Columbia resident to compete in regional chef battle after winning statewide competition

Brittiney Moore (right) with sous chef Jacquie Holloway. Photos provided.

Brittiney Moore developed a love for cooking Southern food when she was in the third grade. She said her grandmother taught her much of what she knows. That love has since developed into a career – and now she can add “award winning” to her chef title.

Moore was one of five contestants selected to competed in Social Power Hour: Chef Battle Charleston, in March. Social Power Hour is a media and entertainment company that is in the midst of hosting in-state chef battles across the nation. Although there were other chefs who had more experience, according to Moore, it was her original Southern-style cooking that won over the judges.

Moore said she was not anticipating the win. “It was just amazing, because I really was not expecting it. One of the guys in [the chef battle] was the winner of Food Network’s Food Truck Wars, season eight,” she said.

The five chefs had 60 minutes to prepare two plated meals for the four judges, and 150 samples for the audience. Each drew a number to figure out what protein they would have to use for their dish, and Moore got chicken breasts. Then, a siren rang where the chefs raced to a pantry to grab what they could. She said they were allowed to bring three “secret ingredients” of their own. Moore stuck to her roots when it came to her choices.

“I brought grits, cream cheese, and okra,” she said. Each chef was responsible for bringing their own pots and pans. So Moore used a cast iron skillet to make seared chicken breast, with cream cheese grits, along with okra and tomatoes, which she cooked into the grits.

Moore’s winning dish.

Not only did the judges choose Moore, but she said the audience also chose her as the peoples’ choice award winner. “My main goal had been to win the judges over because I had literally no one in the crowd. Like, I didn’t know anybody,” she said.

Moore will now be moving on to the regional competition, representing South Carolina in New Orleans this August. She doesn’t know yet what her next “secret ingredients” will be, but said she will probably figure it out last minute. “If I sit on it and dwell on it for months, it’s going to intimidate me,” she said.

Until she travels to regionals, she will be focusing on her business, 8th Wonder Cuisine, in Columbia. If she wins the battle in New Orleans, she will move onto the national competition, which will be held in Los Angeles. The prize for first place is $10,000.

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