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Seven Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chefs Vie for Culinary Supremacy

Carolina Inn Hosts First Ever Shrimp and Grits Throwdown on February 25

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (January 25, 2012) – Seven local star chefs from renowned restaurants will compete for the title and bragging rights of Shrimp and Grits Champion in the inaugural Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chefs’ Throwdown on Saturday, February 25 from 1-4 pm at The Carolina Inn.

Watch as the celebrated chefs prepare their own unique twist on Shrimp and Grits and enjoy tasting samples from each of the contestants. The only requirement for the seven chefs is using shrimp and grits as they have full culinary freedom to prepare their signature dishes for the attendees and judges. Come let your voice be heard and cast your vote for “Fan Favorite.”

Tickets are $15 per person and can be purchased online at  For more information, contact A portion of the proceeds will be donated to TABLE, serving Chapel Hill-Carrboro children at risk for hunger. Patrons are also asked to bring canned food and nonperishable items to donate at the event.

The competing chefs (as of now) feature Jeremy Blankenship, Chef of Tyler’s Tap Room; Trey Cleveland, Executive Chef of Top of the Hill; Adam Cobb, Executive Chef of Glasshalfull; Bret Jennings, Executive Chef and Owner of Elaine’s on Franklin; Vimala Rajendran, Executive Chef and Owner of Vimala’s Curry Blossom Café; Jimmy Reale, Executive Chef of Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar; and Adam Rose, Executive Chef of Il Palio.

Aaron Nelson, President of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber, will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the Throwdown. The judging panel includes Andrea Griffith Cash, Editor for Chapel Hill Magazine; Deborah Miller, Host of SideDish on 1360 WCHL; Laurie Paolicelli, Executive Director of the Chapel Hill-Orange County Visitors Bureau; Kevin Schwartz, Director of The Daily Tar Heel; and Andrea Weigl, Food Writer for The News & Observer.

TABLE is a non-profit hunger relief organization focusing exclusively on local childhood hunger. This organization distributes more than 3,000 pounds of food per month to more than 90 children in and around the neighborhoods of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, North Carolina. TABLE is local people helping local children.

Built on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill in 1924 by John Sprunt Hill – distinguished alumnus, successful businessman and University trustee – The Carolina Inn’s original concept was “to provide for the special wants and comforts of the University alumni...and University visitors.” The historical Carolina Inn features 185 charming and well-appointed guestrooms including 7 luxury suites.

Destination Hotels & Resorts is a privately held hospitality management company headquartered in Colorado. With more than 35 independent, luxury and upscale hotels, resorts and golf clubs, Destination is the third largest hospitality management company in the country. The company’s portfolio features more than 8,970 guest rooms, 15 golf courses and 16 full-service spas. Destination Hotels & Resorts properties are located in key metropolitan and resort markets including Washington, D.C., Seattle, Denver, San Diego, Santa Fe, Aspen, Austin, Phoenix, Portland, Palm Springs, Palos Verdes, Maui and Lake Tahoe. The company is a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based investment, development and management firm Lowe Enterprises. For a complete list of properties in the Destination Hotels & Resorts collection, please visit