Thursday, January 23, 2014

Get Ready for Competition Dining with Fire on the Dock

If you missed last year's Fire on the Dock cooking competition, here's another chance to enjoy one of Coastal Carolina's most unique dining experiences. The fun begins on Monday, January 27th and ends with an exciting cook-off on Monday, February 17th.

For the third year in a row, the series will showcase some of southeastern North Carolina's finest dining establishments and introduce the community to their talented chefs. For each evening of the competition, two restaurants will go head-to-head in a single elimination format. Without knowing which restaurant is responsible for the dishes, guests will sample three courses from each chef, for a six-course total. In addition to an outstanding meal, diners also serve as the judges by rating each dish! Their votes will determine who advances to the next round.

The interesting twist is that for each night of the Fire on the Dock competition, the evening's menu selections will be centered around a "Mystery" ingredient that is native to North Carolina. The participating chefs only learn the identity of the mystery ingredient at 12 noon on the day of competition!

For each series, the regional grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $2,000, the coveted "Red Chef's Jacket" and the chance to move to the Final Fire-Battle of Champions in November.

Tickets for the preliminary rounds are $59 per person and do not include beverages or sales tax. The semi and final round ticket price is $69 and also excludes beverages and sales tax. Interested diners are urged to purchase their tickets in advance due to the popularity of this on-of-a-kind event.

Last year's Fire on the Dock winner was Chef Gerry Fong of New Bern's Persimmons. Fong edged out Chef Clarke Merrell of Morehead City's Circa 81 in the final round, which took place at the Bluewater Waterfront Grill in Wrightsville Beach. According to online news source, Port City Daily, the final went down like this:

"With bacon and country ham as the final secret ingredients they had to incorporate into their dishes, Fong, who bested Wilmington's own Josh Petty of Sweet & Savory to reach the final, won over the judges with an Asian-braised pork belly, a three-style ham dish called "Johnston Co. 3 ways," and a bacon-dark chocolate torte."

Is your mouth watering yet?

Here's a look at the 2014 schedule*, so far:
  • 1/27-Circa 81 (Morehead City) vs. Hops Supply Company
  • 1/28-Cape Fear Country Club vs. Prime 1079 (Atlantic Beach)
  • 2/3-1900 Restaurant vs. Olive CafĂ©
  • 2/4-Sweet and Savory vs. South Beach Grill
*unless noted, all dining establishments are in the greater Wilmington area

Learn more about the participating chefs and restaurants.

All events for the Fire on the Dock will take place at the Bluewater Waterfront Grill at 4 Marina Street, just over the drawbridge in Wrightsville Beach.

Make your reservation today, before this event sells out!

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