Culinary Stars Abound at Auction Napa Valley 2012

Auction Napa Valley, the American Wine Classic charity fundraiser hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) and taking place this year from May 31-June 3, has always focused on food nearly as much as on wine, showcasing the cuisine of top chefs from throughout Napa Valley and around the country.

This year, the NVV and the 2012 Honorary Chair, the Chappellet Family of Chappellet Vineyard and Winery, are pleased to announce an all-star culinary lineup featuring Emeril Lagasse, appearing at Auction Napa Valley for the first time.

Chef Lagasse is widely known as the chef/proprietor of 13 restaurants (three in New Orleans), author of more than a dozen best-selling cookbooks, and inimitable TV personality. His signature cuisine–a creative take on Creole cooking–will bring festive flavor to Saturday, June 2’s dinner under the stars that immediately follows the Live Auction. In the usual Auction Napa Valley custom, vintners will provide dozens of bottles of their own legendary wines to accompany the expertly crafted dinner, served at elegant tables surrounding the dance floor. Once his cooking duties of chopping and sautéing are complete, Emeril has promised to cut a rug with the vintners and bidders.

Here’s a sneak peek at Emeril’s Auction Napa Valley 2012 dinner menu:

Pacific Salmon Crudo
Citrus, Radish, Micro Fennel, Vanilla Bean, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Roasted Colorado Lamb Rack
Black Truffle, Guanciale, Field Peas, Shallot, Potato Puree

Fresh Strawberry Trifle
Lemon Curd, Pound Cake, Mint Syrup

Napa Valley’s own Ad Hoc Restaurant, represented by Thomas Keller‘s Chef de Cuisine Dave Cruz, and showcasing the American comfort food of Chef Keller’s childhood, will prepare a picnic-style lunch on Meadowood’s lawn right before the Live Auction, as bidders and vintners gear up for a festive afternoon to benefit local Napa Valley charities. Drawing on recipes similar to those that appear in the award-winning Ad Hoc at Home cookbook (Artisan, 2009) as well as from the rotating menus from the Yountville restaurant, the lunch will feature its famous Fried Chicken and Cornbread, plus seasonal sides.

An image from Thomas Keller's book "Ad Hoc at Home" published under Artisan Books All Rights Reserved 2009 © Deborah Jones Photography

More Culinary Greats on Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1
As if the Auction Napa Valley 2012 culinary sky wasn’t already shining bright, a brigade of other top chefs will be serving their favorite wine-friendly dishes throughout the weekend:

At Vintner-Hosted Parties up and down the Valley on the evenings of Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1, scores of the region’s chefs–from San Francisco’s Michael Tusk (Quince, Cotogna) to Napa Valley’s legendary Cindy Pawlcyn (Mustards Grill, Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, Brassica) to Meadowood’s Three-Michelin-Star Chef Christopher Kostow, to name but a few–will prepare intimate meals to accompany great Napa Valley wines.

During the Friday Barrel & E-Auctions Day on June 1, which draws nearly 2,000 attendees including bidders, vintners and media from across the US, as well as Japan, China, Hong Kong, Canada and the UK, local chefs will serve guests signature small bites as part of a walk-around tasting featuring hundreds of yet-to-be-released Napa Valley wines. This year’s Barrel and E-Auctions Day will be held for the first time at Jarvis Winery, located near the town of Napa.

Notable restaurants serving on Friday include: Auberge du Soleil, etoile at Domaine Chandon, Farmstead Restaurant, Fish Story Napa River, Morimoto Napa, PRESS and many more.

A very limited number of Full Passport tickets are still available at $2500 per person. Three-day packages and a la carte tickets to Friday’s Barrel and E-Auctioni are sold out.

Register to attend here