Breakfast/ Dinner

Pigs & Pinot Gala Dinner

Wow. That’s all I can say right now. There’s a really good chance I won’t be eating pork again for awhile (a few days? haha just kidding) but last night was SO amazing! Vegetarians beware; this post might horrify you.

I felt so incredibly honored to go as Kevin’s guest to the annual Pigs & Pinot Gala Dinner. I mean, my life is not normally this cool. I know it might seem like it is but I don’t usually hang out with celebrity chefs and eat my body weight in pork belly. But I’ll say this—all the chefs ( and yes, I met Tyler Florence and he’s such a sweetheart!) are SO nice and down to earth. Really, really, really nice guys. Thank you to everyone for letting me be a part of such a special evening!


And now, on to the food. We started with some bubbly—

And then the fun began. And by fun, I mean a 3 1/2 hour 5 course dinner. Oh yeahhhhhhh
First course:
Yes, I ate pig’s feet and they were delicious. SO rich, however. I only had a few bites because I wanted to save room. The lentils were great under the meat and there were huge chunks of lobster (my favorite part!).
Second course:
Tyler’s scallops! A Charleston boy after my own heart. Love, love, love scallops. πŸ™‚
Two Pinot Noirs were poured with each course. I swear, the only thing that kept me coherent was the fact that I drank about nine glasses of water. Seriously, the servers kept having to come back over and refill my glass because I was chugging. And, I only had a few sips of each wine. You have to play it smart when you taste 15….;)
Third course was Kevin’s!


He made sturgeon with collards and a cornbread puree (the cornbread is his granny’s recipe!). I <3 my collard greens!
Fourth course:
Bryan made squab! Squab is pigeon, btw. This tasted like no bird I’ve ever tasted, fo’ sho. πŸ˜‰ Deliciously rich. I loved getting to hang out with Bryan and his wife, Jennifer, this weekend. They are such fun and down to earth people!
Fifth and final course (the grand finale!):
Charlie Palmer and Dustin, his chef de cuisine at Dry Creek, made a plate of meat heaven. It was absolutely phenomenal but at this point I was a little meated out. That’s a piece of tempura arugula on the side…yum, yum green things!
After dinner was over we moved the party to the Cyrus bar, where the food kept coming. I really couldn’t fit anything more in my stomach but enjoyed this lovely “Blushing Geisha” cocktail. And a little caviar…..


Okay, clearly I close my eyes when I enjoy good things. Bahahahahaahaha
And I also enjoy being the only girl! Somebody’s gotta keep these boys in line.
Hardy, what is your hand doing??!
I didn’t get home until……1? Good times. Surprisingly the thing that hurts the most this morning are my QUADS from going up and down all those hills yesterday! Oh wait, did I run a race yesterday, too?! What is going on???! I swear, its all the water last night that saved my life. And the fact that I only took a few sips (and bites!) with each course. Living here has really taught me to pace myself.

I was DYING for a green monster this morning and almost cried when I opened my fridge and saw no more spinach. Second best was pb& j and grapefruit.
I’m going to a power yoga this morning to detox a little. I need more veggies to juice, too!
Happy Sunday!

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  • Katie P
    March 21, 2010 at 8:06 am

    this looks incredible! again, im so jealous you get to hang with red beard! looks like it was a once in a lifetime kinda night!

  • Jennie {in Wonderland}
    March 21, 2010 at 8:11 am

    While I will say that none of the food looks appealing to me – I’m definitely a confirmed vegetarian – your eye makeup looks DIVINE!

  • Danielle (Coffee Run)
    March 21, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Your life DOES seem that cool though! Glad you enjoyed the event- everything looks beautiful πŸ™‚

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    March 21, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Wow!! Looks like an incredible time. I am SO jealous!!!!

  • Jenny
    March 21, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Amazing pictures, amazing food and you look BEAUTIFUL!!! I’m still in Top Chef celeb shock though;)

  • BethT
    March 21, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Papapietro Perry is my ALL TIME FAVORITE pinot. Hope you enjoyed it.

