RHA Howell’s 2011 Epicurious Vino Challenge Is A Huge Success

Posted on June 11, 2011. Filed under: RHA Howell, Inc. Events | Tags: , , , , , , |

Standing-room-only crowd, award-winning chefs, major money raised.

(see more photos below)

Chef Tom Armstrong of Vinnie's Steakhouse shows off his two trophies for winning both the Peoples' Choice and Chefs' Choice categories.

June 9, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – RHA Howell, Inc. is pleased to announce that the 2011 Epicurious Vino Challenge, held at Hinnant Family Vineyards in Pine Level, NC, on June 4th, was a huge success, raising over $40,000 for the children and adults with disabilities that the non-profit organization serves across the state.

The standing-room-only crowd also selected the “Peoples’ Choice” winning chefs who were challenged to create a signature dish using an award-winning Hinnant Family Vineyards wine.  Professional chefs from U.S. Foodservice, one of the main sponsors of the event, chose the Chefs’ Choice winners in a blind tasting.

The Peoples’ Choice winners were:

The Chefs’ Choice winners were:

  • First Place: Chef Tom Armstrong of Vinnie’s Steakhouse & Tavern in Raleigh
  • Second place: Chef Mark Lawson of East Restaurant in the Blockade Runner Hotel in Wrightsville Beach
  • Third Place: Chef Kimberly Hall of the Flying Fork Restaurant at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro
  • Honorable Mention: Chef Mario Huante of Chef Mario’s, Inc., in Raleigh

Along with sampling all the food created by the nine chefs who participated this year, the event included a silent and live auction that added to the funds raised.

“We want to thank all the chefs, all the wonderful people and businesses who donated items to the auctions, our sponsors and Hinnant Family Vineyards, and, of course, the 275-plus folks who joined us for this year’s Challenge,” said RHA Howell events coordinator Debbie Valentine. “A special congratulations goes out to Chef Tom Armstrong, not only for winning first place in both categories, but for participating every year. We’re already looking forward to next year’s Epicurious Vino Challenge.”

The main sponsors for the 2011 event were RHA Howell, Inc; US Foodservice, Inc.; Hinnant Family Vineyards; Southern Pharmacy Services; Van Products; L&M, Fallon Benefit Group, Marcom Medical Consultants; and Wake Stone Corporation. Print Enterprise, Inc., provided all printed materials.

For more information on RHA Howell, visit www.rhahowell.org. Click on “Epicurious Vino Challenge” to see a list of all of the 2011 participating chefs.

Chef Mario

Chef Kimberly

Chef and The Farmer booth

Chef Pat

Jason St. Claire stands in for Chef Mark.

The chefs-in-training booth.

Chef Belo

Culinary student Jeneen Hill

L-R: Alan Scott and Chef Maggie

Crowd scene at the chefs' booths.

Enjoying the chefs' signature dishes and Hinnant Family Vineyards wines.


Auctioneer Tom Jordan gets the live auction going!

During the Live Auction

Vick and Corey

Sam and Bob

Wes announces the winning chefs.

Debbie places the First Place medal around Chef Tom's neck.

Chef Tom and Debbie

Connie and friends took a luxury bus up to the event from Wrightsville Beach!


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[…] organization serves across the state. To find out more information on the event please go here.  I had fun taking pictures of them, and hope they enjoyed this session as much as I […]

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