Supporting Frankie Lemmon School & Developmental Center.

The Fun doesn't stop


The 31st Anniversary Triangle Wine & Food Experience has come and gone, but our Buy-A-Seat series continues throughout the year. Don’t miss the opportunity to keep the party going!

friday, march 1st 2024

A Chef's Life Comes to Raleigh

That Eastern North Carolina bloodline runs strong, and when Vivian Howard came home to Kinston to open Chef & The Farmer, Inez Ribustello made a beeline to greet her so they could share the trials and tribulations of running restaurants in their small, rural, hometowns.

An award-winning cookbook author, TV personality, chef and restaurateur, Vivian Howard has brought so much life and energy to the Carolinas. In addition to her sold-out Weekend at Viv’s, she also has started bringing Chef’s Table dining experiences back on a limited basis to the Chef & the Farmer location. As soon as Inez came on board as the Director of Hospitality for Frankie Lemmon, she was given the task of getting Vivian to come in as a Buy-A-Seat Chef. Vivian happily accepted, and within minutes, we found the wonderful Perkins to host the dinner at their home; Brian & Eliza to let Inez raid their cellar for gems to pair with Vivian’s food, and lo and behold, one bright star of a dinner was born.

For those of you who have been fans of Viv and want to be anywhere close to Vivian’s orbit, this is the dinner you have been waiting for. Feel the energy of this celebrity chef as she cooks the cuisine of her Deep Run roots and allows her ENC friend Inez to pick the wines she loves so dearly on MARCH 1ST, 2024!

Friday, April 19th 2024

Champagne & Caviar, Yes Please!

ELIZA KRAFT OLANDER’s taste in Champagne spans not just the Grand Marques and the Tete de Cuvees, but even the cult grower whose production is miniscule but mighty. Because she is wise and tasteful, Eliza also understands how to really make Champagne sing at the table, and that, my friends, is when it is drunk with Caviar.

STEVEN DEVEREAUX GREENE, four-time James Beard Award Semifinalist and Executive Chef at Herons in the Umstead Hotel & Spa, finds great joy in procuring specialty roe from the finest sturgeons in the world, and the ones he selects for this heavenly evening will be the finest you have ever tasted. Because he is a master at his trade, expect other culinary delights to compliment the Champagne and the caviar.

This is a night that dreams are made of, and the magic you will experience imbibing the most hedonistic elixir in the world paired with one of the finest delicacies of the sea will transport you to a place you didn’t know existed.

And not to be missed, be sure there will be a wine opened that night that very few people have tasted!


Milburnie 4.0

HERE! WE! GO! By popular demand, ALAN & EVELYN HUGHES, STEVE REYNOLDS, PAX MAHLE, and JAKE WOOD are getting everyone back together to celebrate MILBURNIE 4.0 on APRIL 24TH, 2024!

There is something undeniably special happening around these incredibly good people. It’s almost ethereal. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but we’re surely grateful for it! The modest charm of Milburnie Fishing Club, Alan & Evelyn’s southern hospitality, Steve’s all-American wholesomeness, Pax’s roguish charm, and Jake’s infectious enthusiasm meld into something that is so much more than the sum of its parts. Personalities aside, the product is equally enthralling. Large format selections from REYNOLDS FAMILY WINERY & PAX WINES, a spread from LAWRENCE BARBECUEso substantial it could almost be considered flagrant, live music, cold beer, rare bourbons…it’s no wonder this annual tradition is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year!

Each iteration may look a little different, but it always feels the same. Like a home, it’s family that makes memories and we promise, you’ll walk away from this one with a whole host of brothers and sisters!

Thursday, June 20th 2024

Rock You Like A Hurricane

Hello all you Canes Lovers, we have a special treat in store for you!

In huge thanks to PAULA KORNELL, VINEYARD 36 and ROB & LORI MOSCATO, we are having the Pool Party to rival all pool parties in Raleigh on June 20th, 2024, to support the Frankie Lemmon School! And guess who will be the guest of honor?? Your very favorite Hurricane, CAM WARD!

