Pinot, Pigs & Poets

Photo by Debra S. Kaplan

Pinot, Pigs & Poets: Celebrating Our 10th Anniversary

May 16, 2019

Pinot, Pigs & Poets Clouds Rest Pouring Wine

Photo by Debra S. Kaplan.

Pinot, Pigs & Poets is celebrating its 10th year in 2019! The event will include attendee favorites of fine pinot noir wines and delectable pork dishes, as well as slam poetry by the Nebraska Writers Collective. Pinot, Pigs & Poets is a collaborative effort with the Iowa Pork Producers Association and the Nebraska Pork Producers Association.

Event History

Pinot, Pigs & Poets Logo

Pinot, Pigs & Poets was founded in 2010 as an effort to combat childhood hunger by directly benefiting the Completely KIDS℠ weekend and after-school food programs. Read about the Weekend Food Program. It raised $30,000 in its inaugural year. Over the past decade, the success of Pinot, Pigs & Poets has allowed Completely KIDS to increase the number of children enrolled in the program and the number of items sent home with the children each weekend. In recent years, the proceeds raised from Pinot, Pigs & Poets have consistently exceeded $275,000.

Pinot, Pigs & Poets raises $400,000 in support of Completely KIDS

Gayle and Jody Carstens and Terri and Jack McDonnell, 2018 Pinot, Pigs & Poets Co-Chairs. Photo by Debra S. Kaplan.

Proceeds benefit food programs to prevent child hunger

OMAHA (June 4, 2018) – Proceeds from Pinot, Pigs & Poets reached $400,000, event organizers announced today. In what has become one of Omaha’s premier wine and food events, Pinot, Pigs & Poets benefits the weekend and afterschool food programs of Omaha nonprofit Completely KIDS.

Pinot, Pigs & Poets drew 425 guests for the sold-out ninth annual event at Happy Hollow Club on May 30.

“We are grateful for the tremendous community support of Pinot, Pigs & Poets,” said Jody Carstens, PPP co-chair and event co-founder. “Since its inception nine years ago, this event has raised $2 million to support the Completely KIDS weekend and after-school food programs at area schools and shelters. We are looking forward to the 10th annual event next year and hope to raise another record amount to support these programs and serve more kids.”

Highlights of the event included the announcement of the winner of the Taste of Elegance chef competition, sponsored by the Nebraska Pork Producers Association, and vintner competition winner. The 2018 Taste of Elegance Competition Chef Par Excellence was awarded to Chef Matt Moser, of Stirnella. He will attend the 2019 Pork Summit at the Greystone Campus of the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, Calif., for his winning dish – Tomahawk Chop – of soy sorghum glaze, corn puree, chorizo, chow-chow, ham hock and mustard greens. Clouds Rest 2014 femme fatale pinot noir, Sonoma Coast estate grown, edged out more than 40 other wines for the top pinot noir of the evening. John Saemann, Clouds Rest vintner, and Scott Schuette, Clouds Rest general manager, were present to accept the award.

Other restaurant participants for the evening were: Chef Oscar Hernandez, 712 Restaurant; Chef Dario Schicke, Avoli Osteria; Chef Nick Strawhecker, Dante; Chef Juan Lupercio, Happy Hollow Club; Chef Paul Kulik, Le Bouillon; Chef Cedric Fichepain, Le Voltaire French Restaurant; Chef Patrick Micheels, Monarch Prime & Bar; Chef Jon Seymour, Society 1854 – Omaha Marriott Downtown; and Chef John Benton, The Venue Restaurant & Lounge.

Poets from the Nebraska Writers Collective served up a menu of slam poetry for guests throughout the evening.

Due to the event’s success, Completely KIDS has been able to increase the number of children enrolled in the Weekend Food Program, which provides healthy, child-friendly food to take home every Friday. The weekend and after-school food programs fit within the organization’s mission to educate and empower kids and families to create a safe, healthy, successful and connected community.

Completely KIDS is currently undergoing renovation and expansion. Once complete, the agency plans to grow its weekend food program from serving 460 kids to 930 kids over the next few years. Proceeds from Pinot, Pigs & Poets will be instrumental in that growth.

Pinot, Pigs & Poets will return for its 10th anniversary on May 16, 2019.