Chef’s Take Home Trophies, People with Disabilities Benefit

2010 Epicurious Vino Challenge is a huge success.

Chef Brian Battistella (left) receives the Chefs Choice Award from US Food Services Exec. Chef Bob Passerelli at the Epicurious Vino Challenge.

June 17, 2010 (PINE LEVEL, NC) – Two North Carolina chefs took home trophies and six others received accolades, but the real winners of the second annual Epicurious Vino Challenge held recently at Hinnant Family Vineyards in Pine Level are the people with disabilities served by RHA Howell, Inc. The wine and food event raised $30,000.

For the “challenge,” professional chefs competed to see who could come up with the best dish using a Hinnant Family Vineyard wine that they pulled out of a hat. The crowd in attendance chose a People Choice Award winner and executive chefs from US Food Services named the Chef’s Choice through a blind judging.

The Chef’s Choice Award went to Chef Brian Battistella of Battistella’s New Orleans Kitchen in Raleigh (located in the Crabtree Inn above Crabtree Valley Mall). Using Hinnant Family Vineyard’s “Tar Heel Red” wine, the chef, a New Orleans native, created Creole spiced pork tenderloin served with Tasso ham, mashed sweet potatoes with muscadine gastrique, charred sweet pepper salad, and crisp sweet potato chips.

Chef Robbie Lilly (left) takes home the Peoples Choice Award.

The Peoples Choice Award went to Chef Robbie Lilly of Sisters Garden & Catering, also in Raleigh, who created Beef Tenderloin with a “Hinnant Bordelaise,” using Hinnant’s “Noble” red wine, laced with sautéed shitake mushrooms and served over Gouda grits.

In the Chef’s Choice category, US Foodservice Executive Chefs Bob Passarelli, Mark Turner, and Wes Dills named Chef Tom Armstrong of Vinnie’s Steakhouse and Tavern in Raleigh in second place and Chef Pat Walston of House Autry in Four Oaks in third.

In the People’s Choice category, the crowd in attendance placed Chef Battistella in second place and Chef Walston in third.

Other participating chefs included Executive Chef Clifton Vogelsberg of Solas Restaurant, Lounge & Rooftop in Raleigh; Colleen Speaks of Posh Nosh Catering in Raleigh; personal chef Melinda McGuirk of Charlotte, and Chef Martin Nessley of Sunset Grille in Cary.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the results of the 2010 Epicurious Vino Challenge,” said

A lively crowd enjoys the food, wine and other festivities at the 2010 Epicurious Vino Challenge.

Debbie Valentine, special events and marketing planner for RHA Howell. “Our guests couldn’t stop talking about the fantastic dishes all the chefs created. And it’s all of those chefs, who set aside precious time from their hectic schedules to contribute to this event, that a good idea last year became a great idea this year. Along with Hinnant Family Vineyards, our sponsors and everyone who attended, we’ve sent the message that even in the most stressful times, caring for people with disabilities is still a top priority.”

Presented by RHA Howell, the event was sponsored by Hinnant Family Vineyards, US Foodservice Raleigh, and Fallon Benefits Group.

RHA Howell is a statewide organization that has been helping people with disabilities and their families for 35 years. For more information, visit www.rhahowwell.org.

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.

2010 Epicurious Vino Challenge Attracts Top Talent

Eleven professional chefs sign on for food and wine competition, fundraiser.

May 27, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) —  Eleven North Carolina chefs have officially signed up to compete to see who can create the best signature dish using Hinnant Family Vineyards’ wines as a key ingredient during the 2010 Epicurious Vino Challenge to be held Saturday, June 5, from 6:30 – 10:00 p.m. at the Hinnant Family Vineyards in Pine Level, NC.

The event is a fundraiser for children and adults with disabilities in RHA Howell’s Bear Creek, Walnut Creek and Magnolia Place residential centers in eastern North Carolina.

The final roster of competing chefs includes:

Executive chef Cliff Vogelsberg of Solas in Raleigh is one of 11 professional chefs competing in this year's Epicurious Vino Challenge at Hinnant Family Vineyards.

