At the 30th annual Napa Valley Vintners' (NVV) Auction Napa Valley, more than $8.5 million was raised on behalf of nonprofit organizations supporting healthcare, youth services and affordable housing. The four-day event, which was held during the first weekend of June in Napa, Calif., included a live auction, wine tastings and lunch and dinner prepared by 16 of the top U.S. chefs. A total of 2,000 bidders and vintners attended.

(l to r) Chefs Suzanne Goin of Lucques, Los Angeles; Melissa Perello of Frances, San Francisco; Carrie Nahabedian of Naha, Chicago; and Suzanne Tracht of Jar, L.A., prepared dinner after the live auction ended on Saturday, June 5*

Auction Napa Valley, established in 1981, is an annual fundraiser hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners, a nonprofit trade association representing nearly 400 wineries in Napa Valley. To date, Auction Napa Valley has raised $90 million for various nonprofit programs.

*Photo courtesy of Jason Tinacci/
On May 22 before the start of the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago, Land O'Lakes Foodservice hosted a brunch for more than 400 of it customers. The event, held at the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), was put on by Land O'Lakes Foodservice's sales, marketing and culinary teams.

Capitalizing on the street food trend, the brunch was inspired by the theme "Carnival of Cuisine," which included stylish displays to coincide with an array of unique product offerings in an amusement-park atmosphere. Major entrées included Coney Island Pups (recipe, below), Ribeye Roast with Black Garlic Alfredo and Bumper Car Omelets made with Land O'Lakes cheeses. Other on-trend recipes were highlighted, such as Fire-Eating Queso made with Land O'Lakes Extra Melt and Golden Velvet, and Blue Ribbon Desserts prepared using Land O'Lakes butter.

"Our whole intent was to inspire our guests and spur their imaginations with exciting new menu ideas that can be used to differentiate their menus," Land O'Lakes corporate chef Michael O’Donnell (pictured, left) said in a press release.

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Coney Island Pups
Land O'Lakes Foodservice;
wine pairing by Chef Magazine's wine consultant Marlene Rossman

Yield: 60 hot dog pups

12 oz. (2 c.) Sysco Classic cornbread mix
9 oz. buttermilk
2 oz. water
6 good-quality skin-on hot dogs (3/4" diameter)
60 toothpicks, at least 3 1/2" long (standard toothpick is 2 1/2 inches)
Jalapeño Mustard (recipe follows)
Buttery Ketchup (recipe follows)

Method (1) Combine cornbread mix, buttermilk and water. (2) Cut hot dogs into six 1/2" slices. Pat dry. (3) Insert toothpick into the side of each piece of hot dog. Dip into batter; allow excess to drip off. (4) Hold battered hot dog (by the toothpick) in 350ºF oil for 10-15 seconds to set batter. (If corn dog bites are to be frozen, place on a parchment-lined sheet tray at this point. Place in blast freezer until firm.) (5) Release into oil and continue frying for 30-45 seconds until golden brown, turning if necessary. Drain. (If cooking from frozen, fry corn dog pups for 3 minutes.) (6) Serve Coney Island Pups hot with 1-1 1/2 t. Jalapeño Mustard and 1-1 1/2 t. Buttery Ketchup.

Jalapeño Mustard (makes scant 2 c.)
8 oz. yellow mustard
6 T. fresh jalapeño, diced fine
2 t. Cholula sauce
4 oz. Land O'Lakes Butter Sauce Base

Method (1)
Combine mustard, jalapeño and Cholula in a food processor. (2) Add Butter Sauce Base. Process to combine. (3) Heat to 165°F.

Buttery Ketchup (makes 3/4 c.)
4 oz. ketchup
2 oz. Land O'Lakes Butter Sauce Base 2 ounces

Method (1) Mix ketchup and Butter Sauce Base.

Wine pairing: Blackstone Zinfandel 2008 (California)