By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Oct 31, 2023 at 1:01 PM

There are still a few days to get your tickets to the 20th Annual Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation Food & Wine, an event that not only commemorates two decades but supports the Foundation’s ongoing mission to fight cancer in honor of NFL Coach Vince Lombardi.

The two-evening event kicks off on Friday, Nov. 3 with a Tasting Experience at The Pfister Hotel, 424 W. Wisconsin Ave., and continues on Saturday, Nov. 4 with a very special Celebrity Chef & Wine Dinner at the Wisconsin Club City Club, 900 W. Wisconsin Ave.

To celebrate the 20-year milestone, the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation and Cousins Subs created a cookbook with 20 recipes from past participants of the Celebrity Chef & Wine Dinner. Every attendee of the Tasting Experience on Nov. 3 will receive a digital copy of the “Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation Food & Wine Recipe Collection”, and Celebrity Chef & Wine Dinner attendees will receive a printed edition of the book at the dinner on Nov. 4.  

Tasting EventX

The Tasting Experience

This year’s Tasting Experience will take place Nov. 3 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the seventh floor of The Pfister Hotel. It will feature food and beverage tastings from restaurants, wineries and breweries from Milwaukee and across the country.

The evening will also include food and wine-themed entertainment, fundraising games and photo ops.  Tickets, which are available for purchase online, are $125 per person

Celebrity Chef & Wine Dinner

This year’s Celebrity Chef & Wine Dinner will take place on Saturday, Nov. 4 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Wisconsin Club City Club.

For the first time in the event’s 20-year history, the dinner will feature not one, but two, nationally recognized chefs: Patrick O’Halloran and Luke Zahm, who have collaborated to create a very special dinner using locally sourced ingredients and regional Italian recipes to pay homage to the Lombardi family’s Italian heritage. 

O’Halloran is a former partner and executive chef of Lombardino’s Restaurant in Madison who currently is executive chef, partner and chief spice curator for The Deliciouser in Madison. Zahm is the owner of The Driftless Cafe in Viroqua, a 2017 James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef Midwest and host of the Emmy Award-winning television show, “Wisconsin Foodie.”

Accompanying the two chefs are vintner Cynthia Lohr, co-owner and chief brand officer of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines and Sartori Master Cheesemaker Pam Hodgson.

“When people hear the name Vince Lombardi they immediately think of American football, but what is often overlooked is the fact that he was the son of Italian immigrants,” said O’Halloran. “In honor of the Lombardi family, this menu is a celebration of the foods of Southern Italy.” 

In turn, the menu for the evening will include:

Passed Hors D’Oeuvres
Beef Tenderloin Canape, Charred Autumn Vegetable Baba and Petite Soup Shooter
J. Lohr F&G Vineyard Pinot Blanc 2022 
J. Lohr Pure Paso Proprietary Red Blend 2020 


White Bean and Escarole Soup
J. Lohr F&G Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2022 

Autumn Panzanella Salad
J. Lohr Fog’s Reach Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021 

Red Lake Nation Walleye al Cartoccio
J. Lohr October Night Chardonnay 2022 

Neapolitan Ragù
J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 

Bourbon Spiked Budino
J. Lohr Late Harvest White Riesling 2021 

During the very special dinner, Lohr, Hodgson, O’Halloran and Zahm will also share insights into their respective crafts along with the reasons why funding a cure for cancer is so important to them.  

Tickets for the dinner are $300 per person and available for purchase online, with table pricing and sponsorships available.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.