Local chefs go head to head in the cook-off

The Paso Robles Children’s Museum’s annual fundraiser, Cioppino & Vino, raised $50,000 on Sunday, Oct. 13. The Museum will use the funds for its Community Partner Program and general operating expenses.

The Paso Robles Children’s Museum’s annual fundraiser, Cioppino & Vino, raised $50,000 on Sunday, Oct. 13. The Museum will use the funds for its Community Partner Program and general operating expenses.

“This was one of our best events to date which was great because it was also our 10th annual,” said Jennifer Smith, Executive Director of the Paso Robles Children’s Museum. “We really appreciate all the restaurants, chefs, and wineries who support us. Because of their generous contributions, our expenses are very low, around $6,000, so it makes for a very good fundraiser. In fact, all of those costs are covered by the corporate sponsors of the event, Martin Resorts, Pacific Premier Bank and Umpqua Bank, they have a huge impact.”

Six chefs and 10 wineries served delicious cioppinos and great wines. The cioppino was tasted by a panel of judges for the Judges’ Award and the chefs also vied for the guests’ votes hoping to win the People’s Choice Award. This year the chef from the Carlton Hotel and a husband-and-wife team took home the top prizes. Chef Kurtis Wright of the Nautical Cowboy at the Carlton won the Judges’ Award and Chefs André and Cristina Averseng of Paso Terra captured the People’s Choice Award.

Chefs André and Cristina were also runners-up in the Judges’ Award category while Chef Kyle Wilson of the Paso Robles Inn’s Steakhouse was runner-up in for the People’s Choice Award.

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“Cioppino & Vino also receives a lot of support from local business via auction item donations and in-kind donations,” Smith said. “Our local community is very generous and we couldn’t have such a successful event without their support. Of course, the guests who attend, bid, and donate are the true heroes of the day.”

Pepper Daniels and Todd Ventura entertained the guests as emcee and auctioneer. Debbie Thomas, owner of Thomas Hill Organics, Lisa Pretty, owner of Pretty Eats and Pretty Media Creations, and Pepper Daniels, of KJUG, donated their time and tasting talents as judges.