A who’s who of NC culinary talent will cook to help Hurricane Florence victims

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Some of North Carolina’s top culinary talents are coming together to help with the state’s recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Next week, they’re throwing a benefit for the rural victims of the storm. They’re calling it “Raise the Bar: Bartenders and Chefs for Hurricane Relief,” or a “make-others-happy” hour.

The roster includes James Beard winners and nominees, cocktail wizards and the forces behind some of the South’s top restaurants. Seven chefs and five bartenders will each prepare a snack or cocktail at host venue Fox Liquor Bar, owned by James Beard winner Ashley Christensen.

The cocktail party is Wednesday, Sept. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. Tickets cost $75 with proceeds benefiting the North Carolina Community Foundation’s disaster relief fund.

Chefs include:

Vivian Howard of Chef & the Farmer in Kinston

Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner, Fox Liquor, Death & Taxes and other downtown Raleigh restaurants

Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill and The Durham hotel restaurant

Scott Crawford of Crawford and Son and the upcoming Jolie in Raleigh

Vansana Nolintha of Bida Manda and Brewery Bhavana in Raleigh

Steven Devereaux Greene of Herons in Cary

Matt Kelly of Mateo, St. James and other restaurants in Durham

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Bartenders include:

Daniel Sartain of Bar Virgile in Durham

Garrett Waddell of Foundation in Raleigh

Liliana Contreras of William & Co. in Raleigh

Shannon Healy of Alley Twenty Six in Durham

Travis Brown of Fox Liquor Bar in Raleigh

Durham’s Alley Twenty Six already has been hosting monthly dinners to raise money for renowned chef Jose Andres’ disaster relief group, World Central Kitchen. That group has been in North Carolina since last week, feeding thousands daily who are displaced by the hurricane or helping with its recovery.

The next “Dinner with Friends” event at Alley Twenty Six is Monday, Sept. 24, featuring Sean Umstead of the future Durham bar Kingfisher. Tickets are $95 for a five-course dinner, including cocktail pairings. All proceeds will go to World Central Kitchen. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at alleytwentysix.com/dinnerwithfriends.

A number of restaurants and bars are donating proceeds of their sales this week to groups helping out with hurricane relief. Those include:

Buku Raleigh is donating 10 percent of its sales to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina through Sept. 23. It is also accepting donated items, including canned food, bottled water, cleaning supplies and new clothing for victims of the storm.