Hall Wines Cabernet Cookoff
Held at the rustic-meets-modern Hall Wines estate in St. Helena, this enjoyable outing was a fun time for locals, wine club members, and out-of-town visitors that benefited regional Northern California charities.
What is the Hall Cabernet Cookoff?
The Hall Cabernet Cookoff pairs 12 regional chefs with Northern California charities in Napa Valley and the Bay Area, each competing for the vote of 4 guest judges and the general public, with the mission to raise funds for the winning charities.
Celebrity Guest Judges
Adding to the excitement of the afternoon competition were the special guest judges: Duff Goldman (Celebrity Chef on the Food Network), Virginie Boone (Wine Critic from Wine Enthusiast), Ken Frank (Michelin-rated Chef of La Toque), and Natalie Coughlin (12-time Olympic Medalist).
Cabernet Cookoff Chef Teams & Charities
The 12 chef teams and charities were:
- Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ – Napa Humane
- Ca’ Momi – Do It For The Love
- The Patriot – Food Literacy Center
- Shakewell – Napa Little League
- Brix – Soroptimist International of Vallejo
- Winery Chefs – Cope Family Center
- The Grill at Meadowood – Community Resources for Children of Napa Valley
- InterContinental San Francisco – Grace Cathedral Church San Francisco
- Kara’s Cupcakes – Napa Valley Vine Trail
- One Market Restaurant – Collabria Care
- Paula LeDuc Fine Catering – St. Helena Hospital Foundation
- Sift Dessert Bar – Queen of the Valley: Cancer Health
- Goose & Gander – Hands Across The Valley
- Harris Ranch – CANV Food Bank
From hearty hanger steak and duck risotto to pulled pork sliders and Hall Wines Cabernet Sauvignon infused Karamel Corn, this sumptuous feast made for a delightful Spring day in the vineyards.
The variety of flavorful and unique gourmet dishes included:
- Pulled Pork Slider, chow-chow pickled relish, pimento cheese spread, & Alabama BBQ sauce from Bounty Hunter Smokin’ BBQ
- Surf & Turf urfa pepper braised veal cheeks, shrimp grits, and sour cherry veal jus from Paula LeDuc Fine Catering
- Cowboy Coffee Marinated Angus Hanger Steak, popcorn shoot infused butter, Cabernet and vaquero bean chili, & Seascape cheese from Harris Ranch
- Steak Frites charred hanger steak, crispy potato rosti, salsa verde, toy box tomatoes, pickled mushrooms, and aged balsamic from The Patriot
- “The OG” Cookie – a twist on the classic oreo cookie – from Sift
- Snake River Farm Flank Steak rice noodle, tamari, and almond from The Grill at Meadowood
- Sonoma Duck Terrine, black truffle praline tart and berry marmalade from Brix
- Braised Oxtail Asada, picked cucumber, avocado puree, queso fresco, chipotle aioli and bao bun from InterContinental Mark Hopkins
- 2013 HALL Coeur Cabernet Sauvignon infused Karamel Corn from Kara’s Cupcakes
- Bresaola with flageolet beans, charred squash, fennel & mint from Goose & Gander
- Stinco di Agnello al Vino Rosso from Ca’ Momi
- Balsamic Braised Lamb Belly, with French lentils, lamb bacon and garlic crostini from Winery Chefs Napa Valley
- Liberty Farms Duck Risotto, smoked gizzards, peas, and crispy duck skin from One Market Restaurant
- Ancho Chili-Chocolate Braised Beef Tostada from Shakewell
What makes the atmosphere of Hall Wines especially enchanting are the surrounding gardens, dramatic sculptures, and the scenic vineyard views. Quintessential Napa Valley living, this resplendent winery is a must-visit for anyone traveling through wine country.
Now in its 8th year, the Hall Wines Cabernet Cookoff has become one of the most popular social events in Napa Valley. Drawing hundreds of guests from all over California (and beyond), the upbeat and delightful event makes visitors feel welcome at the winery.
One of the Hall Wines Club Members we met, Doug Crossley (of June Intelligent Oven), enthusiastically remarked that “HALL offers so many varietals, that everyone is bound to find something they like here!”. Having joined their wine club, he’s not only impressed with the variety of wines, but also the fun events that are hosted there as well.
In addition to the food and wine competition, guests could also enjoy the Hall Wines setting. From corn-hole games to a playful photo booth, guests could be found around the property taking in the magic of the place. The leisurely Adirondack chairs perched underneath shady umbrellas invited guests to relax in style, while enjoying the live DJ’d music in the background.
Helping to support worthwhile organizations with funds raised at the Cabernet Cookoff, the winning chef & charity teams were cheerily greeted by Kathryn Hall (above), owner of Hall Wines, giving them the over-sized checks.
Cabernet Cookoff Winners
The winners of the 2017 Cabernet Cookoff were:
- People’s Choice Award: Braised Oxtail Bao Bun Taco from InterContinental Mark Hopkins
- Critics Choice Award: Surf & Turf with Braised Veal Cheek and Shrimp Grits from Paula LeDuc Catering
In addition to the sumptuous food and wine, another highlight for event attendees was mixing and mingling with the stylish and congenial crowd. Toasting to the good life, guests reveled in the beauty of the day, making merriment around the winery.
One of the most vivacious guests in attendance was a whimsically-dressed woman spotted head-to-toe in a custom-designed pink polka dot jumpsuit (with over-sized matching hat). Having attended the Hall Wines Cabernet Cookoff year after year, Bay Area-based Belinda Berry and her companion Tom (both shown below), raved about how much they look forward to attending this wonderful event.
It’s easy to say that Berry’s fanciful outfit captured the essence of what the Cabernet Cookoff is all about – a fun time for a great cause. Cheers to that!
To learn about other fun events in California, check out the Special Events section on Inspirations & Celebrations.