Biscuits, doughnuts and beer. We could probably end the post there and everyone would be happy. At least – I would be happy. Add that all proceeds benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Did I mention that these were Rise biscuits and doughnuts? This is an outstanding event and one I hope becomes an annual tradition.

Contestants included – Rise locations from Downtown Durham, Southpoint, Morrisville, North Raleigh, Cameron Village and Carrboro; Chefs Matt Kelly, Seth Kingsbury, Andrew Ullom, Ashley Christensen, Jason Smith and Bill Smith; and breweries Fullsteam, Ponysaurus, Fortnight, Lonerider, Trophy and Steel String. There was voting and winners crowned but really weren’t we the judges the real winners?

My top picks for the evening include the porchetta’d pork belly with mustard slaw and crackling biscuit (Aaron Vaughen / Ashley Christensen) and the shrimp burger biscuit with tomato, cabbage, remoulade and homemade hot sauce (Chris Stinnet & Ben Jenny / Matt Kelly), the cronut with strawberry icing and strawberry thyme jam (Darryl Fuller / Seth Kingsbury) and the chocolate cake doughnut with caramel icing and NC sea salt (Tim Youngblood / Jason Smith) and the Pistols at Dawn Beer (Lonerider). This is not to say that anything served was not excellent but these items were the best to my palate. And speaking of palate it was great to cross paths with our favorite pit-master Sam Jones at the event.

One last item of note – The Rickhouse on Foster Street in Durham behind the old Durham Bulls Athletic Park was a great venue and I’m really looking forward to see what type of distillery they are building in the adjacent space. And probably most important – yes the event has passed but you can always donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, drink all outstanding local beers served and get incredible biscuits and doughnuts from any of the local Rise locations. I wouldn’t eat as many as we did – it can make your stomach hurt but in a really good way.

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