The leading lights in Napa Valley’s acclaimed restaurants and world-renowned wineries are teaming up for a new “epicurean extravaganza’ in the fall.
Elaborate plans for the four-day “Flavor! Napa Valley Celebration of Wine, Food & Fun” were unveiled Thursday during a news conference at host venue, Silverado Resort and Spa.
In addition to nearly three dozen media representatives, attendees included high profile chefs Thomas Keller, Michael Chiarello, Masaharu Morimoto, Tyler Florence, Ken Frank, Cindy Pawlcyn and Jeff Jake, all of whom will participate in the mid-November wine and food celebration. Also taking part is Christopher Kostow of Meadowood Napa Valley and Scott Conant of New York.
The series of food and wine events will take place Nov. 17-20 at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone and Silverado Resort, featuring wines from Napa Valley Vintners members paired with food from chefs who either have restaurants in the valley or are CIA graduates, said John Evans, Silverado general manager.
Net proceeds from the event will support programs and scholarships at the CIA Greystone campus, he said.
“Given how much talent is here and our community’s well known leadership in crafting the finest food and wine experiences, a signature culinary event in the Napa Valley is long overdue,” said Chiarello, chef/owner of Bottega in Yountville and a CIA graduate.
Chiarello was the catalyst for pulling together all the principals involved in Flavor! Napa Valley, said Herb Karlitz, whose firm, Karlitz & Company, will manage all aspects of event production, including securing sponsors, chefs and wine talent.
A leading culinary event-marketing firm, Karlitz & Company produces a range of high-profile events, including the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival. Karlitz helps market the South Beach Food & Wine Festival in Florida and is organizing a new event in Cancun, Mexico.
In addition to support from CIA Greystone and Napa Valley Vintners, Flavor! Napa Valley will be promoted by the Napa Valley Destination Council. Silverado Resort and Spa and Dolce Hotel Group are founding sponsors.
Thomas Keller said he was “excited to participate” in the inaugural event. “More importantly, I’m eager to support the event in its goal to raise funds for the CIA and provide scholarships for deserving students.”
Besides operating a bakery and three restaurants — including the three-Michelin-starred French Laundry — Keller is a member of CIA’s board of trustees.
In addition to a wealth of food events, the Flavor! Napa Valley program includes educational seminars at CIA Greystone to be hosted by Napa Valley wine experts Karen MacNeil — who chairs the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at CIA Greystone — and master sommelier Andrea Immer Robinson.
With events and participants still to be added, the inaugural Flavor! Napa Valley calendar looks like this:
• Thursday, Nov. 17 — Welcome dinner in the Silverado ballroom, featuring the cuisine of host chef Jeff Jake, Cindy Pawlcyn of Go Fish, Mustards Grill and Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, and Scott Conant, noted New York chef/restaurateur whose Scarpetta restaurants are located in Manhattan, Toronto, Las Vegas and Miami Beach.
• Friday, Nov. 18 — The Appellation Trail, a tasting of wines from the Napa Valley and its 15 sub-appellations, an event for locals and visitors at CIA Greystone. Also planned at CIA earlier in the day is a sommelier competition.
• Saturday, Nov. 19 — An interactive lunch hosted by Michael Chiarello and presented by Food & Wine magazine; cooking demonstrations with Keller, Kostow, Pawlcyn and Conant and wine tasting seminars at CIA Greystone; dinner with Napa Valley winemakers and sommeliers at Silverado; Napa Valley’s Ultimate Flavors, dinners for a maximum of 10 guests at 20 restaurants around the valley.
• Sunday, Nov. 20 — Sunday brunch hosted by Tyler Florence in Silverado Ballroom; cooking demonstrations with Keller, Kostow, Pawlcyn and Conant and wine tasting seminars at CIA Greystone.
CORRECTION: This story has been modified since its original posting to delete prices which the organizers say have yet to be confirmed.