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By Steve McQuaid Steve is behind the food blog HungryHeel.com, and lives in Raleigh despite being a Tar Heel through and through. Find him on Twitter @SteveMcQuaid.

Local Chef Challenge Draws Locavores for Nutrition

By Steve McQuaid Posted April 27, 2013 at 10:10 am

58160_243720945766882_1074629681_nEver wonder just who those lucky people are who get to attend those TV cook-off shows, or how they happen to know these talented chefs?

At Community Nutrition Partnership’s local chef challenge, they were your friends and neighbors. In fact, you might have known the chefs or heard of their restaurants, and you might have even known the farmers who grew the produce served.

Chefs James Naquin (Guglhupf Bakery, Restaurant and Cafe), Daniel Grodence (Southern Rail), David Wimmers (Saint Jacques), John Eisensmith (Six Plates Wine Bar), and Vimala Rajendran (Vimala’s Curry Blossom Cafe) battled it out for a good and righteous cause—highlighting fresh, local produce.

With the gentlemen from Steel String Craft Brewery (Carrboro’s new brewpub) providing two forms of refreshment and live music from the Mary Johnson Rockers, the event was lively and bustling with activity.

Managing Director of CNP Allison Oakley said the turnout of over 200 doubled the event’s goal. Oakley added that from the beginning, the event was conceptualized as a cook-off, but that even more local chefs showed interest than anticipated—a testament to the momentum of the local food movement in the Triangle.

In the end, the team from Six Plates wine bar took the overall win for their braised pork belly over roasted carrot and rutabaga puree with wilted red kale salad, honey champagne vinaigrette, fresh radishes, and white sweet potato curls. While a mouthful, I’ll admit the Six Plates dish was my favorite mouthful. Vimala’s took the victory in healthfulness, while Southern Rail won out in creative use of vegetables and the crowd vote.

With CNP hosting events like this, who needs Bobby Flay?

Learn more about Community Nutrition Partnership at cnpnc.org.

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