November 11, 2016

A Quick Trip to Napa Valley and the Culinary Institute of America

Two years ago my husband and I spent a fun few days in Napa Valley to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We instantly fell in love with the area, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to be invited to return this fall to attend a seminar with Panasonic. They were debuting a really cool new countertop induction at the Culinary Institute of America with Chef Gabe Kennedy and I had a blast participating in the event. Here are a few highlights from the trip:

Napa fall 2016 | The Naptime Chef

We spent a whole day on the gorgeous campus of the Culinary Institute of America’s St. Helena campus. The building is a former winery and contained all sorts of artifacts like giant collections of corkscrews and the Vitner’s Hall of Fame.


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Napa fall 2016 | The Naptime Chef

When we arrived we enjoyed a delicious lunch prepared by the CIA Chefs and students. We also tasted some of their private label Greystone wine which was mellow and smooth.

Napa fall 2016 | The Naptime Chef

After our lunch we enjoyed a fun demonstration of the new Countertop Induction Oven! It is countertop size and cooks completely with induction technology. That means it can get up to 350 degrees in a matter of seconds. Can you imagine a world with no preheating? Hallelujah!

Napa fall 2016 | The Naptime Chef

Gabe Kennedy demonstrated all kinds of interesting food you can make in the oven. I was particularly taken with the cauliflower which was roasted in a just a few minutes. It is so cool that this little oven on the countertop can achieve this so quickly. (We ate this cauliflower after photographing it and it tasted incredible).

Napa fall 2016 | The Naptime Chef

Following the demonstration we were treated to a lovely stroll of the CIA campus. I found my new home at the wine center and briefly considered telling my family to pack their bags and move west right away. Maybe next year.

Napa fall 2016 | The Naptime Chef

The following day we had some free time in Napa and I was thrilled to have the chance to visit some old favorite spots, and a few new ones.

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Napa fall 2016 | The Naptime Chef

I started off the morning at Oxbow Public Market because the coffee and breakfast tacos are off the hook. They also have one of my favorite little bookstores in the whole world.

Napa fall 2016 | The Naptime Chef

Naturally, I stopped at V. Sattui to taste their latest Zinfandel and it was amazing.

Napa fall 2016 | The Naptime Chef

Then I went down the street to Peju at the recommendation of a friend and instantly fell in love with the southern France-style feel. Their wines were delicate and fruity, I particularly loved the Provence blend.

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Napa fall 2016 | The Naptime Chef

Lastly, I returned to my favorite Yountville and enjoyed a quick lunch at Bouchon followed by a tasting at Hope & Grace winery. Both were excellent and made me nostalgic for our vacation.

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Napa fall 2016 | The Naptime Chef

Following the trip I went to San Francisco to visit friends and you can see some more of my photos on my Instagram feed. It is such a beautiful city, I love it more every single time I visit. I hope to return again soon!

All the off the above photos were taken with my iPhone since  most places I visited were very dark.

(Disclosure: This post and the trip was sponsored by Panasonic. All the photographs and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make the The Naptime Chef possible.)