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Designers, chefs pair up for charitable competition in North Huntingdon

Mary Pickels
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Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
From left: Jeff Vangura and Krystal Vangura at an earlier American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink fundraising campaign, held at The Kitchen by Vangura in North Huntingdon. The Kitchen will hold a “Designer Edition” charitable competition on Sept. 19.

Organizing a charitable fundraiser featuring representatives of designing organizations/chef duos was a no-brainer, says Krystal Vangura, director of customer relations for The Kitchen by Vangura.

“We belong to all four,” Vangura says.

So recruiting representatives of the American Society of Interior Designers, the National Kitchen and Bath Association, the American Institute of Architects and the National Association of Home Builders/Builders Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh is no challenge for the North Huntingdon business.

“We went to each one of those entities and asked them if they wanted to put up a representative and compete. Each chose a charity. Then we went out and found the chefs. We were looking for groups of chefs that can work well together,” Vangura says.

At 6 p.m. on Sept. 19, chefs Giuseppe DiGristina (Bella Sera), Ricky Kirsop (Coast & Main), Nicholas Saxon (Braddock’s Rebellion) and Jeff Maag (Eddie Merlot’s) will compete for “best dish.”

At their sides will be Erin Faith, ASID, whose charity is the American Cancer Society; Nancy Sudsina, NKBA, the Cameron Heyward Foundation; Debbie Lindewirth, NAHB/BAMP, the Veterans Place; and Sara Hardy, AIA, Ovarian Cancer Coalition.

“The designer is the sous chef. They (chefs) are supposed to put them to work,” Vangura says. “They all have an ingredient they have to incorporate.”

The food will be tapas, or small plates, style.

Vangura says part of the night’s goal is to encourage members of the design community to “hang out with each other.”

Organization members are encouraged to attend and cheer on their particular chef/helper combination, while donating to their team’s charity.

The event is by invitation only, depending on response, Vangura says.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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