Chef Dean Thompson of Flights Wins Fire in the Triangle!

Chef Thompson's new knife

Chef Dean Thompson is the proud winner of a handmade chef knife by Ironman Forge in Charlotte. He is pictured with event host and founder, Jimmy Crippen (left).
Photo courtesy Competition Dining

Last night’s “Battle North Hills” wrapped up Fire in the Triangle. Sixteen chefs from the Triangle competed in the competition that began July 8 and concluded last night. On Monday evening, bragging rights went to Chef Dean Thompson and his team from Flights at Renaissance Raleigh Hotel. He won in a competitive battle against Chef Scott James of Midtown Grille, another North Hills’ restaurant in Raleigh, N.C.

In the dining room at Rocky Top Catering’s 1705 Prime, guests waited to hear the final numbers, eyes riveted on the event host and founder, Jimmy Crippen. Crippen briefly quizzed each chef and his team members about how the day had unfolded. After recognizing the outstanding team at 1705 Prime, Crippen rattled off the scores for all six courses. Chef Dean Thompson and teammates Anthony Zinani and Matt Thompson took home the trophy, a $2000 check, a handmade chef knife by Ironman Forge in Charlotte, and the coveted red chef’s jacket only a Competition Dining finals winner can receive.

Flights team with the $2000 check

Left to right: Mac Sullivan (Pate Dawson-Southern Foods), Matt Thompson, Anthony Zinani, Dean Thompson, Jimmy Crippen (Founder of Competition Dining)
Photo courtesy Competition Dining

The $2000 check was presented by Mac Sullivan, chief executive officer of Pate Dawson-Southern Foods, lead sponsor of the event, and Jimmy Crippen, host and founder of Competition Dining.

Fire in the Triangle challenged the chefs to use two featured ingredients, Certified Angus Beef® and Fullsteam Brewery’s El Toro and Hogwash. The chefs were required to use beef in two courses and Fullsteam Brewery’s “plow-to-pint” beers in each of their three courses for 140 diners. The chefs are not told what the featured ingredients will be until noon on the day they compete.

Course 5, Flights

“Homer Simpson” Beer, Coffee & Doughnuts, Beef Cake & El Toro Tiramisu, Banana Ice Cream, Hogwash Caramel, Chocolate Glazed Krispy Doughnut, Beef & Wonton Sprinkles — Chef Dean Thompson of Flights
Photo courtesy Competition Dining

Visit the Competition Dining flickr photo album for last night’s event for more delicious images of the wonderful dishes prepared by Chef Dean Thompson of Flights and Chef Scott of Midtown Grille. For more information about the Competition Dining Series visit their website and check out the great video below by Kelly McCullen of UNC-TV about the event.


Next Up – “Fire in the City” Charlotte
The competition dining series now moves on to their next event “Fire in The City”, taking place in the Queen City of Charlotte. Chef’s for the Charlotte series will be announced at 6pm on Wednesday August 21st. Tickets for “Fire in the City” are on sale now and can be purchased here. If you can’t make the event but want to follow the action online follow @CompDiningNC on twitter or on facebook

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2 Comments

Filed under Events, Restaurant Reviews

2 responses to “Chef Dean Thompson of Flights Wins Fire in the Triangle!

  1. Wish I could have gone this year. I do have Flights on my radar of places to check out – so I am uber-excited to try now.

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