Food trucks are the fastest-growing segment of the dining industry, according to a recent ABC News report. And this year, chefs from three of these restaurants-on-wheels will join brick-and-mortar chefs and culinary students for the annual Epicurious Vino Challenge, which is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at Hinnant Family Vineyards near Pine Level.
The Epicurious Vino Challenge is a yearly fundraiser that benefits children and adults with disabilities.
The Challenge requires chefs to use a Hinnant wine to create a dish. On the night of the event, the chefs set up tables in the winery’s tank room and serve their dishes to guests. The crowd then votes for the People’s Choice winners, while a panel of professional chefs from U.S. Food Service selects the Chef’s Choice winners.
The professionals and students who will compete in the 2013 Epicurious Vino Challenge are:
• Nick Crosson of Porchetta Food Truck and Catering, who chose Loggerhead Red, a semi-sweet red with fruit tones and a crisp finish.
• Chef Mike of Blue Sky Dining Food Truck, who chose Southern Red, perfect for cured meats, barbecue and pasta.
• Ashley Cogdell of Chirba Chirba Dumpling Truck, who chose Carolina Wildflower, a sweet floral white.
• Jennifer and Mark Gibbons of Tickle My Ribs restaurant in Burlington, who chose Norton, a full-bodied dry red wine with a hint of oak.
• Wes Dills, events manager at Hinnant Family Vineyards, who chose the semi-sweet Blanc du Bois, a fruity wine with tropical notes of grapefruit and pineapple.
• Seth Batchelor of Odds & Endive Food Service Consulting in Durham, who chose a sweeter version of the tropical Banc de Bois.
• Trista Rose Swinson of Sweetened Celebrations in Selma, who chose Strawberry, a sweet wine made entirely of strawberries.
• Culinary student Antonia Caldera of The Art Institute of Raleigh/Durham, who chose Pomegranate, a slightly sweet and tart wine.
• Culinary student James “Beau” Schoenholz of The Art Institute of Raleigh/Durham, who chose the Chardonnay with hints of citrus and green apple.
• James Casellow of Zest Café & Home Art in Raleigh, who chose Tar Heel Red, a medium-sweet red muscadine wine.
Along with the chance to sample original dishes, the event will include music by the band Idle Threat, free wine tastings, specialty martinis and a live auction. Proceeds from the auction with also benefit children and adults with disabilities.
Tickets to the Epicurious Vino Challenge are $40 for individual outdoor seating, $60 for reserved indoor seating, $300 for reserved patio tables (seating 10) and $500 for reserved indoor tables (seating 10). Tickets are available at www.rhahowell.org/EVC.aspx.
Hinnant Family Vineyards is located at 826 Pine Level-Micro Road. For directions, visit www.hinnantvineyards.com.
For more information about the Epicurious Vino Challenge, visit www.rhahowell.org.