Aug 5, 2010 11:46 PM by Jeanette Trompeter

No Place Like Home: Winemakers' Cook-off

We have done so many stories about the tough financial woes schools and students in our area are facing. Tonight we have a story of how people in the community are stepping up to make a big difference. And they're having a ball in the process. It's another reason There's No Place Like Home.

Gary and Marcy Eberle have quite a shopping trip ahead of them. "So you got the list?" Marcy asks. "I got the list." Gary answers. " We'll start with the ground beef and ground sirloin." he says.

They're shopping for supplies for Eberle Winery's entry into the Paso Robles Rotary's Winemakers Cookoff this weekend. "We'll need cumin, chill powder and salt and pepper for the ribs" Gary notes after checking the recipe.

It's a 12-year tradition started by Gary and other Rotarians to raise scholarship money for Paso Robles seniors. This Saturday Gary will join 33 other winemakers in cooking up their best barbecue. "Tt is the best tasting pork in the world." He'll pair his barbecue with his best wines, for a cause close to his heart. "'Cuz I got to school on a scholarship. Without a football scholarship there was no way I was going to go to college. I was going to a steel mill back in Pittsburgh." Gary reflects.

Since it started, the cook-off has raised has raised almost a quarter million dollars dollars in scholarship money for Paso Robles students, and that keeps Eberle and others fired up for the event and the cause. "We've done about a quarter of a million we've given away, and we've started a foundation that has a quarter of a million in it , so we've raised about a half million dollars." Gary explains to a guy at the checkout stand who is curious what he's buying all the food for.

They've done by making it a culinary celebration. And a great deal for you. For $75 bucks, $40 bucks if you are the Designated Driver of your group, you get reap the benefits of what's become a quite the competition. "You couldn't get this much food of this quality with wine, and desert, at a restaurant, anywhere." Gary adds.

There are two trophies to be had. The professional category is decided by five judges. But it's the people's choice winemakers covet the most. The only rule for them, is whatever you cook, has to be cooked a grill. Gary says it's a no-holds-barred competition otherwise. "Other than that, it's open to whatever...bribing, giving away hand rolled cigars, truffles, tastes of 20-year-old wines from big bottles.... The competition between wineries is a blast. A few years ago we had a wet t-shirt contest that I won, so we don't do that anymore"

What they do is their best, and you, and the seniors of Paso Robles high-school reap the benefits.
More proof there's no place like home.



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