|Enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail (l to r: me, Jimmy Crippen, Carl Wilson)|
We last saw Chef Bocholis during the very first Fire in the Triad Battle Cheerwine and Chef Blackburn during Battle Rabbit. Both chefs are now seasoned in the ways of The Fire and primed to potentially make it to the next level of competition: THE SEMIFINALS.
But before any of that can begin, the secret ingredient has to be revealed:
|photo courtesy: lustymonk.com|
Provided by Lusty Monk Mustards of Asheville, NC, all 3 of the company's signature products: Original Sin, Alter Boy and Burn In Hell were used-- the company boasts of "Robust mustards for passionate palates"--and that is exactly what each course had in store for us diners last night.
|Tartare-Style Original Sin-Crusted Lamb, Stone-Ground Mustard Crème Fraiche, Quinoa Medallion|
I am a sucker for lamb, so I mustard enough courage to go in fork first to the lamb. This was definitely people food. Studded with roasted peppers, capers and olives, the plate was delicious. Generous amounts of cracked black pepper covered the plate and added another layer of coarseness to the grainy Original Sin mustard. I could tell some mustard had been folded in, but the quinoa medallion could have been left off the plate. Not listed on the dish's ingredient list but present: a medallion of cashew-crusted goat cheese and 3 chips that I believe were fried yucca.
|Chipotle Mustard Roasted Quail Breast with Burn In Hell Demi-Glace, Farro-Apple Melange|
|Bacon Wrapped Spicy Mustard Pork Tenderloin, House Made Fennel & Mustard Dusted Herb Pâte à Choux Gnocchi, Mustard Yellow Cauliflower Puree, Chipotle Mustard Sauce Choron, Crispy Yucca|
|Surf & Turf: Original Sin Grilled Lamb Loin with Whole-Grain Mustard Oyster Mushroom Bordelaise, Crab Rangoon, Roasted Red Pepper Mustard Cilantro Risotto Cake, Guava Mustard Mascarpone & Sugar Snap Salad Photo courtesy: NikSnacks|
|Ginger Honey Mustard Gelato, Mustard Short Crust Tart Tatin, Honey Mustard Caramel, Candied Ginger Crisps|
|Tart Cherry & Maple Bread Pudding, Spiced Honey-Mustard Marshmallow, Strawberry Mustarda, Sugar Lattice|
After the parade of chefs and their crews, only one chef could be the victor: Chef Chris Blackburn of Josephine's won by an 8 point margin. Congratulations, Chef! I'm looking forward to seeing you in the finals on September 18!
|Excited about mustard, Chef Blackburn is ready to rock!|
I will be out of town for the 2nd quarterfinal dinner between Southern Lights Bistro and 1618 West, but don't worry. I've left you in capable hands. Guest blogger, Kristi Marion from Southern As Biscuits will be taking my place and updating you on Thursday night's dinner.
Log-on and subscribe to Nik Snacks email subscription list to stay tuned for nightly recap of Fire in the Triad quarterfinal dinners. You can also follow me on twitter @niksnacks or Kristi @SouthrnBiscuits. Search #CompDiningNC for live updates during each battle (dinner begins at 7pm). Please also follow Competition Dining on Facebook or the web.
All photos courtesy of competitiondining.com unless noted