2013 AHA Chef’s Challenge

2013 AHA Chef’s Challenge

We have been on cloud nine at Donovan’s Dish this week! We were honored to be invited to the 2013 Chef’s Challenge benefiting the Triangle Heart Ball, an event hosted by Quintiles Headquarters in which our Chef TJ competed on September 24.  Chef TJ is the first non-restaurant chef to have competed in the challenge. He was up against 5 of the area’s top chefs and had to showcase a dish from his “heart”.


Luke, Jill, TJ, Kyle, and me

TJ was thrilled by the invitation and invited our talented Sous Chef, Luke Broderick, to work side by side with him. TJ and Luke spent the week prior to the competition working ceaselessly to perfect the dish!


TJ is from Wilson, NC, so naturally he decided to make a hickory smoked pulled pork shoulder, seasoned to perfection, with his homemade eastern style BBQ sauce on top of a sweet potato gnocchi drizzled with a praline glaze. Luke suggested adding a dollop of goat cheese, and TJ accented his Irish background by infusing the goat cheese with Jameson! As Jill says, “He’s Irish, so he puts whiskey in everything!”  This dish truly came from the heart, and it was AMAZING!


Chef TJ and Chef Scott James from Midtown Grill

We had so much fun meeting new people, mingling with some of Raleigh’s top chefs, and interacting with the American Heart Association throughout the event. People were lined up at our table the whole night, and some even came back for thirds!

After over an hour of serving up this delicious dish to 250 people, it was time for Lynda Loveland and Gerald Owens to announce the winners…

…Drum roll…



Click here to see the announcement video!


Donovan’s Dish won the Guest’s Choice 2013 AHA Chef’s Chef’s Challenge, we couldn’t be more pleased! We loved the night and the wonderful people who made it all happen!

We were all so thrilled, I am so happy to be a part of this wonderful dream team at Donovan’s Dish!