chefs-capMark your calendars, clear your schedule and get to the gym: The annual Acadiana Culinary Classic is Oct. 3 at the Cajundome.

Every year the Hearts of Hope (formerly Stuller Place) nonprofit hosts a huge soiree to raise money for the children who need special care. Hearts of Hope specializes in advocating for children who have been victims of abuse. They offer counseling, train doctors, nurses and legal counsels how to best interact with children who have been victimized. This fundraiser is a huge push for funds that keep this support system thriving and to eventually push out to the other parishes in Acadiana. The Children’s Advocacy Center, the Sexual Abuse Response Center and the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners are three programs that fall under the Hearts of Hope’s umbrella.

The Culinary Classic pits chef against chef in a good-natured battle for the best. The wine expo begins at 6 p.m. and the culinary competition begins at 7 p.m. on Oct. 3. Tickets are available per person or by the table. Contact the Hearts of Hope website or call Jill Howell Dugas at 269-1557 for tickets or information on corporate sponsorship.

Look for this week's issue of The Independent for more on this annual gastronomic feat.

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