General Manager and Executive Chef Tom Armstrong, Vinnie’s Steakhouse, Raleigh

www.vinniessteakhouse.com

Owner and Executive Chef Brian Battistella, Battistella’s New Orleans Kitchen, Raleigh

www.battistellaskitchen.com

Executive Chef Clifton Vogelsberg, Solas, Raleigh

http://solasraleigh.com

Executive Chef Pat Walston, House-Autry, Four Oaks

www.house-autry.com

Independent Consultant and Professional Chef Melinda McGuirk, The Pampered Chef, Charlotte

www.pamperedchef.biz/melindamcg

Owner and Executive Chef Coleen Speaks, PoshNosh – Catering for Foodies, Raleigh

www.poshnoshcatering.info

Executive Chef Robbie Lilly, Sisters’ Garden & Catering Company, Raleigh

www.sisterscatering.com

Co-owner and Executive Chef Martin Nessley, Sunset Grille, Cary

www.sunsetgrillecary.com

Co-owner and Executive Chef Belo Shelton, Thrills From The Grill, Durham

www.thrillsfromthegrill.com

Co-owner and Executive Chef Steve Reed, Edelweiss Café and Catering, Raleigh

www.edelweiss-bakery.com

Staff Sergeant, Kimberly Hall, Foodservice Specialist, representing Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro

kimberly.hall@seymourjohnson.af.mil

Presented by RHA Howell and sponsored by Hinnant Family Vineyards, US Foodservice Raleigh, Fallon Benefits Group, Morcom Medical Consultants, and Jim & Donna Panton, the Epicurious Vino Challenge requires the 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.

Open to the public, the event will be held at the Hinnant Family Vineyards, which spreads over 80 acres between Raleigh and Goldsboro. Besides sampling the chefs’ dishes, guests will enjoy live jazz by the Peter Ingram Trio, signature martinis, award-winning wines, a chef’s auction, and a chance to win a $1000 gift from Barnes Jewelers.

Tickets are $50 each or $400 for a table of 10. Tickets are available at www.rhahowell.org. All major credit cards are accepted. Dress is “snappy cocktail.” All proceeds will benefit a child or an adult with a disability.

For more information on the 2010 Epicurious Vino Challenge, contact Debbie Valentine at dvalentine@rhanet.org, call 919-803-2960, or visit www.rhahowell.org and click on the “Epicurious Vino Challenge.”

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, please go to www.rhahowell.org.

Epicurious Vino Challenge Combines Chefs, Wines, Charity

March 12, 2009 (Raleigh, NC) — US Foodservice Raleigh and RHA Howell announce The Epicurious Vino Challenge to be held Saturday May 30th, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Hinnant Family Vineyards & Winery in Pine Level, NC. Celebrated professional chefs from Raleigh to Greenville will compete to create trademark dishes using Hinnant’s internationally award winning wines as ingredients. All proceeds will benefit a child or an adult with a disability.

Restaurants whose chefs have already signed up to participate in The Epicurious Vino Challenge include the Urban Food Group’s Frazier’s, Vivace, Coquette and Porters; Vinnie’s Steakhouse & Tavern; Chef Mario’s, Inc, a personal chef and catering company; and Wendy Perry, home economist and personal chef who specializes in “green” weddings. (Additional chefs will be announced as they come on board.)

US Foodservice’s executive chefs Bob Passerelli and Mark Turner will serve as judges to determine which chef used a signature Hinnant wine as an ingredient to create an extraordinary dish. The chefs will draw the names of the wines from a hat and proceed from there. Two awards will be presented: the judges’ H&H grand prize and the People’s Choice award, which will be determined by a vote from attendees at the event.

US Foodservice, the Grand Benefactor for the Epicurious Vino Challenge, is a collection of foodservice distributors employing over 600 at the Raleigh division and servicing Eastern North Carolina since 1971. For more information visit http://www.usfoodservice.com.

RHA Howell is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving children and adults with disabilities across the state of North Carolina. Its services are provided in Wake, Johnston, Wayne, Lenoir, Pitt, Craven, Orange, Durham, Guildford, Forsyth, Cabarrus, Catawba, Iredell, and Anson Counties. For more information on RHA Howell, visit http://www.rhahowell.org.

Hinnant Family Vineyards & Winery (www.hinnantvineyards.com) is the largest muscadine vineyard in North Carolina, sprawling over 80 acres. Their international award winning wines range from dry white and reds to traditional sweet scuppernongs. They are located between Raleigh and Kinston.

For tickets and more information about the Epicurious Vino Challenge, contact Debbie Valentine at dvalentine@rhanet.org or call 919-941-0530.

