If watching Iron Chef on TV just isn't cutting it, consider heading to Healdsburg to catch some real live culinary action. In the adrenaline-packed Tournament of the Pig, two teams of high-profile chefs are given a whole pig and two hours to create two distinct dishes using ingredients found in the kitchen at Dry Creek Restaurant. In the Ultimate Pinot Smackdown, four master sommeliers will go head-to-head pitching their four favorite Pinot Noirs to a lucky audience who will get to taste the picks and then decide on a winner.
These events and more are part of Charlie Palmer's eighth annual celebration of Pigs and Pinot at the Hotel Healdsburg on March 22–23. Featured chefs include Elizabeth Falkner, Dean Fearing, Craig Stoll and Iron Chef Jose Garces and winemakers from De Loach, Martinelli and Sea Smoke (among others), whose creations and libations will be featured in a five-course gala dinner on Saturday evening.
Comedian and actor Mario Cantone (Anthony from Sex and the City, pictured) hosts the pig tournament, which, like all of the events, will likely sell out quickly (tickets go on sale Thursday, Jan. 10). All proceeds (yopping $110,000 last year!) benefit local charities, as well as Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit devoted to ending childhood hunger.