Auction Napa Valley 2013

Tents await lunch and bidding at Auction Napa Valley 2013 at the Meadowood resort
Tents await lunch and bidding at Auction Napa Valley 2013 at the Meadowood resort


The American Wine Classic – 33rd Annual Wine Auction


2013: The Marvels & Miracles


Event Chairs: Garen and Shari Staglin of Staglin Family Vineyard


Beneficiaries: Programs benefiting healthcare and child development in Napa County


***   Raised: $16.9 million   ***


SCHEDULE


–  Saturday May 26, 2013: E-Auction


Opens for online bids on 170 lots. Raised $430,000.

Continue reading “Auction Napa Valley 2013” »

The Northern California Winners of GAYOT 2013 Restaurant Issue

Radio Host Joel Riddell at the Spring Mountain Vineyard with Sophie Gayot
Radio Host Joel Riddell at the Spring Mountain Vineyard with Sophie Gayot


by Sophie Gayot


After discussing the Southern California Winners of GAYOT 2013 Restaurant Issue with chef Jamie Gwen on her radio show, I got to do the same with Joel Riddell for the northern part of the Golden State.


I was lucky to meet the energetic Riddell during the S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef competition in Napa Valley where I was a judge. Every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Riddell, who is based in San Francisco, discusses his culinary, wine and travel findings on Talk 910 AM KKSF during his show Dining Around.


After we spoke about GAYOT.com and what I like to eat, Riddell got our insights on the Northern California restaurants that won a place in the GAYOT 2013 Restaurant Issue. They include restaurants from chef Thomas Keller, the recipient of the title “Best Restaurateur in the U.S.

Continue reading “The Northern California Winners of GAYOT 2013 Restaurant Issue” »

S.Pellegrino 2013 Almost Famous Chef Competition Winners

2013 Almost Famous Chef competition  Kristen Thibeault with Sophie Gayot
2013 Almost Famous Chef competition winner Kristen Thibeault with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot


The winners of the 11th S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef competition, held at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif., have just been announced.


During two challenges, The Mystery Basket yesterday, and The Signature Dish today, ten competitors had to prove to the judges that they can cook. The chef judges were Rick Moonen, Tony Mantuano, Jean Joho (2012 GAYOT.com Best Restaurateur in the US), Michel Richard, Susur Lee, and Mark McEwan; the media judges Dana Cowin, Mitchell Davis, Jacob Richler, Betsy Andrews, and me.

Continue reading “S.Pellegrino 2013 Almost Famous Chef Competition Winners” »

2013 Napa Truffle Festival Recap

Fresh black truffles
Fresh black truffles

by Barb Rybicki


While Napa Valley farmers can earn $5,000 a ton or more for wine grapes, there’s another crop that puts that figure to shame. Truffles can fetch a whopping $1,200 dollars per pound which is the equivalent of $2.4 million per ton. It’s the most expensive crop in the world, even though truffles are actually 83 per cent water.


The 3rd annual Napa Truffle Festival took place recently to celebrate the revered fungus – specifically the prized Périgord black winter truffle – through a series of ethereal meals and fascinating educational seminars. Ground zero was Napa’s Westin Verasa and its La Toque restaurant – though actual ground played a role as well during truffle orchard and wild mushroom forays.

Continue reading “2013 Napa Truffle Festival Recap” »

North Block Hotel Wine Explorer Package – Travel Special

A guest room at North Block Hotel in Yountville, CA
A guest room at North Block Hotel in Yountville, CA

Explore Northern California Wine Country at the North Block Hotel


A stylish boutique hotel in the charming Napa Valley town of Yountville, North Block Hotel invites lovers of the good life to savor its new Wine Explorer package.


Your Wine Explorer escape will begin with tasting visits to a trio of boutique and well-known wineries. Escorted by a private driver, you will visit each winery and then enjoy a wine country gourmet picnic for two overlooking the panoramic Napa Valley. The next morning, linger over breakfast before indulging in a treatment at the pampering North Block Spa.

Continue reading “North Block Hotel Wine Explorer Package – Travel Special” »