Allegrini Palazzo della Torre “Cook-Off For A Cause” 2013

Marilisa Allegrini with the Chefs & Judges

This annual event is where top chefs compete in the creation of a dish that best pairs with Allegrini wine, and the winning Chef gets money donated to their charity. At this event everyone is a winner, all the Chef’s charities receive something, everyone gets to be a food critic and in classic Italian hospitality and style, enjoy delicious food, and no one leaves hungry.

The Cook-Off this year took place at the Surfas Culinary District Test Kitchen in Culver City. It was a wonderful and pain-free parking and check in experience. I was immediately offered decadent eats and a glass of Allegrini wine from their fabulous estate in Tuscany. The guests are able to mix and mingle over some wine, meet the chefs, and learn about the causes. The Allegrini wines and the wonderful food you can smell being prepared, inspire a highly enjoyable atmosphere. Supporting a cause never tasted so good. Marilisa Allegrini was on hand to give the story of the winery and her family, which for me made the wine taste that much more rich and flavorful. I was impressed with the photos of the Renaissance inspired Allegrini estate and winery and can see why it is a tourist destination and receives many accolades.

Chef Tachibe's winning dish

For more information on the Allegrini Winery visit

After the reception, everyone takes their seats and the competition begins. Each Chef introduces themselves and their dish. They explain the dish and why they believe it pairs well with the selected Allegrini wine. The guests, including notable food critics hear from, and then enjoy a wonderful dish from three Chefs. After the last dish the guests fill out a ballot and must pick a first, second and third place winner. The criteria is “Which dish pairs best with the selected wine.” It was a difficult decision for everyone I sat with and myself, as all of them paired well. After some more wine and conversation with new friends, the winner is announced.

This year Allegrini will be making a donation to charities selected by each participating chef. The results are as follows:

1st place: Chef Shigefumi Tachibe/CHAYA Restaurant Group
$3,000.00 donated to Share Our Strength.
“I am honored that my dish was chosen as the favorite among the incredibly talented panel of Los Angeles chefs,” said Chef Tachibe. “It is also a privilege to be able to donate $3000 to the Share Our Strength as part of the award on behalf of Allegrini wine.”

2nd place: Chef Salvatore (Sal) Marino/Il Grano
$2,000.00 donated to St. Vincent Meals on Wheels.

3rd place: Chef Joe Miller/Joe’s Restaurant and Bar Pintxo
$1,000.00 donated to WE Garden.

I very much enjoyed this annual event and highly recommend the Allegrini wine.  I likes its taste, and the different notes brought out with each dish.  After all three meals I felt like I liked the wine even more, than before.  Marilisa Allegrini being on hand to talk about her family’s winery, which was a very nice touch.  Marilisa flew in from Italy and it was interesting to hear the story of her family’s Tuscan Vineyard, and the wine that it makes, with all its own grapes.   I enjoy her story and how she became a part of the Allegrini Winery story.  And then everyone drank wine together.  Marilisa is very passionate about her family’s wine, and I do believe that passion is manifest as good flavor in her family’s wine.   It felt like I this is what it would be like if we were having dinner in Italy, at the estate, with three amazing Chefs on hand, and more wine than any of us can drink.  The estate looks is beautiful in the pictures and attracts visitors from all over the world.  I remember thinking how amazing it would be to visit the vineyard, and Tuscany, and enjoyed its fruits.

I enjoyed the food, from all three chefs.  Each one paired well with the wine in subtle and interesting ways.

The chefs and the Allegrini “Cook-Off for a Cause” charities this year all are well deserving and the benefits of good food, the good that it brings is always a noble cause to support.


About JulianTyler:
Julian Tyler is a screenwriter and media professional from Northern California. A Los Angeles resident for six years, he has worked on several hit films and TV shows, and follows the entertainment industry closely. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, Julian has studied the media industries for many years. When he is not writing, working on films, TV shows, or media projects he is attending the best events in Los Angeles. Julian is proud to be a contributor to Pacific Punch. Follow him on twitter @JulianTyler and the Pacific Punch @ThePacificPunch.


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