Pura Vida Promotions To Help Sponsor “Kickin’ Back at the Vineyard” Benefit

March 24, 2008 (KERNERSVILLE, NC) – Pura Vida Promotions of Kernersville, NC, has signed on to help sponsor “Kickin’ Back at the Vineyard,” an afternoon of live bluegrass music, wine tastings, arts and crafts and more at the Hinnant Family Vineyards in Pine Level, NC, to benefit the Bear Creek Center for people with disabilities in LaGrange, NC. The event will take place Saturday, May 10, from noon to 6 p.m.

Owned by Linda Turlington, Pura Vida Promotions (www.puravidapromo.com) provides promotional items for special recognition, customer gifts, weddings, meetings, grand openings and other events, and specializes in awards, screen-printed and embroidered apparel, custom imprinted leather goods, and employee incentive gifts.

Besides its monetary contribution, Pura Vida will supply special advertising products, including sun visors and teeshirts, for the benefit event.

Recording artists Kickin Grass (www.kickingrass.com) will headline the musical part of the day. The afternoon will also include an Arts & Crafts Fair featuring the work of North Caroline artists and craftspeople as well as other made-in-North-Carolina products. A live auction is also being planned, including a chance to bid on a collection of antiques. The winery will offer tastings of some of its award-winning wines. Other vendors will be on hand to provide an assortment of food.

“Kickin’ Back at the Vineyard” is also sponsored by WKIX – Kix Country (97.7 FM), Southern Pharmacies, Frema Motors, Gregory Poole Marine, and the Hinnant Family Vineyards, which is the largest muscadine vineyard in North Carolina.

Tickets, other sponsorship opportunities and vendor sign-ups are available now. Contact Debbie Valentine at 919-941-0530; dvalentine@rhanet.org. For directions to Hinnant Family Vineyards, visit http://www.hinnantvineyards.com.

Hinnant Family Vineyards is conveniently located just off I-95 and Highway 70 between Smithfield and Goldsboro.

Bear Creek Center is a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities lead meaningful lives. For more information visit http://www.rhahowell.org.

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“Kickin Grass” To Headline “Kickin’ Back at the Vineyard” Benefit for Bear Creek Center

kickingrass_store.jpg
February 29, 2008 (LAGRANGE, NC) — Live bluegrass by “Kickin Grass,” wine tastings, arts and crafts, plenty of food, raffles, games and door prizes – all will be part of “Kickin’ Back at the Vineyard,” a fundraiser to be held at the Hinnant Family Vineyards and Winery on Saturday, May 10, 2008, to benefit the Bear Creek Center for people with disabilities in LaGrange.

Hinnant Family Vineyards, located in Pine Level, will host an afternoon-long event that promises to appeal to anyone who enjoys bluegrass music, fine wine, good food and more within the natural beauty of a working wine vineyard, according to Debbie Valentine, events planner for Bear Creek Center. The vineyards are also conveniently located just off I-95 and Highway 70 between Smithfield and Goldsboro.

Kickin Grass (www.kickingrass.com) will headline the musical part of the day. Billed as “contemporary Carolina bluegrass with traditional roots,” the band has produced two CDs: “Backroads” and “On The Short Rows.” Dave Higgs of Bluegrass Breakdown on Nashville Public Radio said, “The band picks with power and authority and the vocals are sung with passion and grace. And, best of all, along the way, the band has forged its own unique sound. The original tunes are just stellar.”

More live music will be provided by “Digger Foot” and the “Flat Mountain Dulcimers.”

Festivities will begin at noon and continue through 6 p.m. An Arts & Crafts Fair will feature the work of North Caroline artists and craftspeople along with other made-in-North-Carolina products. A live auction is also being planned, including a chance to bid on a collection of antiques. The winery will offer tastings of some of its award-winning wines. Other vendors will be on hand to provide an assortment of food.

“Kickin’ Back at the Vineyard” is sponsored by WKIX – Kix Country (97.7 FM), Southern Pharmacies, Fema Motors and the Hinnant Family Vineyards, which is the largest muscadine vineyard in North Carolina.

Tickets, more sponsorship opportunities and vendor sign-ups are available now. Contact Debbie Valentine at 919-941-0530; dvalentine@rhanet.org. For directions to Hinnant Family Vineyards, visit http://www.hinnantvineyards.com.

Bear Creek Center is a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities lead meaningful lives.

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