This isn’t just any pool party as the nibbles and noshes will be made by Raleigh’s newest restaurateur DAVID ELLIS of the up-and-coming FIGULINA – one of the city’s most anticipated restaurant openings of 2024. In case that isn’t enough, Frankie Lemmon friend and supporter ANDIA XOURIS of ANDIA’S ICE CREAM will be bringing her special flavor she created especially for the Foundation.

Bubbles from Paula and delicious Cabs from Vineyard 36, all while rehashing the Canes’ season with the great Cam Ward at the beautiful home of the Moscatos—what better way to start off the first day of summertime? We don’t think there is one, personally!


Viva La Vega Sicilia

Join Ignacio Ignacio de Saralegui at the home of Brian McHenry and Eliza Kraft Olander where Chefs MATT KELLY of MATEO and KATIE BUTTON of CURATE will create a tapas-style menu to fulfill your wildest Spanish dreams all while drinking some of the rarest reds of Ribera!!

Don’t be surprised if Eliza, Brian and Ken pull out older vintages for you to drink that evening.


Wine in Wilmington

MICHAEL & OZ NICHOLS are Triangle Wine & Food Experience and Frankie Lemmon staples. Each has made a tremendous impact ever since first getting involved nearly a decade ago. Their generosity is incredibly inspiring, especially when it comes to opening their beautiful home to raise funds for the children and families of Frankie Lemmon.

They have put together an exciting dinner in Wrightsville Beach, teaming up with Wilmington’s James Beard-nominated chef DEAN NEFF and HELEN KEPLINGER & DJ WARNER of KEPLINGER WINES on AUGUST 3rd, 2024.

HELEN KEPLINGER, the 2023 Vinous Winemaker of the Year, has been crafting world-class wines for over two decades. Inspiration began from her father’s wine collection and continued through the Graduate Program at UC Davis and a first winemaking position assisting Heidi Barrett. After working with Grenache in Spain, Helen returned to Napa Valley to launch Kenzo Estate with Heidi and David Abreu and her own winery, Keplinger, with her husband DJ Warner. Helen has graced the cover of Wine Spectator for her own wines, was 2012 Food & Wine Magazine’s Winemaker of the Year and keeps charging forward in today’s competitive landscape. Having now planted Keplinger’s Star Wagon Vineyard in Willow Creek District, Paso Robles, we look forward to her next chapter.

DEAN NEFF calls Wilmington home, specifically SEABIRD! Dean’s creative yet accessible approach to Eastern North Carolina cuisine with a sophisticated appreciation for seasonality is what has earned him a place among the best of the best. Dean has built his career around leadership and support of the Wilmington community while gaining national attention as a culinary leader.

Join Mike & Oz from their intercoastal waterway home as Dean Neff prepares a multicourse dinner celebrating the seasonality of Wilmington’s seafood and other Eastern North Carolinian ingredients to pair with selections from Helen Keplinger’s South of France and Southern Rhone inspired project, Keplinger Wines

Thursday, September 12th 2024​

Women On A Mission

Ladies: Take your mark, get set, GO! This is literally the hottest Triangle Wine & Food Experience ticket. With only 40 seats, this WOMEN’S ONLY DINNER sells out quickly!

This amazing event started many years ago, when two of Raleigh’s movers and shakers, ASHLEY CHRISTENSEN and ELIZA KRAFT OLANDER, teamed up to start raising money for Frankie Lemmon. They saw the power of bringing together like-minded women with a drive to make a difference in the lives of their community. Thus, WOMEN ON A MISSION was born! 

During the gals only dinner portion of the evening, Ashley will cook a memorable meal paired with wine selections from Eliza’s cellar. But this event is more than just food and wine. The real impact takes place within the conversations and friendships that spark in this room. It’s a powerful group to be a part of, a veritable assembly of “BOSS LADIES!” as Ashley would say. 

After the savory courses, your significant others are invited to join the fun for dessert and after-dinner drinks. From that point on, the party really begins, and the bourbon and port start to flow!

So, ladies, want in? Of course, you do! SAVE. YOUR. SEAT. 

