Culinary battle benefits local children, families

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The Epicurean Evening provides an opportunity to sample exquisite cuisine from top local chefs and to bid on exciting, one-of-a-kind live and silent auction items, all for a great cause. The event, now in its third year, is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside, hosted by Mistress of Ceremonies Frances Weller of WECT News and auctioneer Matt Holiday of Holiday Auctions.
This year's host chef is Valarie Mason, lead instructor of the Cape Fear Community College Culinary Technology Department, and the keynote speaker will be Chef Chris Lubben, and program recipients Vnette and Denise Boney. Proceeds from the event support Methodist Home for Children's efforts throughout Eastern North Carolina. The event welcomes donors to sample signature creations from many of the most popular chefs throughout the Cape Fear region. This year's "Epicureans" include All About Fun, AM Coffee, Apple Annie's, The Bento Box, The Bistro at Duplin Winery, the Cape Fear Community College Culinary Technology Department, Cape Fear Seafood Company, Catch, Coastal Beverage, Coastal Cupcakes, Coca Cola, Deluxe, Dockside, Duplin Winery, Elijah's, Francesco's Cafe, GVL Art, Ice Sensations, Imaginary Friends Bakery, John's Gourmet Popcorn, Kilwin's Chocolates, La Gemma, Longhorn Steakhouse, The Oceanic, The Pilot House, Sweet and Savory and Taste of Italy. Chefs compete for the coveted "Copper Kettle," a best-in-show award decided on by local celebrity "food fanciers." Guests will be able to bid on exciting silent and live auction items and packages throughout the evening. In 2008, the second installment of the Epicurean Evening raised more than $40,000 to ensure the care of 40 children for one year. This year's event aims to raise enough money to increase that number to more than 50. Tables that seat 10 are $1,000 and provide the opportunity for all members to bid on auction packages and sample gourmet dishes from all of the participating restaurants. For more information or to purchase a table, call Missy Sumrell at (910) 264-9222.