Top Chef All-Star Spike Mendelsohn and Chopped Judges Aarón Sánchez and Amanda Freitag Headline Kohler Food & Wine, October 20-23

Tickets on sale today; packages also available with guaranteed admission to in-demand sessions

KOHLER, Wis. – August 2, 2016 – Top Chef Spike Mendelsohn joins Food Network’s Aarón Sánchez and Amanda Freitag to headline the 16th annual Kohler Food & Wine, a four-day celebration of food and drink on October 20-23. The esteemed culinary festival – one of the Midwest’s preeminent epicurean events of the year – hosts a masterful lineup of celebrity and regional chefs, winemakers and libation specialists. Destination Kohler is pleased to showcase a highly skilled celebrity chef lineup for this year’s festivities:

•  Spike Mendelsohn graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute of America and has appeared on international media outlets including Bravo TV’s Top Chef, the Food Network’s Iron Chef America and The Rachael Ray Show. He is the chef and owner of multiple restaurants: Good Stuff Eatery in Chicago, Béarnaise and We, The Pizza in Washington, D.C.

•  Aarón Sánchez is a chef and television personality. He is the executive chef and part-owner of Johnny Sánchez with locations in New Orleans and Baltimore. He is the costar of Food Network’s hit series, Chopped and the host of Cooking Channel’s Emmy-nominated Taco Trip. He has appeared on Iron Chef America and was a contestant on The Next Iron Chef.

•  Amanda Freitag is a New York chef and frequent guest on Food Network television programming. She is also a judge on the TV cooking competition Chopped and cohost, with Ty Pennington, of American Diner Revival.

•  America’s Test Kitchen the top-rated cooking show on public television, will be represented by cast members: Editorial Director Jack Bishop, Executive Food Editor Bridget Lancaster and Executive Food Editor Julia Collin Davison.

•  Laura Werlin is one of the country’s foremost authorities on cheese. She is a James Beard Award-winning author of six books on the subject. Laura has been featured on numerous national television segments including The Martha Stewart Show, Fox & Friends and the CBS Early Show. She also writes for national magazines including Food & Wine, Everyday with Rachael Ray and SAVEUR.


“Kohler Food & Wine is a culinary convergence of all things food and drink, hosted by industry experts and personalities that turns Destination Kohler into an epicurean mecca,” said Jenna Check, Associate Director of Special Events. “It’s both a fun and educational event with a five-star, five-diamond golf resort serving as the backdrop. In addition to our lineup of celebrity chefs, this year more than ever we are pleased to present a large stable of successful and skilled vineyard principals and owners.”


Tickets do sell quickly and guests are encouraged to book reservations early. There are more than 100 ticketed events including dynamic culinary seminars, cooking demonstrations, grand tastings and stylish signature soirees set at the resort’s captivating venues and at the expansive Stella Artois Main Stage tent. Tickets go on sale today at


Reservations are now available for Kohler Food & Wine hotel packages including celebrity chef demonstration tickets, overnight accommodations, a themed welcome gift, exclusive package-guest-only events, special discounts and accommodations at either The American Club, a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond resort hotel, or Inn on Woodlake, a boutique hotel overlooking the serene Wood Lake. The Feast of Talent and Taste packages have already sold out, with the Cheers package remaining.

•  Cheers package

For more information and reservations, call 800-344-2838 or visit Stay up-to-date on resort news and happenings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Highlights of the 2016 Kohler Food & Wine:

•  New this year! Tattinger champagne will host tastings throughout the day and a Saturday evening event in the dramatic and unique Tattinger Tent, located in front of Kohler Gardener. The distinctive tent is clear and uniquely shaped like a bubble.

•  Thursday evening Kohler Chef Tailgate Challenge invites Kohler chefs to compete against each other with their best tailgate fare to be the judge favorite or people’s choice, with all proceeds going to a nonprofit.

•  Enjoy the return of fan favorite Taste of the Vine in the newly updated Kohler Design Center on Friday night.

•  Celebrity chefs will host entertaining one-hour cooking demonstrations on the Stella Artois Main Stage, welcoming more than 200 attendees – each receiving a plated tasting of a presented recipe and a sommelier-selected wine pairing.

•  After learning from them, meet the celebrity chefs at book signings held immediately after select Main Stage sessions. Their recent cookbooks will be available for purchase and autograph signings.

•  More than 50 wineries from all corners of the globe will be poured at tastings, dinners and soirees. Guests will revel in the opportunity to speak with leading winery experts as they step away from the grapevines to showcase and share their wines in person. Notable winery representatives include:

  • Gustavo Bertagna – Enologist, Susana Balbo Wines
  • Luigi Coppo – Family Member & U.S. Managing Partner, Coppo Winery
  • John Doxon – Global Sales Director, Dry Creek Vineyard
  • Robert Fisher – General Manager, Fisher Vineyards
  • Craig Hall – Vintner, Hall Wines
  • Christine Hanna – President & Owner, Hanna Winery and Vineyards
  • Robert Jennings – Owner & Vintner, Paratus Vineyards
  • Maria Ponzi – President & Director of Sales & Marketing, Ponzi Vineyards
  • Lucia Raimondi – Owner, Villa Monteleone
  • Rick Sayre – Vice President & Director of Winemaking, Rodney Strong Vineyards
  • Christopher Silva – President & CEO, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
  • Fred Zammataro – COO / CFO / Executive VP, Schramsberg Vineyards

•  Top quality libation brands such as The Balvenie, Death’s Door Spirits, Don Q Rum, Hendrick’s Gin, The Macallan, Templeton Rye Whiskey and Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey are set to feature craft cocktail demonstrations, intimate tastings and hands-on experiences.


About Kohler Co. Hospitality & Real Estate Group

The Kohler Co. Hospitality & Real Estate Group profile includes The American Club, boasting the first and only Forbes Five-Star hotel property in Wisconsin, and world-renowned championship golf courses Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run. Acquired in 2004, its sister property, The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa in the birthplace of golf, St Andrews, Scotland, is a 5 AA Red Star property and recognized as one of the most luxurious resorts in the world.


About Destination Kohler

The American Club, a Forbes Five-Star Recipient and the Midwest’s only AAA Five-Diamond resort-hotel was named #3 Golf Resort in North America, by Golf Digest Magazine. The resort is one of only 52 hotels in North America with both the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond distinction. Kohler Waters Spa in Kohler, Wisconsin is the first and only Forbes Five-Star spa in Wisconsin and one of 47 spas worldwide to hold this distinction. The resort features 12 dining establishments from the Forbes Four-Star Immigrant Restaurant to traditional pub fare at Horse & Plow and rustic Italian at Cucina. The resort is located in the Village of Kohler, Wisconsin, one hour north of Milwaukee and two and a half hours north of Chicago.

For inquiries, contact: