The 2014 Fire on the Rock Dining Series got off to a hot start last week with Chef Samuel Ratchford of Boone’s Vidalia Restaurant and Wine Bar and Chef Michelle Bailey of Flat Rock’s Season’s at Highland Lake both moving on to the second round.
Ratchford kicked off the competition on Monday, March 10, competing against Chef Anthony Cerrato of Strada Italiano. Ratchford triumphed, preparing one of the highest-rated courses of the competition so far: Wanchese pink shrimp ceviche, andouille and Old Mill of Guilford grits canapé, sweet chili and Brussels sprouts slaw, Texas Pete® “Cha” aioli and grilled tomatillo coulis, which received a weighted score of 30.17. Cerrato cooked valiantly, winning three of the six courses, but Ratchford managed to collect a higher average score throughout the round.
The Tuesday, March 11, match up featured Bailey facing off against Chef Michael Mahoney of ISIS Restaurant. This battle was also split evenly with the two chefs alternating wins with each course. But similar to Ratchford, Bailey’s standout third course was enough to push her over the top. She scored a 31.21 with her cast-iron seared, certified Angus beef bistro filet; Two Shoes Farms oyster mushroom ravioli; roasted cauliflower puree; Krupnikas glazed Brussels sprouts; smoked mushroom demi, acorn squash with Krupnikas jus and North Carolina oyster mushroom jerky.
The Fire on the Rock series will continue next week with Chef Edwin Bloodworth of Boone’s The Gamekeeper Restaurant cooking against Chef Sam Etheridge of Ambrozia Bar + Bistro on Monday, March 17. The following showdown is between Chef Steven Goff of King James Public House and Chef Michael Fisera of Lexington Ave Brewery on Tuesday, March 18.
Track the bracket-style tournament and see all of the winning courses on the series’ website here.