Chef Melissa Joy of Boone’s Joy Bistro To Compete in Charlotte Dining Series March 30

Published Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Chef Melissa Joy Claude of Joy Bistro is one of 24 chefs in the state selected for the upcoming Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series in Charlotte.


By Jesse Wood

Chef Melissa Joy Claude, owner of Joy Bistro in Boone, will compete in the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series that is taking place in Charlotte through May 19.

Melissa, who is one of 24 chefs selected for highly-competitive event, squares off against Mike Suppa of Vivace, an Italian restaurant based in Charlotte, on Monday, March 30.

In 2010, Melissa and her husband Gary purchased The Bistro in the New Market Centre and renamed it Joy Bistro, which specializes in fine French cuisine and serves exceptional imported wine and beer.

Chef Melissa Joy Claude

Chef Melissa Joy Claude

Before moving to the High Country to be closer to family, the Claudes lived out in San Francisco, where Melissa attended Le Cordon Bleu College for the Culinary Arts and then worked with her husband at the acclaimed California-style French restaurant Jardiniere.

The couple eventually moved to Lake Tahoe, but when Melissa’s dad called and said that a bistro in Boone was for sale, she flew out to the High Country and fell in love with the spot and the Town of Boone. Since then Joy Bistro has garnered at least a four-star review on all of the online restaurant-review platforms such as Yelp, Trip Advisor and Urban Spoon.

Joy Bistro is described as offering elegant yet rustic dining, which features fresh and seasonal foods, in a relaxed and casual atmosphere.

As for the French cuisine, Melissa said she enjoys the preparation and how French food focuses on seasonal ingredients, highlighted with seasonings, which she is all about: foods from local farms and being creative with seasonings and sauces.

As for the competition, Melissa has been preparing with her staff by picking a local ingredient and coming with ideas for courses, similar to how the competition is run.

During each Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series dinner event, two chef teams battle it out, preparing three courses each centered on a featured North Carolina ingredient that is revealed only an hour before they start cooking that day.

“Ticketed dinner guests savor a full-service, six-course meal without knowing which chef prepared which dishes. Unlike any other cooking competition, attendees vote on each course using a free app, and ultimately help determine who moves on to the next battle round and who goes home,” an event release states.


You see that smile? Claude is ready.

Melissa noted that competition will be different from regular day-to-day running of a kitchen, so her and the staff have been “having fun” creating menus utilizing what the restaurant receives from New River Organics or other local sources. In preparing for the competition, they’ve been picking out an ingredient and “brainstorming” three courses around that particular ingredient.

“We really try to go for simplicity and not pairing too many things with one ingredient because we really want that one ingredient to shine,” Melissa said. “You really never know what you are going to come up with [until you are in the moment]. I think that is a fun part, too.”

Originally “Fire on the Rock,” the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series was founded by Jimmy Crippen, owner of the former Crippen’s Restaurant in Blowing Rock.

This year’s event features a dual-bracket regional tournament (in Charlotte) for the first time. The series is hosting tournaments in three regions of the state: Raleigh, Winston-Salem and Charlotte, the latter will crown two champions.

The winner of each receives a grand prize of $2,000, a handmade chef knife by Ironman Forge and the coveted “Red Chef Jacket.” Additionally, all four winners move on to compete in the battle of champions at the end of the year.

“This year’s Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series’ City tournament brings some exciting new surprises thanks to the impressive level of culinary talent in the area and overwhelming interest we received from some of the most competitive chefs in the state,” said Crippen, who is also the event’s host. “With an additional seven events this year, more people will see for themselves that the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series is unlike any other dinner experience in the country!”

To attend the fun and delicious event and to support Chef Melissa Joy in Charlotte, click here to buy tickets:

For more information about Joy Bistro, click to the restaurant’s website:

Joy Bistro is located at 115 New Market Centre in Boone and can be reached at 828-265-0500.

Joy Bistro serves dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Reservations are recommended.










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