Thursday, September 19th 2024

Whose House? Jackie's House

Savor the unparalleled culinary mastery of Chefs STEVEN DEVEREAUX GREENE, SPENCER THOMPSON, and VICTOR LYTVINENKO as they craft a bespoke menu for a private dinner at the home of one of Frankie Lemmon’s greatest supporters JACKIE LOCKLEAR.

Eight guests will be regaled with sumptuous dishes that showcase the chefs’ unique styles and influences. An intimate evening of fine dining, rich flavors, and wonderful company awaits. The evening begins with a seminar on Tequila and includes a five-course meal for eight with wine.

Thursday, October 10th 2024​

Always A Ball With Brian

BRIAN BALL takes Frankie Lemmon very seriously, and whether it is hosting guests at his estate in Sonoma or flying to Raleigh to let the good times roll, he always creates fun and fellowship wherever he lands.

This year, Brian has decided to come back to North Carolina in the Fall for a family-style celebration with a delicious meal prepared harvest style by the one and only MALA PATA at a community table, paired with the extraordinary wines of SKIPSTONE. As harvest is ending in the vineyards, this friend-filled table will be toasting the 2024 vintage with a bountiful table full of Mexican flavor.

Mala Pata is a super-group of local Raleigh chefs that have combined their talents to bring the triangle a fresh new Mexican concept focusing on house-ground corn masa and family-style dining. Expect rich moles, spicy aguachiles, and flame-grilled carne asada. MP is Angela Salamanca and Marshall Davis (of Centro, Gallo Pelón, and Ex-Voto) and Eric Montagne and Zack Gragg (of Locals Seafood, Standard Foods).

SKIPSTONE is tucked between two stunning hillsides in the mountains above Alexander Valley and produces some of the greatest wines of the region. Brian will be pouring his age-worthy and highly sought-after wines while he entertains you in ways that only Brian can. Nothing can be a better beginning to a North Carolina Autumn than an evening filled with food, fun, fellowship and one of the dearest friends of Frankie Lemmon.

Saturday, November 9th 2024

Trifecta of Celebrity Chefs

EMERIL LAGASSE, ASHLEY CHRISTENSEN and BRIAN & ELIZA are ready to come together to raise the ultimate amount of dollars for Frankie Lemmon IN RALEIGH!

CHEF EMERIL is so much more than a TV personality—his passion for food is only matched by his philanthropic pursuits. Since its establishment in 2002, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation has awarded more than 400 grants totaling over $18.5 million to schools and children’s charities. This has included helping to build over 20 teaching kitchens in 20 years. The impact of the Foundation has grown significantly with now more than 35,000 young people benefiting annually. National expansion has accelerated through two new programs. Students are provided a fresh and fun perspective on food through Emeril Culinary Garden and Teaching Kitchens. And in 2022, the Foundation announced that they will be working with Chef Aarón Sánchez to help fulfill his philanthropic vision by creating a new program called the Aarón Sánchez Impact Fund.

And of course, our very own ASHLEY CHRISTENSEN, 2019 James Beard Outstanding Chef, author, restaurant empire owner, goddess, supreme connector and Bigtime Champion of Frankie Lemmon, has pulled this all together to create one of the greatest Buy A Seats TWFE has ever seen. In the only way Ashley could, she picked up the phone and got Emeril to commit to coming to Raleigh to cook with her all in the name of our kids.

PLUS…. a VERY SPECIAL GUEST!!! Who will it be? Only one way to find out… BUY YOUR SEAT!!!

Then there is always the cherry on the top, and that is in great thanks to Eliza Kraft Olander and Brian McHenry, who always bring something to the table to make the deal just a little bit sweeter. When they heard about this trifecta of chefs, they knew the only thing to do was to open wines that were on par with these gracious celebs. Think Selosse, Grand Cru Burgundy, First Growth Bordeaux, aged Rhone, and Y’quem for the piece de resistance! SURPRISE ENDING: THE EVENING WILL END WITH DRINKING A WINE THAT NO ONE YOU KNOW HAS EVER SEEN, MUCH LESS TASTED.