Popular event combines chefs, wines, charity.

Celebrated professional chefs from Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, and Goldsboro are gearing up to compete in the second annual Epicurious Vino Challenge, a fundraising event that challenges the chefs to create original dishes using Hinnant Family Vineyards’ internationally award-winning wines as key ingredients.

The 2010 Epicurious Vino Challenge will be held at the Hinnant Family Vineyards in Pine Level, NC, on Saturday, June 5, from 6:30 – 10 p.m. Hinnant Family Vineyards is the largest muscadine vineyard in North Carolina, spreading over 80 acres between Raleigh and Goldsboro. All proceeds will benefit a child or an adult with disabilities in RHA Howell’s Bear Creek, Walnut Creek, and Magnolia Place residential centers.

Presented by RHA Howell and sponsored by Hinnant Family Vineyards, US Foodservice Raleigh, and Fallon Benefits Group, the challenge requires the participating chefs to select the name of a Hinnant wine from a hat. Executive chefs from US Foodservice will serve as judges to determine which chef used his or her wine to create the most extraordinary dish.

Chefs already signed up to compete in the 2010 event include Tom Armstrong of Vinnie’s Steakhouse & Tavern in Raleigh, Colleen Speaks of Posh Nosh Catering in Raleigh, Brian Battistella of Batttistella’s New Orleans Kitchen in downtown Raleigh, Pat Walston of House-Autry in Four Oaks, personal chef Melinda McGuirk of Charlotte, Martin Nessley of Sunset Grille in Durham, Robbie Lilly of Sisters Garden, and Belo Shelton of Thrills From The Grill. Other chefs will be announced prior to the event.

Open to the public, the 2010 Epicurious Vino Challenge will also include live jazz, signature martinis, award-winning wines, a chef’s auction, and a chance to win a $1000 gift from Barnes Jewelers. Participants will also sample the chef’s creations.

“Last year’s event was so well received — by the chefs and the public — that we couldn’t wait to do it again,” said Debbie Valentine, RHA’s director of marketing and events. “It was a truly magical evening. And with all of our tables nearly sold out, we raised $18,500. We hope to do even better this year to help us continue our mission to serve children and adults with disabilities and their families.”

Tickets are $50 each or $400 for a table of 10. Dress is “snappy cocktail.”
Tickets are available at www.rhahowell.org. All major credit cards are accepted.

For more information on the 2010 Epicurious Vino Challenge, contact Debbie Valentine at dvalentine[at]rhanet.org or call 919-941-0530.

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 more than 35 years. Integrity, high standards for quality, and hard work are at the core of every RHA Howell disability assistance program. Proven leaders in caring for people, RHA Howell, Inc. is a pioneering force in the field of human services, particularly supporting infants and children. For more information, go to www.rhahowell.org.

By Triangle A&E

Bob has over thirty years experience as Creative Director at notable advertising and marketing agencies in Manhattan and Raleigh. Bob's creative has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, Packaging Design Council, Magazine Design, NY Art Directors Club. In addition, Bob has been published in Graphic Design USA, American Design, and the Creativity Annual. In 2008, Bob was honored to Judge the International Association of Visual Artists "Davey Awards" for interactive and web design. Bob's passion for the arts has led him to utilize his talent and experience in support of the arts here in the Triangle by creating Triangle Arts and Entertainment.