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 in 2001 and in 2008 was promoted to his current position. 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.

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Robert C. Fisher, Fisher vineyards

Robert C. Fisher, a second-generation winegrower and General Manager at Fisher Vineyards, literally grew up alongside vines first planted at his family’s vineyards in 1973. After graduating from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Rob worked in San Francisco and New York as a corporate financial advisor. But his desire to evolve the family business for a new generation proved more powerful, leading Rob to return home in 2004. Before assuming his role today, for several years he worked in various capacities throughout the winery and in the vineyards. Now he works alongside his two sisters, Whitney and Cameron, and his parents, Fred and Juelle, who were the visionary and energetic founding pioneers.

 Rob says he keeps in mind his father’s old adage that winegrowers know half of what they think they know, and that the rest is yet to be discovered in the wines from each vineyard, somewhere between the soil, the sun and the seasons


Anthony Mueller, Inglenook Vineyard

Advanced Sommelier, Anthony Mueller, has worked in some of the United States’ top restaurants including, The French Laundry in California, Tribute Restaurant in Michigan and Tarbell’s Restaurant in Arizona. Anthony has dedicated his life to understanding more about the vine and is studying to take the final examinations with the Court of Master Sommeliers, the Institute of Masters of Wine and the Society of Wine Educators. As the Chateau Ambassador at Inglenook in Napa Valley, Anthony was handpicked by the wine maker, Philippe Bascaules, to be part of the wine making team, to assist in crafting the wines of Inglenook. 

Anthony has been a wine judge for major international wine competitions in Seattle, Las Vegas, Phoenix and San Francisco and was featured as the “Sommelier of the Month” in Food & Beverage Magazine. He currently lives in Napa, California with his girlfriend, Susan, who was raised a Packers fan in Kiel, Wisconsin. Anthony lives by his own personal mantra “Good Food, Good Wines, Good People, Good Times.”


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. 

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Daven Claerbout, auctioneer

Daven Claerbout is a Wisconsin Registered Auctioneer and is widely recognized for his auctioning skill and his generosity in helping charitable organizations throughout the Midwest since 1990. He conducts more than 60 auctions annually at fundraising events. 

Daven is a lifelong resident of Oostburg, WI and graduated from Oostburg High School, Hope College in Holland, MI, and the World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, IA. He is Director of Business Development at Dutchland Plastics LLC. in Oostburg. The Dutchland team is backed by A & M Capital Opportunities and is poised for rapid growth through facility expansion and acquisitions.

MENU - Prepared by Executive chef Slade rushing


Crispy Boudin with Horseradish Mustard

Coconut Shrimp Beignets with Pepper Jelly

Truffled Spinach Grilled Cheese

Inglenook Estate, 2016 Sauvignon Blanc

Five-Course Dinner:

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

Schramsberg, 2009 J. Schram 

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

Fisher Mountain Estate Vineyard, 2014 Chardonnay

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

Fisher Vineyards Coach Insignia, 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Inglenook Estate, 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon

Carr Valley Six Year Age Cheddar & Emmi Roth Grand Cru - Shallot Cornbread, Cane Syrup

Praline Bread Pudding - Rye Whiskey Anglaise, Chantilly Cream

Schramsberg, 2014 Crémant Demi-Sec

Menu subject to change without notice.

Schedule of Events

6 PM | Registration & Reception

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.




Event sponsors:


Wendy & Rod Dole

James L. Weese, MD


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