Chef Charlie Palmer Announces 8th Annual Pigs and Pinot Chef and Winemaker Lineup

Chef Charlie Palmer will take over Wine Country on Friday, March 22 – Saturday, March 23, 2013, with top food and wine talent by his side for the Eighth Annual Pigs and Pinot Weekend sponsored in part by Visa Signature® ( – the preferred card for Pigs & Pinot.

Held at the award-winning Hotel Healdsburg and its acclaimed restaurant, Dry Creek Kitchen – located in serene Healdsburg where the celebrated appellations of Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Russian River Valley converge – this charitable celebration has become a coveted event amongst pork and wine enthusiasts eager to experience the creations of over 60 wineries and more than 20 chefs who showcase their talents each year.

This year’s participating pork authorities include:

  • Elizabeth Falkner, Chef/Owner Krescendo, Brooklyn
  • Dean Fearing, Chef/Partner Fearing’s Restaurant, Dallas
  • Jose Garces, Chef/Owner Garces Restaurant Group, Food Network Iron Chef
  • Craig Stoll, Chef/Owner Delfina Restaurant Group, San Francisco

And, to guide us on an illuminating red wine experience, our featured pinot pros include:

  • Brian Maloney, De Loach Vineyards
  • Caroline Parent, Domaine A.F. Gros
  • Michael Brown, Kosta Browne
  • Lee Martinelli, Martinelli Winery
  • Victor Gallegos, Sea Smoke

Mario CantoneAnd finally, the weekend wouldn’t be complete without a food-loving, celebrity comedian and actor serving as emcee, judge and keep-us-on-our-toes participant:

  • Mario Cantone, actor and comedian 


The 2013 Pigs & Pinot event presents a stimulating line-up of food and wine seminars, tastings and cook-offs, with all net proceeds benefitting Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America, as well as local Sonoma County scholarships and charities.  The event is supported by sponsors including: Visa Signature, Viking, Encore Events, 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

“As we lead into our eighth year of Pigs & Pinot, I am amazed by the overwhelming support of our professionals, guests and sponsors who eagerly travel from near and far to be a part of this wine and food celebration,” says Chef Palmer. “The fact that enthusiasm continues to grow for this event while raising significant resources for deserving charities is an accomplishment that we are truly proud of.”


Friday, March 22nd

Taste of Pigs & Pinot; 6:30-9pm

Friday evening’s kickoff event is the interactive Taste of Pigs & Pinot where guests navigate throughout Hotel Healdsburg, sampling 60 highly-acclaimed Pinot Noir wines contending for the ultimate prize, the Pinot Cup. These hand-picked wines, hailing from California and beyond, face a distinguished judging panel in a blind tasting and the winner and runner-up of the prestigious Pinot Cup will be revealed at the end of the night. Tastings are served alongside a variety of pork dishes, including homemade sausages, charcuterie, grilled pork, patés and other special creations from Chef Palmer and Dry Creek Kitchen Chef de Cuisine Dustin Valette, guest chefs and local Healdsburg restaurants.

Saturday, March 23rd

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 Charlie Palmer and Mario Cantone, so guests can expect 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. The winning team will be determined by a pork-loving judging panel. And yes, the audience gets to taste, too.

Ultimate Pinot Smack Down; 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Join Master Sommeliers Keith Goldston, Fred Dame, Drew Hendricks, and Michael Jordan for this exciting March Madness inspired wine seminar. Each Master Sommelier enters the room with his personal selection of four Pinot Noirs from around the world and proceeds to “sell” his favorites in this lively head-to-head pitch contest, which includes blind tastings where the audience picks 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: Elizabeth Falkner, Dean Fearing, Jose Garces and Craig Stoll.  Every course will be paired with two limited-production Pinot Noirs from highly acclaimed wineries including De Loach, Domaine A.F Gros, Kosta Browne, Martinelli and Sea Smoke.

