Top Chef met Napa Valley on April 27 at the annual Cabernet Cookoff. Host Hall Napa Valley celebrated the 10th year of this charitable event with an all-star cast of Bay Area chefs going glass-to-grill in a food and wine-pairing competition. All ticket proceeds were donated to nonprofit organizations chosen by the winning chef teams.
Thirteen teams were tasked with creating a small dish to pair with Hall’s 2015 Ellie’s Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2019 Hall Cabernet Cookoff attracted local talent from top Napa Valley restaurants, including Press, Acacia House, Harvest Table, and Brix Napa Valley.
Hungry attendees acted as both taste-testers and judges, casting their votes for the pairing they wanted to win the People’s Choice Awards. Natalie Morales, West Coast anchor of NBC’s Today, emceed the festivities, and a panel of celebrity judges—actress and comedian Wendi McLendon-Covey, NBC Bay Area news anchor Raj Mathai, TV personality Shep Rose, Michelin star chef Ken Frank, and Wine Enthusiast magazine critic Virginie Boone—voted for the Judges’ Choice Awards. The four winners were able to donate to a local charity of their choosing; this year the beneficiaries were Collabria Care, Napa Humane Society, Napa Valley Food Bank, and Swords to Plowshares. In total, the 2019 Cabernet Cookoff raised more than $106,000.
"Over the last 10 years, it has been a great joy for us to watch the growth of the Hall Cabernet Cookoff, which began as an idea from the Hall team and has gained popularity year after year," says host and vintner Kathryn Hall. "We are proud of this growth and look forward to continuing to celebrate and raise awareness for our community and its nonprofits, while enjoying great food, wine, and camaraderie in the years ahead. This is always one of our most fun and favorite events of the year."
If you missed this year’s event, the next Cabernet Cookoff will take place April 25, 2020. Find out more at hallwines.com/cabernetcookoff.