Thursday, October 3, 2019

Monona Terrace


Presented by National Guardian Life Insurance

Exquisite fare. Artisan cocktails. Stunning views.

Epicurean Evening is a premier dinner gala showcasing six of Madison’s top chefs. During this Year of Clean Drinking Water, join us for an evening with local fare, craft cocktails, and great fun to celebrate Wisconsin’s water resources and support our ongoing work to protect them.


With each course of our five-course dinner prepared by one of our celebrity chefs, this is the Madison culinary event you do not want to miss. In addition to the multi-course dinner central to this event, Epicurean Evening will again feature a live and silent auction, wine pull, and famed cocktail hour featuring the area’s best mixologists. All proceeds benefit Clean Wisconsin’s statewide work for clean air and clean water.


Cocktail Hour begins at 5 p.m.

Dinner and program begins at 6:40 p.m.

Arrival & Order of Events

Epicurean Evening opens at 5:00 p.m. with a Cocktail Hour featuring  4 local mixologists serving cocktails with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, J. Henry & Sons Bourbon, State Line Gin, craft beer by Octopi Brewing, and our Silent Auction, Wine Pull and Giving Tree.

Dinner begins promptly at 6:40 p.m., with a welcome from our emcee, WISC-TV’s Leah Linscheid, who will lead us through the evening.

What to Wear

We certainly want you to be comfortable, but as a gala event, we recommend dressing as if you were attending a nice cocktail party or wedding.


During our Cocktail Hour, enjoy one of the four signature cocktails our featured mixologists will be serving, as well as craft beer from Octopi Brewing. These four cocktails and craft beer will be available during the cocktail hour at no charge.

Starting at 6:40 p.m., complementary beer and bottles of wine for purchase will be available.

Wine Pull, Silent Auction & Giving Tree

WINE PULL Take part in this game of chance while supporting Clean Wisconsin. For $20 a pull, select a bottle of wine from the table and unwrap it; it could be valued anywhere from $10 to $100!

Please note that you cannot enjoy your wine pull wine at the event. State law does not allow these bottles to be opened on the premises.

SILENT AUCTION Bid on a variety of silent auction baskets featuring many local businesses. With items from Wisconsin Athletics, Rutabaga Paddlesports, Madison Originals, Octopi Brewing, Table Wine, and so much more, there’s something for everyone!


GIVING RAIN BARREL Give a gift of $20, $50, $100, $250, or $500 to Clean Wisconsin and show your support by posting a rain drop on our rain barrel. After the event, we’ll install the rain barrel at an elementary school in Milwaukee.

Cash, check and credit card is accepted for all of these giving opportunities. Wine Pull contributions are not tax-deductible. Silent Auction donations are tax deductible for the difference above the basket’s market value.

The Chefs

John Gadau and Phillip Hurley are the Executive Chefs and creators of Sardine, a bistro and bar located on the waters of Lake Monona. Introduced to one another in 1997 as neighbors living in the same three-flat brownstone apartment in the Wrigley area of Chicago, it was quick work to discovering they both shared the same notions about local ingredients, simple but thoughtfully crafted flavor profiles, and the importance of the concepts of “place” and “classic tradition.”

The decision to move both of their families to Madison, Wisconsin to start a joint venture happened in 2000 with the launching of Marigold Kitchen, a breakfast and lunch restaurant one block off of the Capital Square.  When a raw space in the historical tobacco/icehouse Machinery Row, became available Gadau and Hurley seized the opportunity to open Sardine in the spring of 2006.

Giovanni Novella is a native of Torre del Grecco, a fishing town in Southern Italy. After moving to Madison, Chef Novella was Executive Chef at Cento and Fresco before his current position as Executive Chef at Bar Corallini, where he sources quality ingredients from both the Midwest and Italy to create classic and innovative dishes that let these products shine.

Allie Christian was born in Horicon, WI. She was quick to learn about food, nature, and cooking given that her mother was a chef and her father worked for the USDA working with farmers on field damage.

Allie moved to Madison in 2014 and fell in love with the culinary scene and culture. She worked at Rare Steakhouse as lead line cook, Graze as a sous chef, then took a brief hiatus to learn about butchering. Allie is currently executive chef at the Heights Kitchen. She tries to source as locally as possible, enjoys the communication between chefs and farmers, and feels the most like herself in kitchens.

Sean Pharr was born and raised in New London, Wisconsin, and started his career at the age of 16, working as a line cook at a popular hometown pizzeria Jolly Rogers. During his early career, Pharr worked in Madison, Wisconsin at Harvest. Striving for excellence, Pharr relocated to Chicago in 2005 where he began to lay the groundwork for a career that involved endless opportunities to grow as a chef.

