Be part of the food fight for Canvas Health

Valley Vine & Harvest Throwdown chef battle offers guests the opportunity to sample the best local fare.

Each year, guests of the Valley Vine & Harvest Throwdown line up for the doors to open, eager for the chefs’ competition to begin. This isn’t one of those open house, come-when-you-feel-like-it events. The guests themselves are the judges, and they have the enviable task of comparing delicious food from seven renowned local chefs—all for a good cause. This year’s Valley Vine event takes place at the Lake Elmo Inn Event Center on Sunday, Oct. 8, in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, and benefits Canvas Health.

Be part of the fun. Sponsor this event or purchase your tickets today by visiting

Chefs work very hard to prepare, plate, and serve their best dishes to more than 300 guests very quickly. Guests come to cheer on and chat with their favorite chefs—and discover new ones to admire. Some scribble notes on their ballots as they taste the mini-entrée at each chef station, so they can remember what they liked about the various dishes. The energy toward the end when the emcee announces the Top Chef of the Valley winner is nothing short of palpable.

This year competition boasts a diverse lineup of chefs:

  • Chef Angela Verrastro, Angelina’s Kitchen
  • Chef Ron Bohnert, Danny’s Bar & Grill
  • Chef Paul LaPean, The Nova Restaurant & Wine Bar
  • Chef Maggie Wescott, Rivertown Inn
  • Chef Angelo Montes, Sole Mio Ristorante
  • Chef Justin Neubauer, Tamarack Tap Room
  • Chef Jeffrey Lundmark, Wilder Scratch Kitchen.

Wine expert Andy Kass picks a perfect wine pairing to enjoy with each sample entrée. The event also includes an opportunity for guests to bid on unique live and silent auction items, including private chef dinners and a week at a house in France. Guests will also be able to purchase a bottle of fine wine from the wine wall.

Prior to the main chef competition event, reigning Top Chef of the Valley Chef John Schiltz from Lake Elmo Inn will host an intimate VIP Grand Cru Party, where he’ll discuss the preparation of foie gras. There will also be an exciting sabrage demonstration. Sabrage is a technique for opening a champagne bottle with a saber. The wielder slides the saber along the body of the bottle to break the top of the neck away, leaving the neck of the bottle open and ready to pour.

“Being at Valley Vine is like watching an exciting chef’s competition show on TV, only better because the delicious dishes they create become your entrée for the night—as a guest, you get to partake in everything,” said Matt Eastwood, Canvas Health CEO. “More importantly, your support of this event enables Canvas Health to continue casting lifelines of hope to people struggling in our community.”

The opportunity to help is what motivates Chef Paul LaPean of Nova. “Alcohol and other ‘recreational’ substances are readily available in the hospitality industry, and unfortunately, that’s what many of us turn to in order to take the edge off,” said LaPean. “Participating in this event gives us a way to bring mental health and substance dependency issues to light within our own community and to use our collective skill set to give back in one of the best ways we can think of—feeding others.”

2017 Valley Vine & Harvest Throwdown sponsors include: 3M; Ahola, Mack & Associates; ArKco Sales; Berwald Roofing Company, Inc.; The Coaching Hour; The Credit Departmentl; Eckberg Lammers – Attorneys at Law; First State Bank & Trust; Lake Elmo Bankl Lake Elmo Inn; Marketing Incentive Resources; Mercury Trading Company; Medica; Print Solutions; Renewal by Andersen; and Rivertown Inn.

Be part of the fun. Sponsor this event or purchase your tickets today by visiting

Valley Vine Chefs