On Tuesday, July 15th I had a very special opportunity to be a guest judge at the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series’ Fire in the Triangle quartfinals, where Spencer Carter of Weathervane and Younes Sabouh of City Kitchen battled it out in the 1705 Prime kitchen.  Both from restaurants in Chapel Hill, the chefs had a lot to prove.  The battles are getting harder, as both chefs admitted this time around they’ve had to work harder.  At the end of the night the votes were tallied and Younes Sabouh was announced as the winner.


The first course was my favorite of the night.  With all of the amazing courses that followed, you know this one had to be phenomenal to remain my top choice. 

The Seared Hybrid Striped Bass, Yuca Mousse, Corn & Crab, Smoked Tomato Fennel Broth was prepared by Younes Sabouh.  After the competition I asked him what was his inspiration for the dish. 

“I was just going with the way I like to cook you know.  Corn is a beautiful product.  It goes well with the crab, the seafood…”


Both Carter and Sabouh prepared very tasteful and unique dishes for the anxious diners.  Checkout courses 2-6 below.

2nd Course:  NC Catch Flounder, Crispy Rice, Corn & Almond Ragout, Orange-Saffron Emulsion prepared by Sabouh

3rd Course:  Sweet Chili Marinated Cheshire Pork Tenderloin, Pulled Pork Butt, Creamed Corn Grits prepared by Carter


4th Course:  Grilled Certified Angus Beef Bistro Steak, Corn Potato Salad, Roasted Shiitake, Corn Asparagus Chimichurri prepared by Carter 

(Not pictured.  The Pork Butt and Tenderloin from the 3rd course was so good I was in a trance and forgot to take a picture.:( )

5th Course:  Corn & Crème Fraîche Custard, Corn Pecan Crumble, Corn Brown Butter Bourbon Ice Cream prepared by Sabouh

6th Course:  Bad Penny Brown Ale Chocolate & Corn Cake, Sweet Corn Semifreddo, Sweet Corn Cream Cheese Icing, Candied Corn & Cashews prepared by Carter 

2nd Favorite of the night!


The food is definitely the center of attention, but host Jimmy Crippen is truly an electrifying force throughout the dining experience.  He puts the “fire” in Fire in the Triangle. Below he talks with Carter about his strategy for the night's battle.


Younes Sabouh greets the audience

Posing with the winners!

 Sabouh and his fantastic team.   

Cooking is truly an art form.  After attending Fire in the Triangle I have a new respect for chefs as well as for farmers and artisans who supply us with fresh ingredients daily.  I really enjoyed the farm to table dining experience!