Iron Vintner Challenge Returns to Willows Lodge

Iron Vinter Challenger

Left to right: Morgan Lee – Covington Cellars, Jerry Riener – Guardian Cellars, Chef Bobby Moore, Kevin Correll – Barrage Cellars and Ross Andrew Mickel – Ross Andrew Winery. PHOTO CREDIT: Willows Lodge

One of the most fun food events on the Eastside returns for its third year today. For the next three Wednesdays, the Iron Vintner challenge will bring local winemakers together to do culinary battle at Willows Lodge. The event supports Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Woodinville.

The Iron Vintner Challenge is emceed by the always amiable Bobby Moore, who is the executive chef at Barking Frog. This cook-off is Moore’s baby, and his dedication to it has helped it become more popular (and bring in more money for Little Bit) every year. In fact, this year, all of the competition events sold out early.

“This year’s competition will be our third year. I’ve had a lot of practice. People who come here know what to expect now, and they’re going to be really excited because they know how much fun it is. It’s gained plenty of momentum with the community, especially the winemakers. They think it’s really special,” said Moore.

Winemakers are now seeking Moore out, begging to be in the competition.

Here are this year’s participants:

Wednesday, June 6 – Round 1

Jerry Riener of Guardian Cellars VS Kevin Correll of Barrage Cellars

Wednesday, June 13 – Round 2

Morgan Lee of Covington Cellars VS Ross Andrew Mickel of Ross Andrew Winery

Wednesday, June 20 – Championship Round

Winner of Round 1 VS Winner of Round 2

When he first came up with Iron Vintner challenge, Moore thought it would be something that could go on forever. But he realized the event would outgrow itself. His hope is to end Iron Vintner Challenge at the five-year mark.

“Next year I want to have all women winemakers in this event. Then year five we’ll get all the previous winners and do a big competition, retire the event, and maybe sell it to the Food Network or something,” he said.

If you don’t have tickets to the Iron Vintner Challenge, follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #IVC3.

Tickets are still available for the grand finale – the celebrated winemaker dinner that concludes the month-long event. Attendees to the dinner will have the chance to taste the winning dishes (Moore will be putting the dinner together at Barking Frog) and sip wines from the winemakers. A portion of the proceeds goes to Little Bit.

Tickets are $135 per person. Call the Barking Frog at 425.424.2999 for reservations.

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