  • Deirdre
    March 21, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Wow looks like an amazing night! The food looked fabulous and you were so smart to drink all that water. I loved Kevin on Top Chef and its always great to see in your posts what a great guy he is. You are so lucky to have such amazing chefs for friends.

  • Karla
    March 21, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Amazing! Can I please come live with you?? By the way, you look stunning!

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs
    March 21, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Oh my gosh – I don’t eat pork, but that food sounds/looks AMAZING!! Crikey, you lucky woman! I probably would eat pork for the night if it was done like that πŸ˜›
    Glad you had fun!

  • Mara @ What's For Dinner?
    March 21, 2010 at 8:26 am

    im so beyond envious right now…. what an amazing time!!

  • Katherine
    March 21, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Wow Jenna, that looks incredible! It’s refreshing to see you enjoy life’s pleasures of food and good company!

  • Carrie (Love Healthy Living)
    March 21, 2010 at 8:28 am

    What a great experience, looks like you had a blast. Love your dress, BTW.

  • Ameena
    March 21, 2010 at 8:32 am

    What an awesome evening, how lucky are you? I don’t eat pork but the presentation of all the dishes is just stunning. Presentation is most of the fun!!

  • Heather
    March 21, 2010 at 8:35 am

    you look fabulous!!!!!

  • Molly
    March 21, 2010 at 8:35 am

    That is beyond awesome. You are so lucky to have such great networking. Tyler F… omgosh obsessed!

  • Caroline (Ribbons, Roads, and Raspberries)
    March 21, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Wow, I’m not sure I could have eaten so much meat..the squaw sounds really intriguing, though….not something you see every day in the supermarket. Grapefruit always makes me feel really clean after eating rich food.

  • eatmovelove
    March 21, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Wow – sounds and looks delicious!! Love going out and trying new things!…this pork is far more elegant than pigs in a blanket though haha πŸ™‚

  • Stacey
    March 21, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Wow, looks like an awesome night. You are going to need to detox this week from all the yummy food from the weekend. But everything in moderation.

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat)
    March 21, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Your life is a dream!! I’m glad you enjoyed every sip and taste with no hesitations! You look gorgeous and so does your hair.

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    March 21, 2010 at 8:41 am

    OMG, am laughing so hard can’t stop. Aren’t pigeons ‘flying rats’? You are BRAVE, sister woman. What a FAB-U-LOUS time! Tyler, le sigh. Black trench=warming up for France. Can’t say The Golden State–hasn’t been that for you. What a fun night, tho can totally understand the Green Monster chaser after all of that! My head was still spinning re the firemen-donuts-Bloody Mary’s!

  • Lauren
    March 21, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Looks like a blast. The food looks to die for! Glad you had such a fun night!

  • Sue
    March 21, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Do you mean “squab” as opposed to squaw?

  • Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place
    March 21, 2010 at 8:52 am

    OMG i just realized your friend is from top chef! LOVE HIM!!! tell him he’s awesome πŸ™‚ loved him on the show

  • Crunchy Granola Gal
    March 21, 2010 at 8:56 am

    wow! what an amazing dinner! totally impressed over here… and i think the pb&j is a perfect post-fancy-food-feast meal – that’s all i ever crave after events like that!

  • Samantha J
    March 21, 2010 at 9:03 am

    WOW! That looks like an amazing experience! I’m so jealous! Great company, great food, and great wine. What could be better?

  • Leah
    March 21, 2010 at 9:14 am

    What a fun filled night you had girl! Amazing friends, food & drinks – what more could you ask for πŸ™‚

  • christie, honoring health
    March 21, 2010 at 9:16 am

    What an amazing time! Everything looks delish and you look so pretty all made up!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    March 21, 2010 at 9:17 am

    You look like you enjoyed it all. How fun to hang out with big name chefs and taste their amazing food. Thank you for letting us live vicariously through you.

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun)
    March 21, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Pigeon and pig’s feet?! You are one adventurous eater. I must say, as unappealing as those two dishes sound…the pictures look pretty enticing. You look absolutely lovely all dolled up! Looks like it was a decadent, extravagant night of eats. Enjoy your day of detox!

