junkie, I have an incredible pastry chef, and one beast of a sous chef.  I bring a lot of flavors and knowledge of foods that I have yet to see used in many of the restaurants of past competitors.

Connect with Tapas 51 via Facebook

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Mike Suppa

Vivace in Charlotte

My cooking style is modern Italian and we keep to the flavors of the classics with an inventive twist.

Do you utilize NC ingredients in your menu? We use the local ingredients when ever they are the best and in season.  We use NC seafood to bring in the freshest possible and seasonal produce in out nightly features. 

My competitive advantage is my ability to work in the moment and finish with fantastic results.

Connect with Vivace via Facebook and Twitter

Video introduction >

2015 City Chefs

Paul Verica

Heritage Food & Drink in Charlotte

My cooking style is locally driven, classically based, modern influences...source the best ingredients that you can, treat them with respect, make them taste like who and what they are and make it look pretty....         

Do you utilize NC ingredients in your menu? Yes, as much as we possibly can, produce is from the Charlotte region. About 95% of what we use is local.

My competitive advantage is that I am good cook...i have 20 + years of experience in the kitchen in pretty much every capacity and environment, 36 seat restaurants to banquets and catering for 2000 + and I know how to focus on ingredients and flavor while showcasing technique and approachable food.

Connect with Heritage Food & Drink via Facebook and Twitter

Video introduction >