After 3 nights of local farms and surprise North Carolina ingredients, the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Winston-Salem series crowned a new winner as Vidalia Restaurant’s Chef Sam Ratchford took home the coveted red chef’s jacket. Ratchford defeated Chef Richard Miller of Graze Restaurant in the finale, which featured Joyce Farms White Pheasant and Harrell Hill Farms Sorghum Molasses. In the previous battles, Graze defeated Phoenix Brevard’s in a match-up that featured local peas and carrots provided by Plum Granny Farm, The Specialty Farmer and New Town Farms. Ratchford edged out Chef Tim Bocholis of Bistro B in Kernersville in a battle of Goodnight Brothers Ham and Uno Alla Volta cheese.

On finale night, it was a close battle after four courses, but in the end it was the dessert course that sent Ratchford to the top of the scoreboard. Ratchford said the win was especially sweet after handful of bridesmaid finishes, “I’ve competed five or six times and came within a tenth of a point once. There’s a sense of accomplishment after so many attempts. But even if you lose, the exposure is so good for the restaurant, but this win is very gratifying.”

Ratchford goes on to the Battle of Champions in October, where he’ll face off with other winners from Durham, Raleigh, Wilmington, Charlotte and Greensboro. The Greensboro series, which is scheduled for June 20-23 at the Empire Room, has just announced its Dream Teams, they are Team Pickle Weasels of Undercurrent, Greensboro v. Team Hobnob of Brevard; and Sedgefield Culinary Crushers of Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro v. Team Natives of Native Kitchen & Social Club of Asheville. Tickets are available now at !