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Sedgefield Country Club chef wraps himself in red

@triadfoodies 

A Greensboro country club chef will be the Triad’s representative in Got To Be NC Competition Dining’s Battle of Champions later this year. Chef James Patterson, executive chef at Sedgefield Country Club, is still basking in the glow of winning the Greensboro series late last month and getting draped in the “Red Chef Jacket.” Sedgefield’s “Culinary Crushers” defeated Undercurrent’s team “Wiley Pickle Weasels” from Greensboro in the final event that challenged the chef teams to use two featured ingredients, Lady Edison hog and produce harvested from several area farms, including The Edible Schoolyard at the Greensboro Children’s Museum.

Chef Patterson said the competition was quite the experience. “After hearing so much about years past and the competitors I thought ‘Why not Me?…why not my Crew? Country Club Chefs can do everything Restaurant and Catering Chefs can do,” Patterson said.

Last year, a hospital chef won the state finals. And Patterson says he too hopes to change people’s minds, this time about country club chefs. “We are multi-faceted on a daily basis,” Patterson said. “The local battles were intense for us being first timers. We pushed through, held our own, and came out victorious.”

Sedgefield’s Culinary Crushers served up the highest scoring dish of the night and won over the crowd with the fifth course. The dessert was a destructed buttermilk pie, which included Ran-Lew Dairy buttermilk mascarpone cream, Bertie County peanut and pork crackling shortbread, passion fruit gastrique, Edible Schoolyard white plums, North Carolina peaches, strawberries and mint.

“The Greensboro finale dinner battle was highly competitive with each team taking the lead at different times throughout the night, at one point with only a hundredth of a point difference in scores, ” said Jimmy Crippen, Competition Dining Series founder and host. “The energy in the kitchen was palpable with both teams hard at work creating crowd-pleasing dishes. Ultimately, Team Sedgefield Culinary Crushers stole the show with their dessert course, securing them the big win.”

We’ve told you before that the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series is so worth the ticket. Each dinner includes two chef teams battling it out, preparing three courses featuring a North Carolina ingredient. It could be beer. It could be Texas Pete. It will most certainly feature a farm or seasonal ingredient. These ingredients are revealed only an hour before they start cooking for the day. All of the guests get in on the action, enjoying a six-course meal without knowing who prepared what. All the guests vote on each dish and help determine the winner. Plus there’s lots of social media engagement going on. And it is great fun.

“We’ve never done anything like this before as a team, and it’s very different from what we do every day, so this was a blast challenging ourselves against other culinary professionals,” Patterson said following the win.

As part of the Greensboro series winnings, the team took home $2,000 in cash and prizes, and each member received a handcrafted knife by Ironman Forge, an autographed cookbook by master French baker Lionel Vatinet of La Farm Bakery and the coveted “Red Chef Jacket” provided by ALSCO.

Chef Patterson has been cooking since 1994 and has been an executive chef since 2003. He’s now been with McConnell Golf for over 10 years and came to Sedgefield two and a half years ago.

Patterson was joined by his Sedgefield culinary team, Sous Chef Isaac Spencer and Lead Line Cook Tim Alston. Patterson says he feels it’s only right to give them the props they deserve. “I’m so proud of our team, the excitement was noticeable at the club in the weeks leading up to the competition, and my guys brought their ‘A Game’ both nights. It feels amazing to be named the local champions and to move on to compete in the statewide championship this fall,” he said.

Country club fare has often been viewed as pleasing, albeit perhaps uninteresting. The food culture is changing in restaurants and hospitals and country clubs. Patterson says he’s enjoyed being a part of the changing tide of country club dining and introducing members to new cuisine (to them) like beef cheeks. “Our weekend specials out-sell our a la carte menu probably five to one,” he says. “Trips to the farmers markets on Thursday, Friday and Saturday mean super fresh ideas and working with local farmers makes my job fun.”

Alas for non-members, we can only watch from afar, unless you can score an invite from the inside. But there is always a chance to check out Patterson’s cuisine and flare, you can make the trip to Raleigh to the Battle of Champions later this year. The chef says he’s ready to bring it. “We are excited to compete at the next level. Who knows what the ingredients will be but I promise you will never see us coming. You will not want to miss what we create,” Patterson said. !

WANNA go?

The Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series has now moved on to Raleigh with a second round of battles taking place this week then a local finale July 24. Patterson and team will move on to the Battle of Champions statewide finale in October where they will compete against other winners from across North Carolina. Additional information and tickets are available at www.competitiondining.com.

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