Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation: Food & Wine event will celebrate 20 years of raising funds for cancer research in November

MILWAUKEE, WIS. (Aug. 14, 2023) – Mark your calendars for the 20th Annual Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation Food & Wine, presented by Lexus of Brookfield and Lexus of Milwaukee. The two-night event begins Friday, Nov. 3 with a Tasting Experience at the Pfister Hotel and continues Saturday, Nov. 4 with a Celebrity Chef & Wine Dinner at the Wisconsin Club City Club. 

This year is the 20th Anniversary of the longstanding Food & Wine event. Proceeds benefit the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation’s mission to fight cancer in honor of legendary NFL Coach Vince Lombardi who lost his life to colon cancer at age 57.  

To celebrate the 20-year milestone, the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation and Cousins Subs created a cookbook with 20 recipes from past participants of the Celebrity Chef & Wine Dinner. Every attendee of the Tasting Experience on Nov. 3 will receive a digital copy of the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation Food & Wine Recipe Collection, and Celebrity Chef & Wine Dinner attendees will receive a printed edition at the dinner on Nov. 4.  

20th Annual Food & Wine – Tasting Experience 

The Tasting Experience on Nov. 3 is one of the tastiest nights of the year. For three hours (6:30-9:30 pm) on the seventh-floor of the Pfister Hotel, the finest restaurants, wineries and breweries from Milwaukee and across the country, will serve samples, also known as “tastings.”  

There will also be food and wine themed entertainment, fundraising games and photo opportunities. Tickets are on sale now at

20th Annual Food & Wine – Celebrity Chef & Wine Dinner 

In its 20-year history, this is the first year the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation Celebrity Chef & Wine Dinner will feature two nationally recognized chefs: Patrick O’Halloran and Luke Zahm. The dinner typically includes one celebrity chef, one to two vintners and a local cheesemaker who together serve a five-course meal with wine pairings.  

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Co-owner and Chief Brand Officer Cynthia Lohr, and Sartori® Master Cheesemaker Pam Hodgson are this year’s featured vintner and cheesemaker. During the dinner on Nov. 4 at the Wisconsin Club City Club, Lohr, Hodgson, O’Halloran and Zahm will share the secrets behind their craft and why funding a cure for cancer is so important to them.  

O’Halloran is a Milwaukee native and was partner and executive chef of Lombardino’s Restaurant in Madison from 2000-2022. He now serves as executive chef, partner and chief spice curator for The Deliciouser, a small batch spice blending business in Madison.  

Zahm grew up in La Farge and owns The Driftless Café in Viroqua. He was named a James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef Midwest in 2017. Zahm also hosts Wisconsin Foodie, an Emmy® Award-winning television show, and has emceed the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation Celebrity Chef & Wine Dinner in the past.  

O’Halloran and Zahm spent some time together working at Lombardino’s, drawing inspiration from regional Italian recipes, and cooking with local ingredients in the way Italian immigrants would have if they were living in the upper Midwest. Inspired by the Lombardi family’s Italian heritage, they shaped this year’s menu around this cooking style: 

Passed Hors D’Oeuvres 

Beef Tenderloin Canape, Charred Autumn Vegetable Baba and Petite Soup Shooter 
J. Lohr F&G Vineyard Pinot Blanc 2022  
J. Lohr Pure Paso Proprietary Red Blend 2020 


White Bean and Escarole Soup 
J. Lohr F&G Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2022 

Autumn Panzanella Salad 
J. Lohr Fog’s Reach Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021 

Red Lake Nation Walleye al Cartoccio 
J. Lohr October Night Chardonnay 2022 

Neapolitan Ragù 
J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 

Bourbon Spiked Budino 
J. Lohr Late Harvest White Riesling 2021 

“When people hear the name Vince Lombardi they immediately think of American football, but what is often overlooked is the fact that he was the son of Italian immigrants,” said O’Halloran. “In honor of the Lombardi family, this menu is a celebration of the foods of Southern Italy.” 

Tickets are available for purchase online at  

About the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation  
Established in 1971, the foundation embodies the spirit, enthusiasm and commitment to excellence of Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi, who lost his own battle to cancer on September 3, 1970. In his honor, the foundation is dedicated to winning the battle against cancer with the mission to prevent it, provide the best care to those fighting it and finding a cure. For more information about the foundation or to donate, sponsor an event or to buy tickets to an event, visit: lombardifoundation.orgFacebookTwitter and Instagram.