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The Sonoma County Student Becomes the Master, Wine Country Chefs of Tomorrow

Pure Luxury Transportation is a proud sponsor of Wine Country Chefs of Tomorrow. This special event presented by Sonoma County Lodging Association brings together students and instructors of Sonoma County High Schools Culinary Arts programs and local Chefs resulting in an incredible evening celebrating the talents of each school’s culinary students.

Last night was the 15th Annual event hosted by Vintners Inn in their Event Center. This years theme was, “It’s a Holiday!” Seven Sonoma County High School Culinary Arts programs competed for the top spots for the People’s Choice Award and the Judges’ Choice Award Best Appetizer.

Happy Samplers Fill the Patio at Vintners Inn Event Center

Happy Samplers Fill the Patio at Vintners Inn Event Center

Esteemed judges included Chef Louis Maldonado of Spoonbar and Pizzando who was also a finalist on Bravo TV Top Chef and Top Chef Redemption; Service Arts Inc. president and consultant for Sonoma County’s Certified Tourism Ambassador Program, Eric Weiss; and, Alex Johnson, a former Maria Carrillo Culinary Arts student currently working at Hilton Sonoma Wine Country.

From the Left, Judges Alex Johnson, Eric Weiss, & Chef Louis Maldonado and Guests Tasting Inside Vintners Inn Event Center

From the Left, Judges Alex Johnson, Eric Weiss, & Chef Louis Maldonado and Guests Tasting Inside Vintners Inn Event Center

A wide selection of Silent Auction items were up for the bidding while the people and the judges enjoyed bites celebrating St. Paddy’s Day, Fourth of July, Mardi Gras, Cinco de Mayo, New Year’s Eve, and Veteran’s Day. Silent Auction items included one-night stays at local hotels such as Dry Creek Inn in Healdsburg, Courtyard Marriott Santa Rosa, Bodega Bay Lodge; private tastings and tours are local wineries including J Vineyards & Winery; dinners at Sonoma County restaurants including Bay View Restaurant on the Sonoma Coast; and exclusive packages of beverages from local wine and beer producers such as Roche Winery & Vineyards and Lagunitas Brewing Company.

A Small Sample of the Incredible Items Up for Bid in the Silent Auction

A Small Sample of the Incredible Items Up for Bid in the Silent Auction

Guests were seated for dinner, then welcomed warmly by Sonoma County Lodging Association President, Lowell Johnson. The special guest speaker of the evening was Chef Louis Maldonado who delivered an inspiring message to the student chefs encouraging them to continue to work hard and praising them for their accomplishments so far.

Sonoma Valley High School Students and Instructor Jonathan Beard Teamed with Chef  Dana Jaffe of MacArthur Place in a New Year's Eve Themed Presentation of Smoked Salmon, Seared Tuna on a Crispy Wonton, & Vichyssoise with White Truffle Oil

Sonoma Valley High School Students and Instructor Jonathan Beard Teamed with Chef Dana Jaffe of MacArthur Place in a New Year's Eve Themed Presentation of Smoked Salmon, Seared Tuna on a Crispy Wonton, & Vichyssoise with White Truffle Oil

The judges announced a tie for their Judges’ Choice award followed by cheers for the teams from Healdsburg High School and Windsor High School. The People’s Choice award went to the happy team from Maria Carrillo High School.

El Molino High School Students & Instructor Chris Correa Teamed with Chef Richard Whipple of Sea Ranch Lodge for a Fourth of July Themed Pulled Pork & Homemade Apple Pie with Ice Cream

El Molino High School Students & Instructor Chris Correa Teamed with Chef Richard Whipple of Sea Ranch Lodge for a Fourth of July Themed Pulled Pork & Homemade Apple Pie with Ice Cream

The Live Auction began with the choosing of the winning “Golden Ticket.” The lucky winner is allowed to choose any of the Live Auction items. This years winner choose a private wine tour presented by Pure Luxury Transportation which included chauffeured transportation for a group of four, a visit to Papapietro Perry Winery for Pinot on the Patio, a wine and food pairing at Seghesio Family Vineyards, VIP tour and tasting at Martinelli Vineyards & Winery, wine and cheese pairing at Paradise Ridge Winery, and box lunches from Costeaux French Bakery. Other Live Auction items included an Escape to Geyserville, Glamping in the Wild at Safari West, Sea Ranch Getaway featuring Sea Ranch Lodge, Key West Escape for Two, and more.

Congratulations to all of the students who participated in this special evening and special thanks to our fellow sponsors and to Sonoma County Lodging Association for another wonderful year!

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