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Kelsey See Canyon and Rio Seco win big at Winemakers’ Cookoff 


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Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards won the coveted judge’s award Saturday at the Paso Robles Rotary Club’s 16th Annual Winemakers Cookoff at the Paso Robles Event Center. The winery’s chef and winemaker Jac Jacobs won with his BBQ Chorizo Meatball Sliders with Cilantro Crema and 5 Alarm Salsa.

The first place People’s Choice Award went to Rio Seco Vineyard’s Hinkle family who served up a culinary creation called When Pigs Fly. They described it as dessert for the bacon and BBQ lover. It was premium smoked applewood bacon bites sizzled on the grill to perfection, and then dipped in dark chocolate fondue and topped with Paso Almond Company almond brittle.

Over 1,100 participants joined in the fun when over 20 winemakers generously donated time, wine, food, staff and culinary expertise to compete and make this fundraiser a success. Unlike most wine events, winemakers compete to see who can craft the tastiest treats for the attendees, rather than on wine alone.

Judges’ Award

1. Kelsey See Canyon – BBQ Chorizo Meatball Sliders
2. Halter Ranch – Pork tenderloin wrapped with bacon and BBQ sauce.
3. BarrelHouse – Deconstructed Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich
Honorable Mention – Pear Valley – “Frenched” lamb rack rubbed

People’s Choice Award

1. Rio Seco – When Pigs Fly…
2. Arroyo Robles – Corned beef sliders with slaw
3. Barrelhouse – Deconstructed Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich
Honorable Mention – Pear Valley – “Frenched” lamb rack rubbed

Professional Award for restaurants and caterers

1. August Ridge with Crush Catering – Beef and pork belly calzone
2. Ancient Peaks with Estrella – Andouille gyro bites
3. Asuncion Ridge with Second Press – Mini lamburgers

Spirit Award for booth presentation

1. Adelaida
2. First Crush
3. Arroyo Robles

Over the past 16 years, the Winemakers’ Cookoff has raised more than $400,000 for local youth scholarships. Last year, the Rotary’s Foundation awarded over $30,000 in high-school senior scholarships. When the final proceeds are tallied, the club will announce this year’s earnings for scholarships.

The title sponsor of the event IQMS pledged $6,000 for local scholarships. Other sponsors included Rabobank, Glenair, Mitchella Winery, Farm Credit West, ReMax Parkside Realty, Vicki Silva – ReMax Parkside Realty, Baker Wine & Grape Analysis, Greater California Financial, Insurica, Heritage Oaks Bank, Western Quartz and Turn-Key Property Management.

Media sponsors included Access Publishing, Hoot ‘n Annie, KPRL, KSBY, New Times SLO, The Paso Robles Press, Paso Robles Magazine, The San Luis Obispo Tribune, Sunset Savor the Central Coast, Discovery Dining, and The Krush.

Photos by Rex Thornhill.



About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.