Spoonbar’s Swine & Wine Dinner; 7:00 p.m. at h2hotel

Executive Chef Louis Maldonado (a 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Rising Star Chef) will play host to a cadre of some of the Bay Area’s most innovative young toques including David Bazirgan, Fifth Floor’s Executive Chef, John Paul Carmona, former Chef de Cuisine of Manresa and Evan Rich of Rich Table. The evening will begin with an artisanal cocktail from Spoonbar’s ingenious mixologist Daniel “Cappy” Sorentino followed by four distinct courses made from a locally raised hog.  Dinner will be paired with wines from two acclaimed Sonoma County Pinot Noir producers, Cobb Wines and VML.

Pigs & Pinot Late Night is a late evening celebration following the Gala and Spoonbar’s Swine & Wine Dinner with after-dinner drinks and dessert in the Hotel Healdsburg’s fireside lounge.  All Pigs & Pinot celebrants are welcome to attend.


Due to the wonderful attention and support from pork and pinot lovers, tickets to this event quickly sell out. Those interested in attending should frequently visit for updates and new offerings.

Pigs & Pinot is sponsored in part by Visa Signature. Visa Signature accountholders receive 5% off package and a la carte ticket prices, and have the opportunity to purchase tickets during the exclusive Visa Signature pre-sale period, Wednesday, January 9, 2013. Complete details can be found by visiting and

Hotel Accommodations

Hotel Healdsburg is again offering two special guest packages during Pigs & Pinot weekend, as well as a new Platinum Package available only to eight lucky guests. All packages include tickets to certain events, VIP check-in to those events and exclusive access to the Pigs and Pinot Gala.  Visa Signature accountholders receive five percent off all packages.

  • The Platinum Pigs & Pinot Package includes three nights’ accommodations for four couples in four luxurious Hotel Healdsburg suites (Plaza or Courtyard Suites with sitting rooms and plaza or courtyard views); a personal introduction by Chef Palmer to the featured gala chefs and winemakers; a private table at the gala dinner, joined by the featured gala winemaker of their choice; an exclusive take home gift featuring one bottle from each of the featured gala wineries; and VIP check-in to all events at $25,000 plus applicable fees.
  • The Suite Pigs & Pinot Package includes two night accommodations for two in a Hotel Healdsburg Plaza or Courtyard Suite at $2,892 plus applicable fees.
  • The Luxe Pigs & Pinot package price includes two night accommodations for two in a Hotel Healdsburg Deluxe Room at $2,482 plus applicable fees.

h2hotel, Hotel Healdsburg’s sustainably chic sister property just steps from Hotel Healdsburg, is teaming up with Pigs & Pinot this year to provide additional lodging packages for guests including two nights in a standard room, two tickets to Taste, two tickets to Spoonbar’s Swine & Wine Dinner and admission to the Pigs & Pinot Saturday Late Night dessert celebration. Package Price: $1,623 plus applicable fees.

Visa Signature accountholders receive five percent off Hotel Healdsburg and h2hotel lodging package prices as well as a la carte ticket prices.

Ticket Sale Schedule

Tickets will be available at according to the below schedule:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 | NEW Pigs & Pinot Platinum Package Sale ONLY

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 | Exclusive Visa Signature Pre-Sale
Hotel Healdsburg Luxe, Hotel Healdsburg Suite and h2hotel Taste Plus Lodging Packages
a la Carte Taste of Pigs & Pinot, Tournament of the Pig and Ultimate Pinot Smackdown Seminars

Thursday, January 10, 2013 | General Sale
Hotel Healdsburg Luxe, Hotel Healdsburg Ultimate and h2hotel Taste Plus Lodging Packages
a la Carte Taste of Pigs & Pinot, Tournament of the Pig and Ultimate Pinot Smackdown Seminars

A La Carte Tickets
Tickets to the individual events will be available Thursday, January 10, 2013 and can be purchased online at Taste of Pigs & Pinot tickets are $175 and Seminar tickets are $125 each. Pigs & Pinot Late Night is free to all Pigs & Pinot weekend participants.


Hotel Healdsburg and The Spa Hotel Healdsburg are 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).

More information is available at,, and Follow Charlie Palmer on Facebook and on Twitter with the hashtag #pigsandpinot for updates and new offerings.