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Cook-Off for a Cause – an inspired event

Regular followers of this blog recognize that we like the idea of drinking for a cause. We love it when beer drinkers, breweries, and other members of the craft beer community find ways to support charitable causes. The other day we had the opportunity to attend a wine event featuring great wine paired with great food, and it all was for the benefit of three very worthy causes. We would love to see someone put together a similar event for the beer community.

Allegrini, a historic producer of wines from the northern Italian region of Veneto, came to Seattle to pour its Allegrini Palazzo della Torre at a special event at Seattle’s Osteria La Spiga – Cook-Off for a Cause. The wine was paired with dishes prepared by the executive chefs from three of the Seattle area’s more prominent restaurants, including Osteria La Spiga, Cantinetta Restaurant, and Barolo Restaurant.

Barolo Executive Chef Maurizio Milazzo's winning dish, Polpettine di Coniglio.

It was a competition of sorts, where each of the three pairings were judged by a panel of experts, some local foodies, and two beer geeks (me and Kim). Everyone involved walked away a winner. Each of the participating chefs selected a charity to benefit. Allegrini awarded a total of $8,500 in cash prizes to the three charities. Complete details about the event, the wine, the dishes, and the results are provided in the press release below.

The three chefs with Marilisa Allegrini at Cook-Off for a Cause

The Washington Beer Blog is proud of the way the beer community supports worthy causes. This event planted a seed in our minds. It would be excellent to see one of our more prominent regional breweries step up and do something like this.

Here is the press release:

BAROLO RESTAURANT CHEF WINS COOK-OFF FOR A CAUSE

Allegrini Palazzo della Torre holds chef cooking competition; donates thousands to charities

SEATTLE (Sept. 15, 2011) – This week, three of Seattle’s finest chefs went head-to-head in a competition requiring them to pair Italy’s famous Allegrini Palazzo della Torre wine with a signature dish. The chefs competed in front of an audience and panel of judges at La Spiga Restaurant. The judges, made up of food and wine media, members of the trade and winery executives selected Chef Maurizio Milazzo’s dish of Polpettine De Coniglio Al Vino Rosse (rabbit meatballs, red wine reduction) as the entrée that paired best with Allegrini Palazzo della Torre.

Allegrini is donating money to each chef’s charity, based on their ranking. The results are as follows:

· 1st place: Chef Maurizio Milazzo/Barolo Restaurant, $5000 donated to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which supports diabetes research and research-related education.

· 2nd place: Chef Sabrina Tinsley/La Spiga Restaurant, $2500 donated to One World Now!, which provides underserved high school students access to critical language studies, leadership development and study abroad opportunities.

· 3rd place: Chef Emran Chowdhury/Cantinetta Restaurant $1000 donated to Treehouse, an organization committed to improving the lives of kids living in foster care.

“I am delighted that my dish was chosen as the favorite among such an incredibly talented panel of Seattle chefs, “said Milazzo. “It is also an honor and privilege to be able to donate $5000 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as part of the award on behalf of Allegrini wine. Their work in curing juvenile diabetes is so important, and I’m grateful to help play a part in saving lives.”

Marilisa Allegrini, sixth generation owner of the Allegrini Winery and owner of a cooking school in Italy, served as one of the judges. “It was delightful meeting Seattle’s most talented chefs. The creative ways they paired food with our Palazzo della Torre truly was inspiring,” said Allegrini.

For copies of the recipes please contact Kristin Heilman. ([email protected])

About Allegrini Palazzo della Torre

Allegrini (www.allegrini.it) is a historic producer of wines from the northern Italian region of Veneto that has garnered international acclaim. Marilisa and Franco Allegrini, owners and active in winery management, are benchmark producers of some of the region’s most famous wines including Amarone, Valpolicella and Soave.

Allegrini Palazzo della Torre is created from grapes grown on an estate in Fumane di Valpolicella, just north of Verona in northeastern Italy. The wine is made using an innovative RIPASSO method. 70 percent of the grapes are vinified immediately after harvest. The remaining 30 percent are dried for several months, then added to the fermenting wine. Allegrini Palazzo della Torre is deep ruby red in color, has a wild berry perfume and a flavor of raisins. For more information on the Allegrini Winery, please visit www.allegrini.it.



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