1: We drove up to Napa on Saturday morning and got to the Culinary Institute of America Greystone Campus with just enough time to enjoy some pastries and coffee at the Bakery Cafe by Illy. I caught Michael in the midst of chocolate croissant and marizotti, which is brioche dough with rum-soaked raisins and orange zest mixed in.
2: Our class on One Dish Meals was a lot of fun. Although it was nothing like an Chopped Challenge (or a course on knife work, thank goodness), we did learn some new recipes and get to make everyone a big lunch in a professional kitchen. You never knew, but everyone looks good in a chef toque.
3: We stayed in a really nice hotel that shuttled us back over to Downtown Napa. We walked the Art Walk around the buildings and restaurants, had a few Lord of the Rings moments ("The way is shut. It was made by the dead and the dead keep it. The way is shut.") and enjoyed the scenery. We even saw Iron Chef Morimoto out in front of his restaurant. So cool.
4: We found a gem of a restaurant for dinner - Peking Palace - after having a few beers at the local dive, Henrys. The food was really really delicious, even good for breakfast, and the service was phenomenal.
5: On Sunday, we drove over to the Oxbow Public Market. We bought some cheese (can you say Limberger?), ate a few dozen oysters that were amazing, tried some ridiculously awesome sandwiches and topped it off with a couple scoops of ice cream. We like to eat...
Thanks to our families, we had a fantastic mini-vacation. We'll definitely be heading back up to the region again. Can't wait to find some more fun!