Toby James Shumrick collects donations for U.S. troops as he serves beef and shrimp.
PHOTOS: Dan Hardesty
Paso Robles, Calif. -- Celebrating record attendance during the 10th anniversary of the Paso Robles Rotary Winemakers' Cook-off, the Rotarians beat the record set last year by raising $30,000 for college and vocational scholarships benefiting Paso Robles High School seniors. More than 1,000 guests showed up at the River Oaks Hot Springs Spa to taste gourmet dishes prepared by popular Paso Robles winemakers, sip the competitors' wines and vote for their favorite dishes.
Stephen Kroener of Silver Horse bakes his homemade "angry pizza" and "happy pizza".
Nadeau Family Vintners' winemaker Robert Nadeau chats while serving disco dunkers.
Vintner Gary Eberle dishes up "love muffins"--sirloin beef with peppers and onions.
"We couldn't be more pleased with the support we received for our cook-off this year from the local community, wine lovers and gourmets throughout California," said Sally Davis, cook-off chairwoman. "In a soft economic environment, we achieved record attendance, which should translate into increased revenues for the annual high school scholarships we provide."
Halter Ranch's Bill Sheffer (left) and volunteer Robin Zazueta, who works at Vina Robles Winery, take a break from plating pulled pork poppers with a 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from Halter Ranch
The annual fundraiser also boasted a large number of competitors, with 31 wineries signing on to vie for the votes of industry experts who judged, as well as the "people's choice" award. Mitchella Vineyard & Winery's
shrimp taco in a jicama "tortilla" earned first place, and Midnight Cellars
won the people's choice award with beef Wellington.
"This year, I think we've been able to assemble the strongest group of judges and wineries for the winemakers' cook-off," said vintner Gary Eberle of Eberle Winery