Chef Joanie Babcock, Competitor in Fire on the Dock

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Dear Foodies,

We are coming to you live from beautiful downtown Faison. I would like to thank all of our customers who attended" Fire on the Dock," Wednesday night! You made it a special night for me, to look out there and see so many of you who made the trip for my team and Southern Exposure. Amazing!

  We arrived in Wilmington at 10am, unloaded, and sat nervously waiting to look at the truck full of veggies, spices, nuts, shrimp, veal, pork, lamb, a pantry on wheels! As we walked up the plank to the truck my knees were shaking. The sun was shining, the smell of salt air, the smell of fear.

  As we met upstairs at the Bluewater Grill to find out our "secret ingredient" and to meet Mark Lawson our opposition from the Blockade Runner. A little guy with his Sous Chef and 15 year old daughter. What! Yes a very sharp little girl with a lot of determination.

We all found places to sequester our selves to plan our menu. We were so nervous and shaking, I thought I might throw up! For me I just froze, like a deer in the headlights. Nothing would come out. After mumbling down some ideas we started in. Things seemed to go smoothly, we made progress. We had surrendered our phones to make it an even playing field. Of course I was going thru separation anxiety, I did not know the time, and when I asked what time it was I wish I hadn't. At one point I looked at Miles and said I hate every minute of this, I couldn't find myself.

When it was time to start plating the 115 plates times three, I started to get into the grove and I loved it. Marks plates were beautiful and ours were not so hot.

The Chef Refs were Laurence Willard and Billy Seay to of the nicest guys ever. Billy and I got to talking and realized we knew tons of people in Charlotte. My Mentor John Berries was his best friend. My old boss Catherine Coulter, Pewter Rose, places I used to work.

Laurence made me feel strong and helped in more way than he will ever know.

When it came down to the final vote even before, I was so proud of my guys, they were champions. So was I.

  When I stepped from behind that kitchen wall and saw a sea of our customers cheering to the Rolling Stones, 'Honkey Tonk Woman" ( a song I picked).

they were cheering for us! My legs held up, knees were great, I was tired as hell. I knew that I had won in so many ways. Thank you universe!

Big thanks go out to Jimmy Crippins for his "Fire on the Dock" I told him he saved me. I have started going  to the gym, working out, doing my "Rocky" training.

Mark and I were both interviewed on The Penguin" radio station, yesterday which gave us a little more exposure. As I look back, I loved it and will do it again.


 Your Chef,



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