Chef Richard Miller of Graze takes Competition Dining finals

by Kristi Maier

Chef Miller’s highest scoring dish.

@triadfoodiesView the photo gallery here. When we went to press on Tuesday night, the winner of the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series in the Triad had not been announced. But now we know that Chef Richard Miller of Graze Restaurant took home the prize at Tuesday night’s nail-biter of a finale. It was Battle Joyce Farms Poulet Rouge Chicken and Eggs and Barbee Farms Peaches. Miller faced Chef Dion Sprenkle of the restaurant of the same name, located in Lexington. Course after course came out, all being tasted and judged by 160 guests including several pro culinary judges.As it as has in the past, the decision came down to dessert. And as the two chefs were neck and neck in score, it was Miller’s dessert course that sealed the deal””Chocolate Brownie, Marshmallow, Marcona Almond Streusel, Barbee Farms Peach & White Chocolate Anglaise, Peach Cinnamon Ice Cream, Fried Powdered Sugar Joyce Farms Poulet Rouge Skin; Weighted Score: 31.638. And, was it pretty. The victory is especially sweet for Chef Miller because last year he was runner-up. He says being a bridesmaid this year would never do, “I did not want to leave in second place again. Dion Sprenkle is an awesome chef and gave us a run for our money. Our hearts sunk first course when we saw the scores. But we knew our dessert was solid and it came through for us.” The final scores for the night were Chef Richard Miller 28.565 and Sprenkle with 27.158.

Team Graze celebrates Chef Miller’s win.

Graze is located in the Marriott in Winston-Salem but unlike many hotel restaurants, sources its ingredients for their menu from local farms. This year’s team consisted of sous chef Tim Gallione and Twin City Quarter Executive Chef Kevin Woods, who’s actually Miller’s boss. But Woods says for this competition he was happy to let Miller be the man in charge and simply be his prep guy, “With all those chickens to break down, well, I was definitely the prep guy.” Miller says he’s looking forward to enjoying his victory and going on vacation before battling it again in Raleigh at the Finals in October.More photos here.