For a food immersion experience look no further than the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in the heart of Napa Valley. Whether you love to cook or take pleasure in a well prepared gourmet meal, your inner chef will be indulged.
Make reservations at Greystone’s Wine Spectator Restaurant for the ultimate food and wine experience. If you have the luxury of traveling during the week it is much easier to get a reservation. This is a chance to dine like Europeans, enjoy a leisurely meal with wine pairings at each course. Begin your meal with the Olive Oil tasting comparing olive oils from three locations, each with a distinct flavor. Savor each morsel of each course perfectly paired with wine. Much of the produce comes from the gardens on the property.
After a leisurely lunch, you might consider one of the Flavor Bar experiences. I recommend the Chocolate Tasting, in 20 minutes you learn about how chocolate is sourced, processed and transformed into the confectionary delights we are so fond of. There are several other tasting experiences available in the Flavor Bar.
Sign up to watch a cooking demonstration offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. for one hour. A recipe and tasting are included in the $20 per-person price. You can learn some new cooking techniques while sampling the perfectly prepared recipe.
Classes for Food and Wine Enthusiasts are held on Saturdays. They range from two to five hours and include a variety of food and wine experiences. They offer hands-on cooking classes covering various types of cuisine, as well as baking.
For those who prefer a deeper food immersion, CIA Boot Camps provide hands-on cooking classes lasting from two to five-days. This is where you can hone your skills as a home chef; what better place than where professional chefs are trained.
Getting there: St. Helena is approximately a ninety minute drive from San Francisco.
Details: The CIA is located in St. Helena, in the heart of Napa Valley at 2555 Main Street, St. Helena, California 94574; phone 707-967-2320.
To turn your cooking experience into a romantic getaway, spend a few days in Napa Valley. Read about why Calistoga is Napa Valley’s favorite spa town.
©Karla Erovick 2012 article
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