September 2005--WineCountry Dining
Culinary Adventures in Napa
What pairs best with a chewy Napa Cabernet? How about a few lessons in the fine art of California cuisine? Inspired by the region's produce, cheeses, meats and of course—wine, local chefs and cooking instructors offer unique cooking classes and tours that will have you tasting the bounty of Wine Country long after you return home.
Hugh Carpenter's CampNapa Culinary
Culinary Institute of America , Greystone
Get access to some of the most exclusive (and rarely, if ever open to the public) wineries and private kitchens in Napa. A long-time cooking instructor and cookbook author in Wine Country, Carpenter hosts several week-long cooking camps each fall for a handful of guests. Taking advantage of his knowledge of the area, tours include cooking classes and tasting at Stag's Leap, Vineyard 29, Cakebread and Beaulieu Gardens in addition to a dinner at the Carpenters' home. For more information and upcoming fall schedules, call 888-999-4844 or www.hughcarpenter.com.
Casa Lana Gourmet Retreats
Chef and hostess Lana Richardson has an extensive list of classes and programs—from a weekend getaway course to three and five-day culinary tours that include the Napa Valley. Sign up for a mid-week class on single subjects (like desserts or brunch favorites) or stay in Richardson's own Bed and Breakfast for a hands-on retreat in Napa. Casa Lana, 1316 S. Oak St., Calistoga, California. Call 877-968-2665 for more information or www.gourmetretreats.com.
Several days a week, the CIA hosts cooking demonstrations on everything from panne cotta to paella. Plus, purchase cookbooks, knives and even uniforms in next door gift shop so you can look like a chef—even if you aren't. The Greystone campus also includes the nearby Wine Spectator Restaurant, should you still be hungry.Culinary Institute of America , St. Helena, California or www.ciachef.edu/california/demonstrations.asp
Drop in to this museum/restaurant/art gallery for one of their daily food programs. Classes are scheduled several months in advance, often around a theme, and range from cooking instructions to tastings and book signings by regional and national authors.Copia Center for Wine, Food and Arts, 500 First St.Napa or www.copia.org/pages/foodprograms.asp
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