Sure peanut butter and chocolate go nicely together, but salty, savory pork belly paired with dark-berried pinot noir is much more satisfying. On Friday, March 22, Chef Charlie Palmer will kick off his ninth annual Pigs and Pinot epicurean event, an annual celebration with proceeds to benefit Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” campaign, as well as local Sonoma County scholarships and charities.
“Last year we raised over $130,000. Each year the event, and the demand, grows exponentially,” says Chef Charlie Palmer. “From the chefs and winemakers to the sponsors and volunteers, I am overwhelmed by the support of everyone involved that celebrate the marriage of pork and Pinot Noir.”
The weekend’s series of intimate dining and educational happenings will take place in Healdsburg, 45 minutes north of San Francisco. Chef Charlie Palmer will be joined by Master Sommeliers and more than 20 international celebrity chefs including Amanda Freitag, (Empire Diner), Bryan Voltaggio, (VOLT/RANGE), Frank Crispo (Crispo Restaurant), and Philippe Rispole, (PB Boulangerie Bistro).
Food and wine seminars, tastings, cook-offs and a sumptuous five-course gala dinner will all feature Chef Charlie Palmer’s favorite wine varietal, from over 60 wineries from both Sonoma County and around the world. The tastings are served alongside a wide range of pork dishes including homemade sausages, charcuterie, grilled pork, pates and other special creations.
Selected wines will compete in the Pinot Cup competition, an annual wine competition featuring blind-tasting by a distinguished judging panel that includes Maeve Pesquera, (Fleming’s Steakhouse and Wine Bar), Meridith May (The Tasting Panel Magazine), Michael Jordan (Master Sommelier). On Saturday the popular Tournament of the Pig will divide guest chefs into two teams who will asked to create two distinct dishes from a whole pig and ingredients they can find at Dry Creek Kitchen. Chef Charlie Palmer and comedian Mario Cantone host the action-packed contest.
Ultimate Pinot Smack Down next pits Master Sommeliers Keith Goldston, Fred Dame, Drew Hendricks and Michael Jordan for a March Madness-inspired wine seminar where each brings his personal selection of Pinot Noir and proceeds to “sell” the audience on why it’s the best.
A complete schedule of events as well as ticket sales and hotel packages is available at www.PigsandPinot.com.