Jim Severson

2 Posts Back Home

Cakebread American Harvest Workshop Day 4 and 5

Today is our last full day of the Cakebread Cellars American Harvest Workshop.  After a very long day of picking grapes, making pottery and cooking dinner for 65 yesterday, we’re up early again, gathering at 6:30 am for a drive to the coast.   We’re visiting three artisan purveyors, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, Hog Island Oyster Company and Della Fattoria, a bakery, and in my opinion the best bakery in the United States.  I love their pumpkin seed and polenta breads.  I have been to all of these places, on video shoots when I was producing the TV show In Wine Country.  But I was always working and didn’t experience it as a regular visitor might. It’s about a 90 minute drive from Napa Valley to Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese, in the Point Reyes National Seashore.  While the marine layer is thick this morning, the scenery, with the water…

Cakebread American Harvest Workshop Day 1

Right in the middle of harvest, the busiest time at any winery, Cakebread Cellars in Napa Valley invites five chefs from around the world, a group of local artisan food producers and food and wine enthusiasts to take part in the American Harvest Workshop, a five day intensive on food and wine. It’s a hands-on program, with the chefs and other participants literally getting their hands dirty, picking grapes, harvesting veggies from Cakebread’s winery garden, and creating and cooking two five-course dinners for 65 people. As we gather on day one for orientation and a tour of the garden, I can’t help thinking this feels a little like Top Chef. No, it’s not a competition, but the five chefs will be working together as a team, and this is the first time they’ve met each other. Culinary Director Brian Streeter, who is our leader for the workshop, has them choose…