Dishing it out

Charity begins at home, goes the old saying. But for tragedy-shaken Virginia Tech University, charity begins in a Sacramento home at 970 River Crest Road. It is there local chefs Cindy Rhodes and James Aptakin of the nonprofit Chefs for Charity present “The Chefs Recipe Challenge” to raise funds for the Virginia Tech Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. An unnamed resident opened his house for the July 28 event, local chefs are whipping up special dishes and musicians, printers, engravers, embroiderers, auctioneers, wine vendors, dessert vendors, event planners, graphic artists and others have donated their services to the cause.

“Our time is so worth letting the victims’ families know there is good in the world despite the horrific tragedy,” Rhodes explains in the event announcement. “Food not only creates memories, but also aids in comforting at a time like this.”

Besides Rhodes and Aptakin, participating chefs include Andrew Hillman of David Berkeley’s, Stuart Edgcombe of Esquire Grill and Shaun Menard of Chops. Judging their recipes will be “Your Produce Man” of CBS Channel 13 Michael Marks, Good Day, Sacramento‘s Marianne McClary and Refer a Chef Catering’s Jeffrey Gordy. The 6 p.m. extravaganza also features auctions, door prizes, a tapas recipe challenge, a dessert reception, a cooking demonstration and—natch—gourmet food and wine tasting. Don’t fret: The band Innersoul will get you on your feet to work off the extra calories. The $30 tickets are limited, so RSVP right now at (916) 458-1599 or visit