2019 Pigs & Pinot Chef & Winemaker Lineup 

From Friday, March 15 through Saturday, March 16,, Chef Charlie Palmer takes over wine country with top food and wine talent by his side for the 14th Annual Pigs & Pinot weekend, sponsored in part by DCS Appliances by Fisher & Paykel 

Held at the award-winning Hotel Healdsburg and Chef Palmer’s acclaimed restaurant, Dry Creek Kitchen, the annual charitable celebration has become a favorite amongst wine and pork enthusiasts eager to taste the creations from over 60 wineries and more than 20 chefs. Since the event’s inception in 2006, Pigs & Pinot has raised over $1 million dollars for No Kid Hungry and Sonoma County charities and educational groups including but not limited to Share Our Strength, Culinary Institute of America’s Sonoma State Wine Program, Global Student Embassy, Healdsburg Education Foundation, Healdsburg Charter School, Healdsburg Elementary, Analy Bandwagon, North Sonoma County Services, Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County,  Children of Sonoma Vineyard Workers, Sonoma County Farm Bureau, and Down Syndrome Association. 

In addition to Chef Charlie Palmer and Dry Creek Kitchen’s Executive Chef Scott Romano, this year’s participating Gala Chefs are:

  • Dante Boccuzzi, Chef/Owner of the Dante Dining Group
  • Nancy Oakes, Executive Chef/Owner Boulevard
  • Bryan Voltaggio, Chef/Owner VOLT
  • Joe Youkhan, Chef/Partner Fork in Aussie Pie’s, Resident Chef – DCS by Fisher & Paykel

The 2019 Gala Pinot Noir Winemakers are: 

  • Michael Browne, Founder & Proprietor, CIRQ Estate
  • Heidi Von Der Mehden, Winemaker, Merry Edwards
  • Erik Miller, Owner & Winemaker, Kokomo Winery
  • Cleo Pahlmeyer, Proprietor, Wayfarer
  • Camille Thiriet, Winemaker, Maison MC Thiriet

Partnering with Spoonbar’s Executive Chef Matthew D’Ambrosi for Saturday night’s Swine & Wine event is Ryan Fancher, Executive Chef of Hotel San Luis Obispo. And finally, the weekend wouldn’t be complete without the food-loving, celebrity comedian and emcee, Mario Cantone, who presides over Saturday’sTournament of the Pig seminar.

The 2019 Pigs & Pinot event presents an incredible line-up of food and wine seminars, tastings and cook-offs, with all net proceeds benefiting No Kid Hungry’s work to end childhood hunger in America, as well as local scholarships and charities. The event is supported by sponsors including DCS Appliances by Fisher & Paykel®, Encore Events, Fiji Water and Relish Culinary Adventures, as well as participating wineries and restaurants, which help to make this weekend celebration possible. A complete list of our sponsors can be found by visiting www.pigsandpinot.com.

Friday, March 15

Taste of Pigs & Pinot; 6:30-9 p.m. 

Friday evening’s festival kickoff is the lively Taste of Pigs & Pinot where guests sample 60 highly-acclaimed Pinot Noir wines competing in the Pinot Cup competition, both from Sonoma County and around the world. Two Rosé wines will be offered in addition to the lineup of 60 Pinot Noirs treating guests to a “white wine” twist on Pinot Noir. Tastings are served alongside a variety of pork dishes, including homemade sausages, charcuterie, grilled pork, patés and other special creations from Chef Palmer, Dry Creek Kitchen, guest celebrity chefs, and local Healdsburg restaurants including Chalkboard, Spoonbar, and Valette. All pork for Taste of Pigs & Pinot is provided by Niman Ranch.

Saturday, March 16

Tournament of the Pig; 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Pigs & Pinot guest chefs will be divided into two talent-packed teams. This iron-chef style competition will be hosted by the food-loving actor and comedian, Mario Cantone. Prepare yourself for some lively commentary. The two teams will be given a whole pig, which they will use to create two distinct dishes, along with ingredients they can find at Dry Creek Kitchen. Charlie Palmer will jump in to help for this all hands on deck cook-off. A pork-loving judging panel will determine the winning team. And yes, the audience gets to taste, too. Tournament of the Pig will feature a beautiful whole pig, courtesy of Niman Ranch.

Ultimate Pinot Smackdown; 1-3 p.m.

Join Master Sommeliers Gillian Ballance, Fred Dame, Keith Goldston and Michael Jordan for this exciting March-Madness inspired wine seminar. Each Master Sommelier enters the room with four of his favorite Pinot Noirs covering four different regions of the world. Then the “Battle Royale” begins! The Master Sommeliers will have to sell you on their wine choices and dish it out in a head-to-head pitch contest followed by a tasting where you decide the winner. How often do you have four Master Sommeliers selling you on 16 great Pinots and then have a chance to taste them all!? So come and see how Keith “Where is he?” Goldston fares against Fred “is he God or Satan” Dame while Michael “No, not that Michael” Jordan rumbles with Gillian “Full of Treasures" Ballance. This will be a Smackdown to remember; the audience will get to drink award-winning Pinots while watching legendary battles and then crown the winner!

Pigs & Pinot Gala Dinner; 6:30 p.m. 

Saturday evening’s Pigs & Pinot Gala features a sumptuous five-course dinner at Hotel Healdsburg’s Dry Creek Kitchen. As a collaborative offering, each course features a signature creation from Palmer and his guest chefs including Dante Boccuzzi of Dante Dining Group, Nancy Oakes of Boulevard, Bryan Voltaggio of VOLT, Joe Youkhan, Chef/Partner Fork in Aussie Pie’s, Resident Chef, DCS by Fisher & Paykel. All pork for the Gala Dinner provided by Niman Ranch.

Every course will be paired with two limited-production Pinot Noirs from highly acclaimed wineries including CIRQ Estate, Kokomo Winery, Maison MC Thiriet, Merry Edwards and Wayfarer.

Spoonbar’s Swine & Wine Dinner; 7 p.m. at h2hotel 

Saturday evening’s Swine & Wine dinner will begin with a welcome reception on The Rooftop at h2hotel’s new sister hotel, Harmon Guest House. Guests will drink in views of Fitch Mountain, the Sonoma hills and downtown Healdsburg while sipping on a signature Pigs & Pinot inspired cocktail or glass of sparkling wine.

Then guests will head down to Spoonbar as Executive Chef Matthew D’Ambrosi and Ryan Fancher, Executive Chef, Hotel San Luis Obispo prepare a multi-course menu of light and modern dishes highlighting the beauty and simplicity of seasonal produce and pork. The menu will showcase two of Sonoma County’s boutique Pinot Noir Producers: Croix Estate and Freeman Vineyard & Winery. All pork for the Swine & Wine Dinner provided by Niman Ranch.

After dinner, guests are invited to continue the party at Hotel Healdsburg for after-dinner drinks and sweets. Pigs & Pinot Late Night is a late evening celebration following the Gala and Spoonbar’s Swine & Wine Dinner with after-dinner drinks and dessert at Hotel Healdsburg’s Spirit Bar and fireside lounge. All Pigs & Pinot celebrants are welcome to attend.

Hotel Healdsburg is located at 25 Matheson Street at the corner of Healdsburg Avenue on the western edge of the historic Healdsburg Town Square (Phone: 707-431-2800 or toll-free at 800-889-7188). Dry Creek Kitchen is adjacent to the hotel on the Town Square. h2hotel is located just down the street at 219 Healdsburg Avenue (Phone: 707-922-5251).