In 2016, Pharr and his family returned to Madison where Pharr and his longtime friend, Chad Vogel, opened the east side’s vibrant Mint Mark, a small restaurant featuring seasonally inspired small plates, cocktails, and brunch.

Matt Schieble is originally from Columbus, WI and has been in the restaurant industry for almost 20 years. What started as a search for a fast-paced career that provided a creative outlet eventually landed Matthew in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago. Matthew started his career working in Michelin Star restaurants in Chicago and eventually became the Executive Chef at Harvest in Madison. He also worked as a Sous Chef in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and in Lahaina, HI on Maui. Most recently, Matthew helped open Mint Mark in Madison and also worked as a butcher for Underground Food Collective. Working for great organizations with great people are part of Matthew’s motivation. “Seeing others push for something special and unique is a joy for me. It inspires me to do better and take more chances. It also makes me push my team harder to see what we can accomplish. Restaurant people are a tough tribe. We deal with adversity and are in the business of getting the job done. Not to mention we have great senses of humor. I love being surrounded by professionals who strive to deliver memorable experiences.” Matthew lives in Madison with his cat Buddy and his fiancé Maggie who is also a Chef. When Matthew isn’t busy in the kitchen he enjoys playing video games, frisbee golfing and biking. He also enjoys traveling and going out to eat at other great restaurants in the Madison area.

The Menu

Course 1- Phillip Hurley and John Gadau of Sardine

Beet Cured Salmon on Toasted Boule, Salad of Roasted Beets, Pickled Red Onion and Carrot, Chive Crème Fraiche and Spiced Pepitas

Vegetarian: No Salmon


Course 2- Allie Christian of The Heights

(V) BBQ’d Indian Farm Trumpet Mushrooms, Corn Pudding, Corn Krupuk


Course 3- Sean Pharr of Mint Mark

Pate Normande

Berkshire Hog, Apple, Pistachio, Cranberry Mostarda, Petite Salad

Vegetarian: Roasted Acorn Squash, Curried Yogurt, Dukkah


Course 4- Giovanni Novella of Bar Corallini

(V) Fior di Raviolo stuffed with Ricotta, Burrata, Parmigiano served with Porcini and King Trumpet Mushroom, Black Truffle Butter, Micro Arugula


Course 5, Dessert- Matt Schieble of Fresco

(V) Vanilla Custard with Mint Gelee, Chocolate/Almond “soil” and Micro Basil

The Live Auction

Luxury Winery Excursion in Sonoma Valley: For one weekend, you can have a winery all to yourself. Your group of up to two couples will spend two nights in the charming Armor Plate Guest House at Hamel Family Wines in Sonoma Valley, overlooking one of California’s oldest Zinfandel vineyards which dates back to the 1890s.

Fish the Driftless: Escape for two nights and two days to explore the natural beauty of the Driftless region. Restoration Cider owner and expert fly fisherman Paul Asper will lead you to some of Wisconsin’s most pristine trout streams for guided fly fishing. Then, kick back and rest for the night to the peaceful sounds of the stream in Paul’s restored 1950s Shasta camper. The perfect retreat for the novice or expert fly fisherman, or anyone looking for an adventure off the beaten path.

Lakefront Escape in Northern Wisconsin: Unplug and unwind in this stunning 4-bed, 2.5 bath cabin in Hayward, Wisconsin. This beautiful hand-peeled log cottage is tucked among the trees overlooking Upper Twin Lake in Burnett County. The cabin features a full kitchen, wrap-around porch, and all the comforts of home. Perfect for a family vacation or some Northern solitude, you can immerse yourself in the Northwoods for 3 days in a home unlike any other.

Octopi Brewery Dinner: Spend an evening enjoying an exclusive dinner (paired with beer, of course!) for 8 people in the new private dining room at Octopi Brewing in Waunakee. House chef Jacob Guyette is a former apprentice of Madison chef and restaurateur Tory Miller. Great food in relaxed digs with an endless supply of the best beer in the Madison area—what could be better than that? All you have to do is figure out who to bring along.

Cento Kitchen Table for 6: Take part in one of Madison’s most unique dining experiences: The Cento Kitchen Table. Located in the restaurant’s kitchen, this table offers a private, exclusive dining experience where 6 guests have a unique and memorable opportunity to watch the chefs in action. Executive Chef Chris Myers will prepare five courses, each expertly paired with a spectacular wine, for your party of six.

Our 2019 Event Sponsors

Want to sponsor Epicurean Evening 2019? Contact for more information.


Contact Sarah Bewitz

(608) 251-7020 x23

We can accommodate vegetarian and gluten-free dietary needs.