Wine Country Chef’s Dinner: Local Bounty and Talent

During a recent trip to Napa Valley, I wanted to take advantage of the amazing bounty and talent in the region. I organized a sit-down, nine-course wine country chef’s dinner for our friends prepared by a local chef.

We were the guests of Cardinale and Lokoya Winery for the weekend, and stayed at their beautiful guest house conveniently located just below the tasting room. I worked with artisan Chef Tiffany Smejkal to create a one-of-a-kind, organic, seed-to-dish menu based on the season’s freshest picks the week of our visit. My husband paired the wines to complement Chef Tiffany’s courses and I had the honor of designing the table. What an unforgettable night!

wine country chef dinner
Jose Tenerio of Lokoya Winery was one of our hosts for the weekend, and Chef Tiffany Smejkal prepared our culinary masterpiece dinner
enjoying a wine country chef dinner
Couldn’t have picked a better (or more fun!) crew for the weekend

The Table Setting

Since I was unsure of the supplies available at our guest house, I came prepared with some of  my own table decor. The finished look was a beautiful blend of pieces from my collection, borrowed items from our guest accommodations, and a few critical pieces that I rented once I was there.

This isn’t the first time I’ve thrown a dinner party on vacation, so I knew I had to be organized. See my post on How to Host in a Rental House.

wine country chef dinner
The guest house decor was mostly neutral, so I thought white and green with pop of yellow would work well

Because I didn’t want to distract from the gorgeous food, I chose white linen napkins to blend in with the decor. Agate napkin rings finished off the earthly, neutral setting to match the color scheme throughout the guest house.

preparing wine country chef dinner
Napkins, napkin rings, and chargers were my own. Yes, I travel with my own table decor. Whatever. It makes me happy.

Since the menu was curated from the local farmer’s market two days before we arrived, I didn’t get the finalized version until the night before. Luckily, my paper genius friend Natalie, of Pretty Paper Place, magically created these coordinating menu cards at the last minute. How cool are they??

menu cards for wine country chef dinner
Chef Tiffany and I decided that providing just a few culinary terms, rather than listing each dish, would leave some mystery to each course

The Florals

Before we arrived, I contacted a local florist to deliver arrangements for the table, powder room, and for each couple’s bedroom. She took my color scheme and blended her arrangements beautifully with the place setting and the house decor. I love the ceramic vessels she chose to highlight the blooms in season.

table setting for wine country chef dinner
Candles from the guest house supply room provided some soft lighting once the sun went down
florals for wine country chef dinner
Never having ordered or worked with this florist before, I was thrilled with how they turned out!

tablescape for wine country chef's dinner

The Food

preparing Hamachi with celery root puree and diced green apples
Hamachi with celery root puree and diced green apples was our first course
kitchen prep for wine country chef dinner
So curious about the entire process, I couldn’t stay out of the kitchen
kitchen prep for wine country chef dinner
Chef Tiffany even brought her own living herbs and micro greens, still in the gardening containers
wine country chef dinner: seared black cod with hearts of palm
Seared black cod with hearts of palm, shaved zucchini and edible flowers. Really??!!

preparing seared black cod with hearts of palm

 

serving wine country chef dinner
Pouring broth over the hamachi
garnishing wine country chef dinner
Shaved aged cheddar over quail egg with tarragon

The Wine

friends toasting at wine country chef dinner
Starting dinner toast with Schramsberg sparkling rosé

Schramsberg sparkling rosé puligny montrachet served at wine country chef's dinner

wine country chef dinner
A lovely Montrachet to pair with the black cod
toasting at wine country chef dinner
One of many cheers this night
glassware at wine country chef dinner
Just waiting to be filled
wine country chef dinner
Many thanks to Cardinale and Lokoya for some of the fabulous wine we enjoyed

The Company

It’s so fun to share experiences with good friends who have the same interests. Now that our kids are older, it’s a little easier to get away together!

friends enjoying wine at wine country chef dinner
My husband is amazing at impersonations – pretty sure he was entertaining our crew with one of them here

friends enjoying wine

 

Until next time, Napa.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Add A Comment