Vivian Howard’s Boiler Room among confirmed participants for ‘Raise the Barn’ is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Feast Down East's 'Raise the Barn' event features small plates from local chefs cooking with local ingredients. (Photo Feast Down East)
Feast Down East’s ‘Raise the Barn’ event features small plates from local chefs cooking with local ingredients. (Photo courtesy of Feast Down East)

WILMINGTON — Feast Down East’s fourth-annual “Raise the Barn” is attracting serious talent again this year.

Sarah Daniels, executive director of Feast Down East, told Port City Daily the Raise the Barn event has just confirmed Vivian Howard’s Boiler Room Oyster Bar will join local chefs at the event. Former Disney executive chef Andrew Sutton, who currently runs the Boiler Room kitchen, will be cooking.

Howard has been hard at work becoming a Wilmington local. While the award-winning restaurant Chef & the Farmer and Howard’s follow-up, the Boiler Room, are located in Kinston, N.C., Howard has discussed plans to open at least two restaurants in the Wilmington area.

Howard and husband Ben Knight will be opening a pizzeria in Wilmington in the fall; the chef said during a recent talk that she may open a Boiler Room location in the area as well.

Daniels said the event has also confirmed some local talent.

“We’ve had some great response for local chefs,” Daniels said. “Craig Love of Surf House was on board early on and Ryan Andress from UNCW’s Campus Dining program. We’re still talking with other chefs, we’re hoping to confirm about four more.”

Other chefs joining the event for the first time are Scott Surratt, who recently took over the reins at Ceviche’s and Rob Collins, who has been working to develop the kitchen and catering program at Tidal Creek Co-Op.

The “Raise the Barn” event raises money for Feast Down East’s non-profit work connecting local farmers to restaurants and the local community, particularly under-served and “food desert” areas. As in past years, the food will focus on small plates, with locally sourced produce, meat and seafood.

New Hanover County Arboretum
New Hanover County Arboretum

“It’s tapas style dining, so guests have a chance to try a lot of different meals from a lot of talented local chefs,” Daniels said. “There will also be an open bar, we’re talking to our local breweries for that. And of course wine and at least one specialty cocktail. It’s a beautiful evening, with good food and wine, for a good cause.”

The “Raise the Barn” event will be held Saturday, May 20, at the New Hanover County Arboretum, from 6 – 10 p.m. Tickets are available online, discounted “early bird” tickets are on sale until the end of April.

The current line-up for the event is as follows:

  • 22 North – Brent Poteat
  • Boiler Room Oyster Bar – Andrew Sutton
  • Ceviche’s – Scott Surratt
  • Plantation Village – John Balderson
  • Surf House Oyster Bar – Craig Love
  • Tidal Creek Co-op – Rob Collins
  • UNCW Campus Dining – Ryan Andress

[Update/correction: after receiving inaccurate info, we initially reported Howard’s restaurant as ‘Oyster House;’ it is ‘Oyster Bar.’ We apologize for any confusion.]