Plans Set For Third Annual Epicurious Vino Challenge

The popular culinary event combines professional chefs with wine, music, and auctions to benefit children and adults with disabilities.

April 14, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – All plans are now set for the 2011 Epicurious Vino Challenge, the popular culinary event that will be held this year on Saturday, June 4, from 6:30-10 p.m. at The Hinnant Family Vineyards in Pine Level, NC.

Hosted by RHA Howell, Inc, and benefactors US Foodservice, Hinnant Family Vineyards, and Southern Pharmacy Services, proceeds from the event will directly benefit children and adults with disabilities.

For the Epicurious Vino Challenge, professional chefs from Raleigh to Greenville, NC, and invited to compete to see who can make the best signature dish, or dishes, using an award-winning Hinnant Family Vineyards wine as a key ingredient.

The participating chefs pull the name of a Hinnant wine from a hat and present their creations to the crowd in attendance. After tasting every dish prepared, the guests select a “People’s Choice” award winner. Professional chefs from US Foodservice, Inc. select the Chef’s Choice winner.

After enjoying the food and sampling Hinnant wines in the vineyard’s banquet hall, surrounded by music and festive decorations, guests will then participate in both a silent and live auction (items to be announced). Casual garden-party attire is suggested.

This year’s participating chefs, thus far, are:

  • Chef Tom Armstrong of Vinnie’s Steakhouse & Tavern, Raleigh
  • Chef Pat Walston of House Autry Mills, Four Oaks
  • Chef Vivian Howard of The Chef and the Farmer, Kinston
  • Chef Mark Lawson of East Restaurant, Blockade Runner, Wrightsville Beach
  • Chef Belo Shelton of Thrills From The Grill, Durham
  • Chef Kimberly Hall of Flying Fork, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro
  • Chef Mario Huante of Chef Mario’s, Inc., Raleigh
  • Chef Joyce Jenkins of The Serving Spoon, Pine Level
  • Chef Maggie Radzwiller of Comfort Cuisine, Durham

RHA Howell events director Debbie Valentine anticipates this year’s event selling out quickly. To reserve single tickets ($50 each) or to reserve a table for 10 ($400), go to Payment by PayPal is available. Questions about tickets and sponsorships may be directed to or by calling 919-803-2960.

The main sponsors, or Epicurious Benefactors, for the 2011 event are RHA Howell, Inc; US Foodservice, Inc.; Hinnant Family Vineyards; and Southern Pharmacy. Epicurious Advocates include Van Products, L&M, Fallon Benefit Group, Marcom Medical Consultants, and Wake Stone Corporation. Print Enterprise, Inc., is providing all printed materials.

Hinnant Family Vineyards is the largest muscadine vineyard in North Carolina, sprawling over 80 acres. Their international, award-winning wines range from dry whites and reds to traditional sweet scuppernongs. For more information and directions, visit

RHA Howell, Inc. is a statewide, nonprofit organization that has been serving children and adults with disabilities, and their families, for nearly 40 years. For more information visit and visit the Epicurious Vino Challenge Facebook page.

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