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Jeff Burkhart, better known as “Jeff the Barfly”, has been a bartender and writer in the Bay Area for more than 20 years and the resident Martini Master at Great Chefs and Wineries for the last four. Jeff was born in Monongahela rye country- Western Pennsylvania. Moving to California with his family, he grew up in Berkeley during the protests and the protest music of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

After putting himself through college by working for various Bay Area venues, such as the restaurant at the Lark Creek Inn and Uncle Charlie's Nightclub, Jeff opened his own nightclub called Faultline Nightclub in San Rafael. It was here that many legendary musical artists such as Eric Martin (Mr. Big), Jeff Watson (Night Ranger), Steven Adler (Guns and Roses), the Cherry Popping Daddies and Third Eye Blind became regulars.

For his bartending career, he has been voted “Best Bartender” twice, by the readers of the Bohemian (2007) and the Marin Independent Journal (2017). While well praised for his accomplishments behind the bar, Jeff is also a veteran writer on all things rock-and-roll, cocktails and the musings of life.

In early 2006, Jeff began writing his weekly Barfly column for the Marin Independent Journal. He is also the author of, Twenty Years Behind Bars (2014), and three sets of Knowledge Cards. His second book, Twenty Years Behind Bars: Parole Denied (the spirited adventures of a real bartender) will be out  this summer.

Buy your tickets for Great Chefs and Wineries and enjoy masterfully mixed martinis and good ‘old-fashioned’ rock-and-roll knowledge.


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Master of Ceremonies

Great Chefs and Wineries 2018


LIfehouse is proud to introduce, KPIX reporter, Betty Yu, as this year’s Master of Ceremonies for Great Chefs and Wineries. A Bay Area native, Betty graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with degrees in Political Science and Rhetoric. Betty also has a Masters of Science degree in Journalism from Columbia University. After spending two years at WTVJ, the NBC-owned station in Miami, she joined KPIX 5 as a General Assignment Reporter. Betty has expressed her excitement about this year’s event. “Great Chefs & Wineries is a spectacular evening that features exquisite foods and fine wines, but more importantly, it is a reflection of the generous and compassionate spirit of the Lifehouse community.” As a reporter, Betty works with and highlights the lives many people with developmental disabilities. She continues to say, “I've seen them blossom because of the kind of support that Lifehouse offers.”

Click on the button below to join Betty Yu and the Lifehouse community at Great Chefs and Wineries on April 21, 2018.  



This year at Great Chefs and Wineries, Lifehouse is proud to host twenty-six of the finest wineries in the North Bay. In October of last year, the North bay was plagued by devastating fires but the mantra going around is true- “The love in the air is thicker than the smoke.” Although, the smoke has long now faded, the community continues to band together. Over $18 million has been raised to support individuals affected by the fires. In the spirit of community, this year Lifehouse will be donating 3% of the proceeds from Great Chefs and Wineries 2018 to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund. Click through and meet our wonderful winemakers.



Heidi Says

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Heidi Krahling 

Lifehouse welcomes back Culinary Host, Heidi Krahling, to Great Chefs and Wineries for the 28th straight year. Heidi has been the guiding force for this event since its conception in 1998.

Heidi’s achievements are as diverse as they are heartfelt. Like a true taste-maker, she mixes her passion for fine foods and philanthropy and does it well. Heidi runs two successful San Anselmo restaurants, Insalata’s and Marinitas. She is also the author of two cookbooks. The first, Insalata’s Mediterranean Table, was released in 2009. It boasts over 120 delicious recipes and explains how she fell in love with Mediterranean cuisine. The second cookbook is, Insalata’s and Marinitas: The Story of Two Restaurants, released in 2014. This book gives readers a look inside each of her restaurants, highlighting the inner workings of the hot line, the pantry, the take-out counter and the bakeshop.

Heidi’s philanthropic contributions continue with the theme of  diversity. She has been recognized by the Marin County Board of Supervisors for her continued involvement in many local charities over the years. These charities include Lifehouse,  St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin, 10,000 Degrees, ExtraFood, and Adopt a Family of Marin.

I am honored to be the Culinary Host for the Great Chefs and Wineries event for the past 28 years, Its amazing to have been a part of this event from its small fundraising beginnings to the Premier Bay Area food and wine event it is today. What an amazing evening for all these talented chefs and extraordinary wineries to come together to support Lifehouse. 

Naturally, last year she was honored as the Great Chefs and Wineries Restaurant of the Year at Lifehouse’s 2017 Annual Awards Banquet. This year, her curation of small plates will be prepared by twenty-three different Bay Area restaurants and take you on a tour of culinary excellence.

We look forward to you joining us this year!



Celebrate Great Chefs and Wineries' 28th Year

One of San Francisco Bay Area's most anticipated event is fast approaching. We'd love to invite you to join us for Lifehouse's 28th Annual Great Chefs and Wineries on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Join us for another unforgettable evening of great food and fine wine, and come together to help us raise critical funds to enable Lifehouse to continue to provide support services for people with developmental disabilities. The support that we receive from the community is what makes this evening a huge success. 

We will be returning to The Clubhouse at Peacock Gap Golf Club in San Rafael, California. Along with Bright Event Rentals, they help us create the perfect place for us to host this fabulous evening.  

Heidi Insalata Krahling, our Culinary Host, will bring together a feast of small plates that have been expertly prepared by over twenty-five Bay Area restaurants. Our Wine Committee, led by Sid Sall, have handpicked an impressive lineup of elite wineries to be paired with the evening's delectable spread. 

We will also be featuring attractive and exciting auction items through our new mobile bidding system! With the help of Gesture, enjoy all aspects of the auction in the palm of your hand. From check-in to check-out, Gesture is available to help you have a memorable and remarkable experience. 

We cannot wait for you to join us this year! Purchase your tickets now by clicking below.