Chef teams face off in Durham, and you can be the judge

DURHAM (WTVD) -- Chefs in various cities across the state will battle to win over your taste buds and highlight North Carolina agriculture in a bracket-style competition and cooking event where audience members are the judge.

The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series is pitting teams of various chefs against each other while challenging them to use a surprise North Carolina-grown ingredient.

The teams must create a three-course meal using a secret ingredient revealed to the chefs one hour before the show. Audience members get to try all six courses and vote for their favorites using a smartphone app.

"The goal of the series is to celebrate North Carolina products and agriculture, and to showcase the culinary ingenuity and talent across the state," said Jimmy Crippen, host, and founder.

The contest is hosting dining competitions in Durham, Raleigh, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Wilmington.

Durham is the first city to compete and the finalists for the Bull City series will face off Thursday.

"Durham is such an amazing food town and was one of our top choices for new locations to host the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series battles during our 2016 season," said Jimmy Crippen, Competition Dining Series founder and host in a press release.

First semifinal result

Team Curt's Cucina from Southern Pines

Team members: Curt Shelvey, Curt's Cucina owner and chef; Ryan Laton, Curt's sous chef and Fayetteville Tech adjunct culinary professor; and Matthew Hannon, chef at Ironwood Restaurant in Pinehurst

Versus: Team Captain-Kocina from Chapel Hill - Carolina Escobar, Captain Ponchos Grill owner and chef; JP Murcia, Kocina Food Truck owner and chef; and Matthijs Gerritsen, Captain Ponchos Grill sous chef

Winner: Team Curt's Cucina (Southern Pines)

Full dishes and scoring here

Top scoring dish in qualifying competition: "NC Egg, Danish Blue & Umami Custard, Roasted Grape Tomato and Benton's Bacon Conserve, Brown Butter Sherry Vinaigrette, Local Asparagus"

Dish by Team Curt's Cucina from Southern Pines (Got To Be NC Dining Competition)

Second semifinal result

Team Eggheads from Durham

Team members: Scott Schabot, Keith Calise and Tad Balio all from Another Broken Egg Cafe.

Versus: Team Garnish Nation from Warrenton: Robinson Ferry Restaurant's Michael Ring, general manager; Angela Whitney, bar and front of house manager; and A.J. Garrelts, chef de cuisine.

Winner: Team Eggheads (Durham)

Full dishes and scoring here

Top scoring dish in qualifying competition: "NC Sweet Potato Ran-Lew Buttermilk Cheesecake, Cloister Wildflower Honey Smoked Hickory Syrup, Toasted Meringue, Orange Brulee"

Dish by Team Eggheads from Durham (Got To Be NC Dining Competition)

Team Curt's Cucina and Team Eggheads will face off in the finals at 6 p.m. Thursday, at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. Check out more event information here.

The winning team from the Durham regional will advance to face the winning team from another city.

The Raleigh leg of the competition begins in July.

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