And in a battle that ended with just over 1 point separating the two teams, Carver won the Throwdown for the second year running.
They must be doing something right down there in eastern Kanawha County.
* * *
And as usual, the closing night gala menu was off the charts.
After a reception featuring delicious tasting spoons of pecan bacon-wrapped shrimp and grits in chipotle butter sauce from Gordon Food Service, four very talented chefs prepared four dinner courses that were each paired with a complementary wine.
The first course was the dish of the weekend, if not the decade. Bridgeport's Provence Market Cafe Chef Ann Hart, returning to the event after a few years' absence, served a fantastic Appalachian-inspired dish featuring locally sourced ingredients. Her Gardner Farms scrapple croquette with a Lily White Farm fresh quail egg and green tomato chow-chow was served atop a corn and bacon hash. As the dish was presented, servers poured smoky hollandaise soup around the bowl.
Also wonderful was the salad that followed it from Canaan Valley Resort's Ray Erskine. Organic baby greens were topped with salt-roasted pecans, aged goat cheese, sun-dried cranberries and Parmesan tuile with a wildflower honey and Dijon mustard vinaigrette. The salad's simple flavors came to life under a dressing that sang.
I would have been content to stop there, but next came a duet of roasted and braised beef ribeye with mushroom bread pudding, smoke onion soubise and tarragon-glazed baby carrots. That dish came from Stonewall Executive Chef Tim White, and his Chef de Cuisine Corey Pickens offered the evening's over-the-top dessert.
How over the top?
Try a honey walnut cornmeal buckle with lemon-saffron semifreddo, chocolate-dipped bacon, and glazed berries drizzled with salted toffee.
The diet starts today.
Contact writer Steven Keith at dailymailfood...@aol.com or 304-348-4830. You can also follow him on Facebook and Pinterest as "DailyMail FoodGuy," on Twitter as "DMFoodGuy" or read his blog at http://blogs.dailymail.com/foodguy/.