Cakebread Cellars is serious about food. Based in Rutherford, Cakebread’s tradition of food and wine has been at the core of the winery’s hospitality program from the beginning, influenced by founder Dolores Cakebread’s formal culinary background and love of gardening. For over twenty years, Cakebread has maintained a culinary staff providing consumer education and catering for winery events and for the trade. Today, the culinary programs, spear-headed by Culinary Director Brian Streeter, range from 1 ½ hour food and wine pairing courses to a four-day exclusive workshop that immerses the food enthusiast in the world of professional chefs and artisanal food purveyors.
The cooking classes are held about 12 times a year and cover a variety of interesting themes and experiences including field trips to local artisanal producers such as Cowgirl Creamery in Petaluma. It’s a shame to call these “cooking classes” because they are really dining experiences where the students participate in the preparation of the three-course meals, and then savor the food and wines in the relaxing environment of the Winery House. The Winery House truly feels like a home, with a comfortable living room where guests begin the day before moving on to the professional kitchen. The courses include an apron, recipe booklet, interactive cooking instruction, three-course meal and about five to six wines served with the meal, for a typical cost of $175 per person excluding tax. In April, Chef Streeter will team up with colleague Taylor Boetticher of Fatted Calf butchers and charcuterie for a special two-day hog fest aptly called “Go Hog Wild” in which students will leave the weekend with a full stomach as well as supplies of their own hand-made roast pork, sausages and crepinettes.
Food and wine pairing courses are held year-round at the winery on Thursdays and Fridays at 11:00 am and feature seasonal ingredients, much of it from their own organic gardens. Guests leave with recipe cards with detailed information on the appetizers and the wines. A library of wine country cuisine recipes are also posted on their website including videotaped versions.
For the most serious of all foodies, Cakebread will sponsor the 24th annual American Harvest Workshop on September 11-15, 2010. This event was originally founded by Jack Cakebread for the trade. Five invited chefs from around the country and some of the best Bay Area artisanal producers celebrate food and wine through seminars, field trips, meal preparation and harvest. In recent years, Cakebread has opened up the workshop to about 10 consumers – food enthusiasts – who learn from the experts through immersion and by assisting the chefs in preparation of meals. Details of the American Harvest Workshop, past chefs and food purveyors are on Cakebread’s website. To inquire about participating, email Chef Streeter at firstname.lastname@example.org
To have the true Napa Valley food and wine experience, cook!
Cakebread Cellars offers tours and tastings year-round by appointment-only.
Cakebread Cellars, 8300 St.Helena Hwy, Rutherford, CA 94573. 1.800.588.0298