Milwaukee Athletic Club – Milwaukee, WI

Saturday, November 3 | 6 PM – 10 PM


Food and wine aficionados will enjoy this perfect night as four-time James Beard Finalist Best Chef South, Executive Chef Slade Rushing, prepares a multi-course gourmet dinner for over 200 guests. Each course is expertly paired with wines by Inglenook Winery, Fisher Vineyards and Schramsberg Vineyards, and will also feature artisan cheeses prepared by Carr Valley Cheese Company and Emmi Roth USA. The delectable evening also includes an exclusive auction to raise funds for the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation.

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Slade Rushing, Executive Chef at Brennan's in New Orleans

Brennan's Executive Chef Slade Rushing is steeped in the broad range of southern culinary tradition.  A native of southern Mississippi who grew up dining in the French Quarter on special occasions, he also shot rabbits and robins on the family property, cooking them on the spot with greens from the garden.  Rushing graduated at the top of his culinary program class at Johnson & Wales University, and went on to gain experience in prestigious kitchens in New Orleans, San Francisco, and New York City.  He and his wife have won great critical acclaim for their own restaurants, in New York, on the North Shore, and in New Orleans' Central Business District; their cookbook, Southern Comfort, A New Take on the Recipes We Grew Up With, was a 2013 James Beard Award finalist.  Having come home to roost at the helm of Brennan's, he is proud to be upholding the culinary integrity of one of the Quarter's grand old institutions.  Rushing lovingly interprets traditional New Orleans favorites with a lighter hand, and enhances the Brennan's menu with daily seasonal offerings, all with the highest regard for the fresh and the local. 

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Fred Zammataro, Schramsberg vineyards

Fred Zammataro, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Schramsberg Vineyards, contributes to the team in all aspects of the business – from operating budgets to participating in blending tastings with the winemaking team. He joined the team in 1996 as director of finance & administration, was quickly promoted to CFO the following year, became a part-owner of in 2001 and was later promoted to his current position in 2008. Fred oversees all finance, administration, maintenance and production activities for Schramsberg. He frequently travels across the country conducting winemaker dinners and performing marketing and sales visits with key accounts. Fred is an avid wine collector and sports enthusiast. He, along with his wife Cheryl, currently live within the Napa Valley.


Sid Cook & Bob Koenig, Carr Valley Cheese Company

Sid Cook, owner of Carr Valley Cheese, is a fourth generation Master Cheesemaker and presides over the company’s four plants in south central Wisconsin. His one-of-a-kind American Originals have won more than 560 top awards, both in the U.S. and in international competitions. Bob Koenig's interest in the cheesemaking industry was fueled by his childhood visits to Carr Valley Cheese. He eventually went to work for Carr Valley, and soon after, became a licensed cheesemaker. Today, a big focus for him is employee training and continuous improvement initiatives. In 2016 Bob earned Master certifications in fontina and gouda. 

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Austin Cassaro, Emmi Roth USA

Austin Cassaro is a licensed cheesemaker and production supervisor for Emmi Roth USA. Growing up in Rockford, IL, he aspired to be a police officer or firefighter. Becoming a cheesemaker had never crossed his mind until he began his journey with Emmi Roth in 2011. Austin started as a table tech, climbing up the ranks as an intake operator, then certified pasteurizer operator and finally securing the position as a licensed cheesemaker and production supervisor in 2015. Outside of work, Austin stays busy with his wife and four children; ages 10, 7, 4 and the newest arrival – 4 months. And, of course, his fridge at home is always stocked with cheese. Austin’s top three favorites are Roth® 3 Chile Pepper Gouda, GranQueso® and of course, the award-winning Grand Cru® Surchoix. 

MENU - Prepared by Executive chef Slade rushing


Crispy Boudin with Horseradish Mustard

Coconut Shrimp Beignets with Pepper Jelly

Truffled Spinach Grilled Cheese

Five-Course Dinner:

Blue Crab Salad - Compressed Apples, Jicama, Ginger Mayonnaise, Celery Leaf  

New Orleans BBQ Lobster - Toasted Baguette, Lemon Confit, Creole Spiced Butter

Filet of Beef Stanley - Vadouvan Spice Banana, Horseradish Yogurt, Porcini, Sauce Perigourdine

Carr Valley Six Year Age Cheddar - Shallot Cornbread, Cane Syrup

Praline Bread Pudding - Rye Whiskey Anglaise, Chantilly Cream

Menu subject to change without notice.

Schedule of Events

6 PM | Registration opens (please check in by your last name)

6 PM | Champagne reception begins, Milwaukee Athletic Club Lounge

7 PM | Program and dinner service begins, Milwaukee Athletic Club Grand Ballroom

10 PM | Program and dinner service ends

additional information

Attire | Cocktail

Parking | Valet parking for the Celebrity Chef & Wine Dinner will be available.

All event details are subject to change without notice.


Wendy & Rod Dole

James L. Weese, MD


If you are interested in sponsoring this year’s event, please contact or 262-696-5162.