Eight professional chefs and two culinary students will complete in the 2012 Epicurious Vino Challenge to be held at the Hinnant Family Vineyards in Pine Level, NC, on Saturday, June 2, from 6:30-10 p.m.
RHA Howell, the event's host and a statewide non-profit organization that serves people with disabilities and their families, confirmed the line-up. The chefs who will compete to see who prepares the best dish using Hinnant Family Vineyards' award-winning wines as a main ingredient are:
ý Chef Tom Armstong, Vinnie's Steakhouse & Tavern, Raleigh
ý Chef Brian Battistella, Battistella's, Raleigh
ý Chef Peter Edgar, Quince: A Southern Bistro, Wilson
ý Chef Gordon Gray, Garden on Millbrook, Raleigh
ý Chef Mario Huante, Chef Mario, Inc., Raleigh
ý Chef Jeremy Law, SoCo Farm &Food, Wilson
ý Chef Mark Lawson, East Restaurant at the Blockade Runner, Wrightsville Beach
ý Chef Connie Pennell, Parkside Cafý and Catering, Pine Level
ý And student chefs Jacob Busler and Jeneen Hill of the International Culinary School at The Art Institutes, Raleigh/Durham
On the night of the event, participating chefs prepare small plates for the judges and guests to sample as the chefs compete for The Chefs Choice Award and the People's Choice Award. The samples are presented in the vineyard's spacious wine tank room.
A panel of professional chefs from U.S. Food Service selects the Chef's Choice award through a blind tasting. Those who attend the event vote for the People's Choice award winner.
Along with the opportunity to sample original dishes by some of North Carolina's finest professional chefs, this year's event will include entertainment by nationally known comic Derrick Tennant, free wine tastings and specialty martinis, music, and a live auction.
The Epicurious Vino Challenge is RHA Howell's most popular annual fundraiser. All proceeds benefit children and adults with disabilities. Individual tickets range from $40 to $60 or entire tables may be reserved. Tickets can be purchased from RHA Howell's website, www.rhahowell.org.
Sponsors for this year's Challenge are Hinnant Family Vineyards, US Foods, Print Interprise Inc., Van Products, Wake Stone Corporation, Marcom Medical Consultants, and Southern Pharmacy Services.
For more information on Hinnant Family Vineyards & Winery and directions, visit www.hinnantvineyards.com.
About RHA Howell, Inc.:
RHA Howell is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that has been helping people with disabilities and special needs, and their families, make choices to live more independently for nearly 40 years. Integrity and high standards of quality and hard work are at the core of every RHA Howell program. RHA Howell is a pioneering force in the field of human services for children and adults across North Carolina with the mission "Opening the world for people with disabilities and in turn, enriching the lives of everyone they touch." For more information, visit www.rhahowell.org.