  • Kelly
    March 21, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Wow, what a crazy/exciting night! I lover Tyler Florence!

  • Megan
    March 21, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I am so jealous that you got to meet Tyler Florence. He is one of my favorite chefs.

  • Midgetkeeper
    March 21, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Wow, looks like an amazing night. Everything looks like it was to die for.

  • Amy
    March 21, 2010 at 10:14 am

    So jealous of your meal, even though I don’t actually eat pork. I am a huge Top Chef fan and would love to be at any dinner with the chefs from that show!!

  • Adam
    March 21, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Nice dress! Very colorful πŸ™‚

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    March 21, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Wow, I am so jealous over here you don’t even know. What a great experience! All the food looks to die for, incredible! And glad to hear all the chefs were sweet, they tend to have a reputation for being much less than that πŸ˜‰

    You looked beautiful, by the way!


  • Laura Georgina
    March 21, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I am so glad that you so unabashedly love pork! I almost licked the computer at a few of those pics–pork is what ended my three-year vegetarian run back in the day….

  • Allie
    March 21, 2010 at 10:35 am

    that wow, that food looked absolutely fantastic. and you looked fabulous!! i have had such a crush on tyler florence forever- i would have nearly died if i got to meet him!!! sigh- lucky girl!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    March 21, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Wow girl… that is one INTENSE dinner! But sounds delicious! And I am INCREDIBLY jealous of the fact that you met Tyler Florence!!!! He is pretty much my all time favorite chef (and not because he’s from the area that I live in…)

  • Angharad (Eating for England)
    March 21, 2010 at 11:06 am

    What an amazing night of…MEAT! Phenomenal. I went out to celebrate my birthday last night and also devoured scallops and a lot of meat! Hahahah. Good food simply cannot be beat!

  • Kait
    March 21, 2010 at 11:18 am

    that looks like an incredible event! All the food looks insanely delicious, I’m glad you had a great time!

  • Lindsay Perrone (goodiesgalore)
    March 21, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I had no clue that people even ate pigeon. Aren’t they dirty little creatures? You are more adventurous than I, my friend.

  • tonjatoi
    March 21, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Looks like such a fun night. I love your blog – thank you for being so dedicated. Job well done on the run and thanks for posting your playlist – always looking for suggestions.

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner
    March 21, 2010 at 11:26 am

    What an amazing night!! Everything looks so delicious πŸ˜‰

  • The PFB @ Paris Food Blog
    March 21, 2010 at 11:36 am

    all looks delicious……la grande bouffe, indeed!

    Γ  bientΓ΄t
    the pfb

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat)
    March 21, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    You’re doing what we all should do: figure out what are dreams are and go after them. That’s what I try to do by traveling and writing, hoping that somehow I’ll find a way to turn that into a career and not just live job-to-job.

  • kate
    March 21, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    hanging out with half of the top chef cast?! and a food network star?! sounds like you had a blast!

  • Lo-Jo
    March 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Yummmmm…all that food looks amazing!

    A question for some of the commentors (am I allowed to ask a question to others in your comments?): I noticed some of you say you “don’t eat pork.” I know there are cultural/religious reasons, and then there are vegetarians who also don’t eat it (obviously). But is there some other reason? I hear a lot of people say they don’t eat red meat or pork. Why, if not for the reasons mentioned above?

  • Lo-Jo
    March 21, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Yummmmm…all that food looks amazing!

    A question for some of the commentors (am I allowed to ask a question to others in your comments?): I noticed some of you say you “don’t eat pork.” I know there are cultural/religious reasons, and then there are vegetarians who also don’t eat it (obviously). But is there some other reason? I hear a lot of people say they don’t eat red meat or pork. Why, if not for the reasons mentioned above?

  • Kalli@fitandfortysomething
    March 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Wow! What an honor to have been surrounded by such talented people. You are really having such great experiences:)

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    March 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    oh. my. goodness.
    That evening looks AMAZING!!!!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    March 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    oh. my. goodness.
    That evening looks AMAZING!!!!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    March 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    HOLY YUM! even if you don’t live like that very often it’s such a cool experience! you know what i’m excited for? for when your book goes HUGE and we all get to watch you on the book tour πŸ™‚ Should be fun times ahead!

