Showdown in Raleigh Gathered Chefs from Across NC

NC Chef Showdown, part of the NCRLA Expo 2016.
NC Chef Showdown, part of the NCRLA Expo 2016.

Second Annual Expo Combined the Best of NC Restaurant, Foodservice, Lodging, and Hospitality Industries

The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) held its annual North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Expo August 29-30, 2016, in Raleigh NC. As part of the Expo, a cooking competition was held on August 29, with chefs from across the state representing food establishments. The showdown included a mixology challenge, providing ticketed attendees with the opportunity to sample small plates, desserts, and cocktails.

Chef of the Year awards were presented, along with People’s Choice awards.

  • Noelle Gogg (Gallery Restaurant at the Ballantyne Hotel, Charlotte NC) won the People’s Choice award for Pastry.
  • Jossie Perlmutter (Block and Grinder, Charlotte NC) won the Pastry Chef of the Year award.
  • Jay Pierce (Marshall Free House, Greensboro NC) won the People’s Choice award for Savory Chef.
  • Jessie Roque (Never Blue, Hendersonville NC) won NCRLA Chef of the Year.
  • Tim VanBeek (Washington Duke, Durham NC) won the Mixologist of the Year award.

For a complete list of participating chefs and awards, visit this link.

Restaurant owners, general managers, executive chefs, hotel managers, purchasing managers, event planners and food and beverage directors attended the expo, accessing well over 100 exhibitors displaying industry tools and services.

“The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Expo provides an incredible opportunity to educate industry professionals, feature successful restauranteurs and hoteliers, and showcase new trends, products and cooking methods,” said Lynn Minges, president and CEO, NCRLA. “Thanks to the support of our valuable suppliers, including Got to Be NC Wine, The NC Craft Brewers Guild, The NC Distillers Association and The NC Department of Agriculture, we are able to transform businesses across the region and impact the industry as a whole.”

Educational presentations covered a wide variety of topics including menu design, managing the customer experience, foraging, branding, conflict management, and increasing revenue.

According to Natalie Stachon of Carolina Moon Hospitality, Hickory NC’s Highland Avenue restaurant Executive Chef Sam Stachon participated in the 2016 Chef Showdown at the Expo. Sam as worked for many years highly acclaimed NC restaurants.

The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo is the only event in North Carolina to bring together all sectors of the restaurant, foodservice, lodging and hospitality industry under one roof. The latest products, services, and technologies were showcased for the industry, along with a comprehensive and leading-edge program of education that provided NC restaurants and lodging establishments with the best tools to grow and improve their business.

Established in 1947, the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association (NCRLA) works to advance and protect North Carolina’s $22 billion restaurant, foodservice and lodging industry. The association provides access to the resources and support restaurant and lodging professionals need to lead thriving businesses, while serving as conscientious, contributing members of an unparalleled industry. For more information about the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo, visit

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About Kay Whatley 2309 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.