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Press Release


Culinary Stars Abound at Auction Napa Valley 2012

St Helena, CA--Auction Napa Valley, the American Wine Classic charity fundraiser hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) and taking place this year from May 31-June 3, has always focused on food nearly as much as on wine, showcasing the cuisine of top chefs from throughout Napa Valley and around the country.

This year, the NVV and the 2012 Honorary Chair, the Chappellet Family of Chappellet Vineyard and Winery, are pleased to announce an all-star culinary lineup featuring Emeril Lagasse, appearing at Auction Napa Valley for the first time.

Chef Lagasse is widely known as the chef/proprietor of 13 restaurants (three in New Orleans), author of more than a dozen best-selling cookbooks, and inimitable TV personality. His signature cuisine--a creative take on Creole cooking--will bring festive flavor to Saturday, June 2's dinner under the stars that immediately follows the Live Auction. In the usual Auction Napa Valley custom, vintners will provide dozens of bottles of their own legendary wines to accompany the expertly crafted dinner, served at elegant tables surrounding the dance floor. Once his cooking duties of chopping and sauteing are complete, Emeril has promised to cut a rug with the vintners and bidders.

Here's a sneak peek at Emeril's Auction Napa Valley 2012 dinner menu:

Pacific Salmon Crudo
Citrus, Radish, Micro Fennel, Vanilla Bean, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Roasted Colorado Lamb Rack
Black Truffle, Guanciale, Field Peas, Shallot, Potato Puree

Fresh Strawberry Trifle
Lemon Curd, Pound Cake, Mint Syrup

Napa Valley's own Ad Hoc restaurant, represented by Thomas Keller’s Chef de Cuisine Dave Cruz, and showcasing the American comfort food of Chef Keller's childhood, will prepare a picnic-style lunch on Meadowood's lawn right before the Live Auction, as bidders and vintners gear up for a festive afternoon to benefit local Napa Valley charities. Drawing on recipes similar to those that appear in the award-winning Ad Hoc at Home cookbook (Artisan, 2009) as well as from the rotating menus from the Yountville restaurant, the lunch will feature its famous Fried Chicken and Cornbread, plus seasonal sides.

More Culinary Greats on Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1

As if the Auction Napa Valley 2012 culinary sky wasn't already shining bright, a brigade of other top chefs will be serving their favorite wine-friendly dishes throughout the weekend:

At vintner-hosted parties up and down the Valley on the evenings of Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1, scores of the region's chefs--from San Francisco's Michael Tusk (Quince, Cotogna) to Napa Valley's legendary Cindy Pawlcyn (Mustards Grill, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, Brassica) to Meadowood's Three-Michelin-Star Chef Christopher Kostow, to name but a few--will prepare intimate meals to accompany great Napa Valley wines.

During the Friday Barrel & E-Auctions Day on June 1, which draws nearly 2,000 attendees including bidders, vintners and media from across the US, as well as Japan, China, Hong Kong, Canada and the UK, local chefs will serve guests signature small bites as part of a walk-around tasting featuring hundreds of yet-to-be-released Napa Valley wines. This year's Barrel and E-Auctions Day will be held for the first time at Jarvis Winery, located near the town of Napa.

Notable restaurants serving on Friday include: Auberge du Soleil, etoile at Domaine Chandon, Farmstead Restaurant, Fish Story Napa River, Morimoto Napa, PRESS and many more.

A very limited number of Full Passport tickets are still available at $2500 per person. Three-day packages and a la carte tickets to Friday's Barrel and E-Auction are sold out

About Auction Napa Valley
Auction Napa Valley, the Napa Valley Vintners' annual community fundraiser is the most celebrated charity wine auction in the world, having given more than $100 million to health, youth and affordable housing non-profit programs. Founded in 1981, under the vision of Robert and Margrit Mondavi this quintessential showcase of Napa Valley's best wine, food and outstanding hospitality has grown to be a four-day gathering held each year the first weekend in June. Learn more at

About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region. From seven founding members in 1944, today the association represents more than 430 Napa Valley wineries and collectively is a leader in the world-wide wine industry. To learn more about our region and its legendary American wines, visit

Select Auction Napa Valley recipes available upon request.

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Terry Hall
Napa Valley Vintners

Michael Gitter
First Press Public Relations

Click to view the Thursday and Friday private parties
Click to view the ANV 2012 video