  • Ellen
    March 21, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    what a fabulous evening! i love those type of “experience” meals. it’s not about just eating, it’s about the experience. tasting new foods, expanding the way you think about a particular dish, a meal that takes you on a journey. plus, what a great way to spend some time with friends.

    a lot of meat, sure, but not anything that a some veggies can’t fix.

  • gina (fitnessista)
    March 21, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    so when does the jenna reality show come out?? for reals πŸ™‚ your life is so exciting!
    kinda weird, but i love caviar πŸ™‚ looks like an amazing night <3

  • Paige@ RunningAroundNormal
    March 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Gah! What a fabo weekend. So decadent!

  • Karla
    March 21, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Wow! That sounds incredible!!! Lucky you!!

  • Gabriela
    March 21, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Hahahaha – lovely pics, girl!
    You look amazing as a brunette πŸ˜€
    Have a great week!
    Brazilian XOXOΒ΄s,

  • Gabriela
    March 21, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Hahahaha – lovely pics, girl!
    You look amazing as a brunette πŸ˜€
    Have a great week!
    Brazilian XOXOΒ΄s,

  • Bela
    March 21, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    OMG what a fantastic looking evening!

  • Gina
    March 21, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Jenna – great sitting next to you at dinner last night – the pictures came out very well! Tim and I will need a holiday from pork after this weekend, too. Best of luck with all your writing.

  • Julia
    March 21, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    What am amazing night! Thanks for sharing with us.

  • nadine
    March 21, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    amazing night! I think I remember that Kevin was married during top chef, but his wife doesn’t seem to come to Napa for the festivities. Is she still in the picture?

  • Picnics and Peonies
    March 21, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    WOW! What an incredible night! Good for you for being the only girl; I love it!
    I had salt prawns and ceasars for dinner. Also yummy.
    PS You look gorgeous in those photos! Loving the hair color!

  • melissa
    March 21, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Jenna you are so pretty! I love your dress! What an amazing night – thanks for the recap!!

  • Ashley
    March 21, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    So yes, Bo and I are definitely have reservations at Woodfire Grill the night of May 8th as this is the next time we’re in Atlanta. SOO excited!! You’ll have to ask him what he recommends. πŸ™‚

  • Melissa
    March 21, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    All that food looks AMAZING. It looks like you had a great time! Also, great job on the race. 28 minutes is a great time!

  • Leah
    March 21, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Wow, all that food looks so amazing!!

  • Meghan@traveleatlove
    March 22, 2010 at 8:43 am

    I met Kevin while walking through Healdsburg on Saturday. Glad you had such an amazing evening! Very cute spring jacket as well! πŸ™‚

  • Debbie
    March 22, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Very envious here in Atlanta!! Tyler Florence? Nice!! πŸ™‚ My husband just made Tyler’s Ultimate Pizza last night and, in a word….YUMMY! We are huge fans, and everything we’ve made from his show is delicious! And he’s so cute! πŸ˜‰

  • Robyn
    March 22, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I love Kevin and all those chefs!! And that food looked amazing.

  • Catherine
    March 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    So so jealous!!! Brian & Kevin from Top Chef + Tyler Florence?? Crazy man…

  • Ruth
    March 22, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Wow Jenna, looks like you had a grand ‘ol time! I was catching up on some blogging and found this article that talks about the Pigs & Pino Gala Dinner, and there’s even a few more pics of Kevin – check it out

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    March 23, 2010 at 8:54 am

    i like to think ill try anything but pigs foot might cross the line for me! you’re very brave jenna :). the food looks outstanding. so awesome that you got to go along!

  • maura
    March 24, 2010 at 4:57 am

    i recently saw a commercial for top chef masters that is starting soon so when you posted about kevin i just had to comment. is anyone else as excited as me that top chef is returning from its hiatus?! woohoo