Woodenhead Winery Wins Pinot Cup and Full Pigs & Pinot Recap
Location: Dry Creek Kitchen
Pigs & Pinot 2010 Epicurean Weekend Wraps, Raising Funds For Share Our Strength® and The Healdsburg School
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Woodenhead Winery Wins Pinot Cup, Williams Selyem runner up
Healdsburg, Calif. – On March 20-21, 2010, food and wine enthusiasts gathered at the beautiful Hotel Healdsburg (www.hotelhealdsburg.com) and Dry Creek Kitchen as Chef Charlie Palmer welcomed visiting chefs Tyler Florence, Roland Passot, Bryan Voltaggio and Top Chef Pigs & Pinot challenge winner, Kevin Gillespie as well as winemakers Tony Soter, Paul Hobbs, Ben Papapietro, Michael Browne and Suzanne Chambers for a collaborative epicurean extravaganza benefit, Pigs & Pinot.
The sold-out weekend kicked off with Friday's Taste featuring over 50 Pinot Noir tastings alongside small bites such as slow braised baby back ribs and carved hot ham from Charlie Palmer at the BBQ Rotisserie. Top Chef alumns Bryan Voltaggio served Tête pressée, kumquat jam, caper, crystal lettuce and cheese puff while across the green, Kevin Gillespie prepared Grilled pork belly with smoked peanut butter and marinated apples. Local Healdsburg restaurants were well represented, including Cyrus, which served a fan-favorite Pork Cheek Po Boys with Braised Cabbage and Green Garlic Mayo. Gala Chefs were joined by Charlie Palmer Group executive chefs including Amar Santana (Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's), Matt Hill (Charlie Palmer Steak DC), Scott Romano (Charlie Palmer at The Joule) and Dry Creek Kitchen Chef de Cuisine, Dustin Valette. Not to be missed was Dry Creek Kitchen pastry chef Yulanda Santos' bacon maple donuts.
Guests savored the varied pig inspired bites and swirled bottomless glasses of pinot noirs while awaiting the results of the anticipated Pinot Cup. The renowned judging panel for Friday's 2010 Pinot Cup —a blind tasting competition among 50 hand-picked Pinot Noirs— included Food & Wine's Wine Editor, Ray Isle, The Press Democrat's Virginie Boone and The Pinot File's Rusty Gaffney. Taking top honors was Woodenhead Winery (for their 2007 Russian River Valley, Buena Tierra Vineyard, Pinot Noir) and runner up, Williams Selyem (for their 2007 Russian River Valley, Westside Road Neighbors Block, Pinot Noir).
On Saturday afternoon, Pigs & Pinot participants attended two seminars. At "Tournament Of The Pig," held at Relish Culinary Adventures, Bryan Voltaggio and Kevin Gillespie with help from Chefs Matt Hill and Amar Santana, went head to head to prepare the best pork dishes from ingredients pre-selected from Dry Creek Kitchen. Charlie Palmer moderated while the judging panel including Tyler Florence, Roland Passot and Philippe Rispoli ultimately chose Kevin as the Tournament of the Pig winner in a close battle.
At the Ultimate Sommelier Smackdown Seminar, a "March-madness" style competition led by master sommeliers, Keith Goldston, Fred Dame, Drew Hendricks, and William Sherer, each Master Sommelier entered his personal selection of four Pinot Noirs from around the world and then "pitched" the audience on why each was the best. Four heats later, the audience ultimately chose Kosta Browne, 2007 Koplen Vineyard Russian River Pinot Noir as the winner and Penner Ash, 2008 Dussin Vineyard Estate, Yamhill-Carlton District, Oregon, as the runner up.
The final Pigs & Pinot five-course gala dinner was held at Hotel Healdsburg's Dry Creek Kitchen. As a collaborative offering among the master chefs, each different course featured a signature creation from Palmer or one of his guest chefs, paired with limited-production pinot noirs from wineries Papapietro Perry (Pinot Cup 2009 winner), Paul Hobbs, Kosta Browne, Soter Vineyards and Domaine de L'Arlot. The camaraderie was just as strong in the kitchen as it was in the dining room, with each chef introducing his own course alongside his paired winemaker.
All proceeds from Pigs & Pinot benefited Share Our Strength (Strength.org) and local Healdsburg education including Healdsburg Eduction Fun, The Healdsburg School and St. John School. Pigs & Pinot is sponsored, in part, by Visa Signature.
Photos slideshows available here: /News/?ArticleId=279
For more detailed event information, please visit www.pigsandpinot.com
Available by request:
- Gala dinner menu and wine pairings
- Dishes and wines served during Taste
- Recipes from Piggyback seminar
- Bios of participating chefs and winemakers
- Complete weekend photography
- Notable guests
About Charlie Palmer
Hospitality Entrepreneur and Chef Charlie Palmer has received critical acclaim for his signature "Progressive American" cooking, a style built on rambunctious, intense flavors and unexpected combinations with an infusion of classical French cuisine. In 1988, he made a landmark commitment to creating dishes featuring regional American ingredients at his sublime Aureole, located in a brownstone off Manhattan's Madison Avenue, and over the years has established an impressive roster of restaurants across the country, from New York and Washington, D.C. to Las Vegas, Reno and Sonoma. A frequent guest on NBC's Today Show, Palmer is also the author of four cookbooks, Great American Food (Random House/1996), Charlie Palmer's Casual Cooking (Harper Collins/2001), The Art of Aureole, (Ten Speed Press/2002), and Charlie Palmer's Practical Guide to the New American Kitchen (Melcher Media/2006).
About Share Our Strength®
Share Our Strength® is the leading national organization working to make sure no kid in America grows up hungry. By weaving together a net of community groups, activists and food programs, Share Our Strength catches children at risk of hunger and ensures they have nutritious food where they live, learn and play. Working closely with the culinary industry, Share Our Strength creates engaging, pioneering programs like Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation®, the nation's premier culinary benefit; Share Our Strength's Great American Bake Sale®, a national grassroots effort; Share Our Strength's A Tasteful Pursuit®, a touring dinner series; Share Our Strength's Great American Dine Out ®, a week-long program involving thousands of restaurants nationwide; and Share Our Strength's Operation Frontline®, a cooking-based nutrition education program. Visit Strength.org and learn more about our goal of ending childhood hunger in America by 2015.
About Visa Signature
Visa Signature is a premium consumer payment card offering cardholders a range of benefits that provide special access and save time and money. Visa Signature is the preferred card for Pigs & Pinot. In addition to points, miles, cash back or other premium rewards offered by Visa Signature partners, Visa Signature cardholders enjoy perks such as 24/7 complimentary concierge services and exclusive offers for fine wine and food, travel, and sports and entertainment events.
Ceci De La Montanya
Charlie Palmer Group
Glodow Nead Communications