Richmond’s Top Chefs Compete in Annual Chef’s Challenge

Richmond, VA – (March 19, 2019) – Spring is almost here which means the 27th Annual Richmond Heart Ball is right around the corner. As we look forward to the big day, we are excited to celebrate healthy eating as a part of National Nutrition Month by challenging Richmond’s top chefs to create heart healthy hors d’oeuvres and desserts as a part of the Richmond Chef’s Challenge.

Cheff Russell DouglasParticipating chefs were challenged to get creative as attendees cast their vote for the best dishes. Chef Russell Douglas of Pop’s Bar and Grill in Midlothian swept this year’s competition. His prize included two tickets to this year’s Heart Ball, $1,000 cash prize, a feature of their winning dish at the Heart Ball and the silver Smithfield pig.

The AHA would like to thank all the chefs who participated in the event and provided a wide array of dishes including last year’s winner, Sunny Baweja of Lehja, Tiara Smith of The Drop Off Chef, Gordon Russell of The Welcome Table, Christopher Jewell of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Tim Gradwell of Mosaic, Jimmy Tsamouras of Demi’s, Avtar Rathore of Anant, Rick Lyons of Lunch | Supper!, and Mike Ledesma of Perch. Ingredients for the dishes were generously donated by Smithfield Foods.

AHA would also like to thank those who have supported this year’s Heart Ball including “Life is Why” sponsors, VCU Health and Bon Secours Richmond Health System. Other supporters include this year’s Heart Ball Chair, Mark Hourigan and the rest of the executive leadership team, the Corporate Partnership Committee and the many in-kind donors.Chef Gordon Russell and his wife, Cheryl, of The Welcome Table

This year’s Heart Ball will be held on Saturday, April 27 at Main Street Station to celebrate the AHA’s mission and all those who come together to move it forward. The Heart Ball promises to be an engaging evening of fun and passion bringing community and philanthropic leaders together. The fundraising goal for this year’s event is $1.3 million allowing the AHA to fund life-saving research and prevention programs in the Richmond community.

Learn more about how you can get involved with this year’s Heart Ball on our website or contact Sommer Goldsmith at or 804-965-6534.

Luckily, you don’t have to be a gourmet chef to eat delicious, yet healthy meals. For recipes and tips to help you eat smart, visit

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