Flipside Café’s Joseph Cornett and his team – Flipside owners Jon and Amy Fortes – defeated BLT Steak’s Ben Miles in the Got To Be NC Competition Dining City Series in the competition’s semifinals.
After wins against Café Monte March 29 and The Asbury April 19 the, victory May 5 earned Flipside a shot at the final round of the series on May 18 against chef Steven Goff of Asheville, N.C.
Twenty four of the Charlotte region’s chefs were selected to face each other in two parallel single elimination brackets in this year’s series, which pairs local food lovers with the Carolinas’ best farms, foods and chefs.
The secret local ingredients inspiring the six-course meal May 5 were breads from Lionel Vatinet’s La Farm Bakery in Cary, N.C., and butter from Una Alla Volta in Charlotte. They were revealed the morning of the competition, and the two teams spent the day showcasing them in three dishes each.
“They came from the kitchen with loads of butter and the most beautiful bread you’ve ever seen in your life. Everything we had planned went out the door,” Cornett said.
Meeting with Vatinet, 2015 James Beard award finalist and author of “A Passion for Bread: Lessons from a Master Baker – Seven Steps to Making Perfect Loaves” (Little, Brown, 2013), after the competition left Cornett a little star struck.
“For them to say they felt like we were the true winners was a great honor,” Cornett said. “It was like playing basketball in front of Michael Jordan and him saying, ‘Hey, you’ve got a nice shot.’”
Competing is a double-edged sword, Cornett said.
“They say the number one rule is to have fun. It truly is fun, but there’s always I hint of stress. I never imagined how physically exhausting it would be. You don’t stop. You don’t eat – I mean, some people do, but those people aren’t in the competition anymore. I want to be part of a happy memory for someone. I feel like food is that powerful. If your food can be in someone’s memories, that’s what fuels me.”
The series is the second leg of this year’s Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series, following the Triangle Series in Raleigh. Charlotte battles continue through May 19, and then the action moves to Winston Salem for the Triad series through June.
The inaugural Greenville series, which promotes South Carolina foods and chefs from across the Palmetto state, begins Aug. 3. The Greenville series is sponsored by Pate Dawson-Southern Foods and runs through September. Applications for South Carolina chefs are being accepted until June 12. Winners from the four regions face off in Raleigh Oct. 28-31 for the Battle of Champions. Information, reservations and application materials are available at competitiondining.com.
Read about Local Dish’s last round: Click here