The welcome party for Cakebread Cellars 25th American Harvest Workshop just concluded and the celebratory spirit is certainly in the air with 50 chefs toasting, hugging, laughing and reminiscingtogether over great wine with snacks provided by Chef Ken Frank of La Toque in the Westin Hotel in the heart of Napa, CA.
Many of these chefs have met each other at a previous years event, experiencing the joy of blue cheese making at Point Reyes together, or oyster harvesting at Hog Island. They have used their creative prowess and collaborative spirits to make delicious dinners from these ingredients. Now they come back together over a glass of crisp, tropical and citrus fruit filled Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc or creamy, peach and apple filled Cakebread Chardonnay for the 25th year of this event, and once again they will take their sharpened knives into the Cakebread kitchen to create a farm to table series of events for each other and a guest list numbering around 500.
But tonight was just for fun, ending with a welcome by American Harvest Workshop Program Director Brian Streeter outlining the events ahead. Kayaking with Bruce Cakebread in the morning is first up for me, then lunch in the Cakebread Foster Road Vineyard, afternoon seminars and the Grand Chefs Tasting. Can’t wait to the dishes what this group of chefs, including Rick Moonen of RM Seafood, Kevin Taylor of Restaurant Kevin Taylor,Danielle Custer of Taste, Mark Miller originally with Canyon Cafe and a part of the workshop in the very first year, Bryan Caswell of Reff, Jim Mills of The Houstonian and Dallas’ Scott Gottlich from Bijoux and Second Floor, George Brown and Joanne Bondy from The Gaylord Texan, create. It promises to be an exciting weekend.