Join us for this “insider’s” tour, limited to just 14 attendees, to Napa Valley’s elite small wineries, great kitchens, and homes. Hugh is your teacher for three of the participation cooking classes and your host for every event throughout the week. All the recipes are based on his 16 cookbooks. The programs are created for travelers who want to combine a learning vacation with free time to pursue their own interests while in Napa Valley. More than 1,700 food and wine lovers have attended “camps” during the last 23 years, and many are returning “graduates.” Between our scheduled events, you’ll have time to take the “cure” at a luxurious spa, visit artists’ studios, explore the historic towns of Yountville and St. Helena, and dine at Napa Valley’s great restaurants. Join us for an opening night party at our home, and then treat yourself to five more days in one of the world’s great wine and food regions.
How to get to Napa: Napa Valley is approximately 50 miles northeast of San Francisco. If you fly into San Francisco (or Oakland or Sacramento, the closest airports), we recommend you rent a car at the airport. We will provide you with hotel information and directions.
Hugh Carpenter’s Camp Napa classes are created for the independent traveler wanting to combine a cooking vacation with plenty of free time to pursue their own interests while in Napa Valley or in San Miguel, Mexico. Features include lunches, receptions and dinners, as listed in the class itineraries. Airfare, hotel accommodations, car rental, and other items not described are not included.
Contact us today to find out more about enjoying a fabulous week of hands-on cooking and wine tasting and all the other exciting activities that you can get only at a cooking school hosted by cookbook author and chef extraordinaire Hugh Carpenter.
Camp Napa tour price per tour member: $2,970 ($500 deposit required with balance due 90 days before class begins). Payments may be made through PayPal or by personal check [enroll and pay].
Sunday: Reception and Dinner at Hugh and Teri’s Home.
Tonight Hugh and his wife, Teri, host a reception and dinner at their home set in an olive grove and surrounded by the vineyards of Napa Valley. Among the dishes that Hugh will cook are barbecued shrimp with three herb glaze, pan fried dumplings with spicy tomato sauce, braised short ribs with red wine and rosemary, and homemade caramel swirl ice cream.
Monday: Cooking Class at Cakebread Cellars, Appetizers at Auberge Du Soleil.
This morning Hugh teaches the first of three participation cooking classes at Cakebread Cellars. Jack and Dolores, their son, Bruce Cakebread, and their families are much loved in Napa Valley, and we are fortunate to be their guests at the winery. Every top chef in America has cooked in their wonderful kitchen during the annual Cakebread Harvest Workshop. Each class is full participation. Aiding us in the kitchen is long-time Cakebread winery chef Brian Streeter, and his assistant, Chef Tom Sixsmith. Brian’s unique skills include two Cakebread Cellars’ cookbooks. The afternoon is free. In the early evening, we meet at one of Napa Valley’s most luxurious retreats, Auberge Du Soleil. On the outdoor terrace perched high in the hills overlooking Napa Valley, we’ll gather to enjoy appetizers and wine in the spectacular setting. Your evening is free.
Tuesday: Cooking Class and Lunch at Hall Winery, Late Afternoon Visit to Frog's Leap Winery.
This morning we meet at Kathryn and Craig Hall's spectacular winery just south of the town of St. Helena. An historic Napa Valley winery founded in 1885, today Hall Winery has a striking contemporary design and wine-making facility that produces some of Napa Valley's most highly acclaimed Cabernets. Winery Chef Corrie Beezley will lead us in a cooking class at the winery's state-of-the-art demonstration and participation kitchen. Chef Beezley is known for her refined interpretations of farm-to-table organic cuisine while giving prominence to health, wellness, and wine compatability. She will lead us in an action-packed morning as we follow her lead to create a vibrant organic wine country menu. The afternoon is free. Late in the afternoon we meet at Frog's Leap Winery. Founded 33 years ago by John Williams, the winery has built a reputation for using a blend of traditional and innovative vineyard and wine-making practices including organic dry farming the 130 acres of vineyards. Beth and Frank Leeds, who own a neighboring vineyard and farm the Frog's Leap vineyards, will be our hosts, with a visit from John Williams based on his scheduling. This will be our farming seminar (so you thought great wines are easy to make!) with plenty of Frog's Leap wines to taste and appetizers to highlight the wines. Your evening is free.
Wednesday: Cooking Class and Lunch at Cakebread Cellars, Afternoon Visit to B Cellars.
This morning we return for a Hugh Carpenter participation cooking class. The theme is seafood. Working in teams, we’ll cook mussels, shrimp, scallops, as well as salmon and other line-caught fish by applying a diverse range of cooking techniques including grilling, smoking on wood planks, sautéing, and oven roasting. Then we will dine at a long table in a beautiful garden setting. Early afternoon free. Later this afternoon, we have the opportunity to visit a new winery in Oakville already being praised for its great red wines, B Cellars. Founded by Jim Borsack and Duffy Keys in 2003, it focuses on blending varietals using a combination of Old and New World wine-making perspectives under the wine-making leadership of Kirk Venge. Recently, Kirk was named one of the "Top 20 New Winemakers in the World" by Food and Wine Magazine. We'll tour the estate and then taste the wines matched with appetizers created by winery Chef Brian Michael Green. Your evening is free.
Thursday: Cooking Class and Lunch at Joseph Phelps Winery, Afternoon Visit to David Arthur Winery.
This morning centers on the legendary Joseph Phelps Winery. One of the first new wineries to be constructed after the end of Prohibition, their wines have been consistent leaders in the wine industry, especially their acclaimed red wines—Insignia and Backus. The winery has been entirely rebuilt and now has a beautiful new kitchen perfect for participation cooking classes. Our teacher this morning is the popular and talented Napa Valley chef, Morgan Robinson, who has been part of our program for the last three years. After we cook together preparing lunch, the founder’s son, Bill Phelps (who has headed up all winery operations for a number of years), will come by for appetizers and, if time allows, for lunch. Later this afternoon we enjoy a private tour of the acclaimed David Arthur Winery located high in the eastern hills in an area called "Pritchard Hill" (past Camp Napa graduates will remember our visits to nearby wineries Chappellet, Ovid, Colgan, and Continuum). David Arthur Winery produces equally wonderful wines and this year celebrates 30 years of wine-making. Owner David Long and Winery Chef Tyson Ducker will be our hosts.
Friday: Cooking Class and Lunch at Cakebread Cellars, Graduation Dinner at Vineyard 29.
This morning we meet at Cakebread for Hugh’s third participation cooking class. The theme is BBQ. You’ll be introduced to many techniques using charcoal and gas grills for cooking meats, seafood, and vegetables matched with a diverse range of marinades and barbecue sauces. All the key cooking methods are covered, including everything you need to know about smoking ribs, chicken, and brisket. You’ll become the neighborhood barbecue expert! Afternoon free. This evening we have our graduation dinner at one of the most talked about small wineries in Napa Valley, Vineyard 29. Meeting at the spectacular winery north of St. Helena, we’ll tour the winery, enjoy appetizers in the beautiful cellar, and then have a wonderful dinner prepared by one of Napa's top chefs. Depending on his schedule, owner Chuck McMinn will join us. We'll dine late into the night overlooking all of Napa Valley, trade stories of our adventures, and plan reunion dinners.
Saturday: Napa to Home.
After last-minute morning adventures, those with flights depart for the airport, or you may choose to stay on to enjoy the many other activities available in the Bay Area. Each year we do a new program, and we hope you'll come back to see us again.