Area’s Top Chefs Raise Money for Lucy Daniels Center  

The winner of Cooking for a Classic will take home the grand prize – either a restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler or $15,000.

Next week, the annual Cooking for a Classic competition fires up, and you can get a taste of the action.

The first round, from Monday, Feb. 25, to Thursday, Feb. 28, pits eight chefs against each other in a culinary showdown. Semi-finalists will proceed to a second round March 4-5. The winner will be decided on March 11 and will take home the grand prize – either a restored 1982 JEEP Scrambler or $15,000 cash.

All competitions will be held at 1705 East, Rocky Top Catering’s event venue at 1705 East Millbrook Road in Raleigh. Tickets are $75 for the First Round, $100 for the second round, and $125 for the final and deciding contest.

Proceeds from the competition will benefit The Lucy Daniels Center, a Cary-based nonprofit which helps children live emotionally healthy lives.

“We’ve set a very ambitious goal of raising $150,000 this year,” said Don Rosenblitt, executive director of The Lucy Daniels Center, in a press release. “Attendees from previous years will tell you that this event provides great food and entertainment, all for a great cause.”

Here’s the 2019 chef lineup:

Monday, Feb. 25 – Teddy Diggs of pop-up restaurant Coronato Pizza, versus Ryan Grimm of WatersView Restaurant, Littleton

Tuesday, Feb. 26 – Matt Hannon of Ashten’s, Southern Pines, versus Bo Peterson of Primal Food and Spirits, Durham

Wednesday, Feb. 27 – Jake Wood of Plates Neighborhood, Raleigh, versus Jonathan Blackley of Vidrio, Raleigh

Thursday, Feb. 28 – Andrew Smith of bu*ku, Wake Forest, versus Orlando Jinzo of The Leadmine, Southern Pines

During the head-to-head cooking contest, modeled on the Iron Chef competition, each chef will prepare an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert with at least one secret ingredient in each dish. Attendees and guest judges will sample the creations and decide which chef will advance in the competition.

Previous winners include Chef Rich Carter of Catering Works and Chef Dean Thompson, now with Prestonwood Country Club.

Each evening will also include a bar featuring local brews, spirits and wines – with all proceeds benefiting the Lucy Daniels Center – and silent auctions for dining packages provided by some of the Triangle’s top chefs and restaurants.

More information about the competition can be found at, or visit

The Lucy Daniels Center was founded in 1989 and houses the Lucy Daniels School, which serves children preschool through fifth grade in a therapeutic educational setting, and a highly sophisticated assessment and treatment facility. The center serves more than 700 children and families each year, and nearly 70 percent of these families pay less than the actual cost, and one in six receives services for free.


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