The Cliffs Go Two for Two in Competition Dining Series

The Cliffs Executive Chefs progress to quarterfinals in S.C. v. N.C. cook-off

GREENVILLE, S.C. – As of Monday evening, The Cliffs’ officially moved on to the next round of battles in the Competition Dining Series.

The Cliffs was represented in two teams: one led by Executive Chef Francis Turk and the other by Executive Chef Todd Warden. After winning both preliminary rounds, The Cliffs’ culinary teams gear up for the quarterfinal round of the series held at Larkin’s Sawmill at North Main on Aug. 25-26.

In its inaugural year in South Carolina, the Competition Dining Series is a face off between two chefs – one from South Carolina, the other from North Carolina – preparing three courses each centered on a featured regional ingredient that is revealed the morning of the competition.

The Cliffs’ first team led by Executive Chef Francis Turck went head-to-head against a team led by Blake Hartwick of Charlotte, N.C.’s Bonterra Dining and Wine Room. Each team was challenged to incorporate Battle High Valley Farm Rainbow Trout, Coldwater Creek Farm Grits and Fresh Figs throughout the three courses. After the votes were tallied, The Cliffs won with a score of 30.3 over Hartwick’s 24.7.

Executive Chef Todd Warden headed up The Cliffs’ second team in the competition dining series, leading it to victory against Asheville, N.C.’s Chef Nohe Weir-Villatoro of King James Public House. Both were challenged with using Battle Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork Belly, The Pennell Barn Heirloom Tomatoes and Harrell Hill Farm Sorghum Syrup Molasses in the three dishes. Warden took home the win with a score of 28 versus Weir’s score of 20, marking The Cliffs’ second victory in the competition.

David Sawyer, Managing Partner of The Cliffs Clubs, commented, “I was extremely proud to see two of The Cliffs’ chefs participate in the inaugural year of the Competition Dining Series crossed into South Carolina. Not only is this a great way for them to see what their regional competition is serving up, but it has allowed them to give the public a taste of The Cliffs’ culinary program our members enjoy everyday.”

Prior to joining The Cliffs, Chef Turck’s career spans prestigious facilities, including the four-star Peabody Hotel in Orlando, Fla. and Ta-boó in Palm Peach, Fla. Turck also served under such notable chefs as Larry Forgione and Jean George Vongerichten. Classically French trained, Warden describes his cooking style to be heavy in new southern cuisine. Warden spent twelve years at The Cliffs before taking a short stint with Greenville restaurant group Table 301 before returning to his roots at The Cliffs this June.

On Aug. 25, the quarterfinal round of the Competition Dining Series will feature Chef Turck’s team against Chef Ryan Klein of Buffalo Nickel in Asheville, N.C.; Chef Warden’s team will compete in the quarter-final round against Chef Teri Youngblood of Passerelle Bistro in Greenville, S.C. on Aug. 26.

Visit for more information on the upcoming events and to purchase tickets.


About The Cliffs

The Cliffs is a collection of seven premier private, luxury residential mountain and lake clubs located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the western Carolinas, between three of the nation’s top award-winning areas for quality of life – Greenville, South Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina – and near Clemson, South Carolina – home to top-ranked Clemson University. Through one club membership, members have access to The Cliffs’ suite of amenities including seven clubs, six wellness centers, 50 restaurant, meeting and private event venues, seven championship golf courses including two in America’s Top 100 rankings, marinas, beach club, cycling, water sports, wakeboarding, tennis complexes, equestrian center, hiking trails, sporting clays, trap and skeet shooting, wine clubs, boat and luxury home rentals, an organic farm and more than 4,000 year-round activities to create timeless experiences. Learn more about The Cliffs’ culinary experience at or watch this brief video. Homes at The Cliffs range in price from $500,000 to $4 million+; homesites, from $150,000. Contact The Cliffs at 866.411.5771 or to arrange a Discovery Tour.

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