Join us to celebrate the 25th year of Hugh Carpenter's Camp Napa Culinary. The program this year features great Napa Valley wine families: Bill Phelps of Joseph Phelps Winery, Kathryn Hall of Hall Winery, Molly Chappellet of Chappellet Winery, Kate MacMurray of actor Fred MacMurray's Healdsburg ranch, Jim and Laura Regusci of Regusci Winery, Mary Novak of Spottswoode Winery, Jack and Dolores Cakebread of Cakebread Cellars, and Kenzo Tsujimoto of Kenzo Estate.
This is an “insider’s” tour to Napa Valley. Each six-day program is limited to just 14 attendees. Hugh is your host for every event throughout the week and will be joined at many of the events by his wife, photographer Teri Sandison. Hugh will teach two participation cooking classes with recipes taken from his 16 cookbooks. New this year will be three additional participation classes, each taught by popular Napa Valley chefs. Camp Napa Culinary is created for travelers wanting to combine a learning vacation with free time to pursue their own interests while in Napa Valley. More than 1,800 food and wine lovers have attended “camps” during the last 24 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: Cooking Class and Dinner at Hugh and Teri’s Home
Tonight Hugh and his wife, Teri, host a cooking class and dinner at their home set in an olive grove and surrounded by the vineyards of Napa Valley. Breaking into cooking teams, some of the recipes you will prepare are Barbecued Shrimp with Three Herb Glaze, Pan Fried Dumplings with Spicy Chipotle Sauce, Prime Grass-Fed Beef with Asian Flavors, and Caramel Swirl Ice Cream. The theme is "Secrets for Giving Great Dinner Parties." You will receive copies of all of Hugh's recipes as well as all the other recipes used during the week.
Monday: Cooking Class and Lunch at Joseph Phelps Winery, Croquet at Meadowood Resort
This morning centers on the legendary Joseph Phelps Winery. One of the first new wineries to be constructed after the end of Prohibition, Phelps’ 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 that is 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 all winery operations for a number of years), will come by for appetizers. In the late afternoon, we meet at Napa Valley's most luxurious retreat, Meadowood Resort, for croquet. Dressed in our "whites" and with wine in hand, we'll negotiate one of the few championship croquet greens in America. We'll be under the guidance of Meadowood Croquet Pro Mike Lefgan. His love of the game transforms everyone into a croquet fan. The evening is free.
Tuesday: Cooking Class and Lunch at Hall Winery, Late Afternoon Visit to Molly Chappellet
This morning we meet at Kathryn and Craig Hall's spectacular winery just south of the town of St. Helena. A 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. Our participation cooking class will be taught by Sarah Scott, formerly the long-time executive chef at the Robert Mondavi Winery. This is the third year that she has been part of Camp Napa's program. An enthusiastic teacher, her recipes are innovative and the food is delicious. Late this afternoon we meet the remarkable Molly Chappellet, whose sense of style is legendary. We are honored to have a chance to spend time with her. Molly will lead us on a tour of her gardens, followed by a winery tour and tasting of the acclaimed wines. To see what lies in store for you, see Molly's spectacular books, A Vineyard Garden and Gardens of the Wine Country. The evening is free.
Wednesday: A Visit to MacMurray Ranch, Wine Blending, Cooking Class and Lunch
Today we'll meet at Hollowood actor Fred MacMurray's Healdsburg 19th-century ranch, which he used for decades as a retreat from Hollywood. Never open to the public, we'll begin with a wine education program that shows how art and science merge in the production of a blend—requiring a winemaker's skill as well as creativity. Both fun and insightful, we'll work in groups to compete for Best Wine of the Day! This activity is followed by a cooking class with the well-known Sonoma chef, Tom Schmidt. He is the long-time executive chef from the acclaimed restaurant John Ash and Company. The cooking class will be "barbecue seven different ways," followed by lunch served in an indescribable setting. We will be joined at lunch by Fred MacMurray's daughter, Kate, if she is available. The rest of your afternoon and evening is free. For those wishing to explore the historic town of Healdsburg, we will provide maps and a restaurant guide.
Thursday: Cooking Class and Lunch at Regusci Winery, a Visit to Mary Novak's Home
This is going to be another exceptional day. This morning we gather at Regusci Winery, located in the Stag’s Leap District. The historic winery and vineyards developed by Angelo Regusci are now under the leadership of Jim and Laura Regusci and produce 6,500 cases of Estate Regusci wines. We are honored that Jim and Laura will host our lunch. And our lunch will be the result of a participation cooking class led by their winery Chef, Angel Perez. He is one of the most gifted chefs we have known. Originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, he will teach us how to duplicate a contemporary Mexican-California menu with easy dishes that perfectly highlight Regusci wines. We are very lucky to have Angel as our guide, and you will quickly understand why he is considered a marvel of cooking skills matched with a charming personality. Late in the afternoon we gather at the historic private estate of Mary Novak, founder of Spottswoode Winery, and a passionate gardener. She’ll lead us through the park-like 19th-century collector’s garden and explain what she has maintained or transformed during her 30 years of caring for the garden. As the sun sets, she will host us for a tasting of her famous Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon on the porch of her Victorian home, where we’ll enjoy appetizers prepared by one of Napa Valley's finest cooks, her daughter Kelley Novak. The evening is free.
Friday: Cooking Class and Lunch at Cakebread Cellars, Graduation Dinner at Kenzo Estate
This morning we meet at Cakebread Cellars for a Hugh Carpenter cooking class. Jack and Dolores, and 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. We'll break into cooking teams and complete a menu that features California cooking with Asian accents. Based on availability, we'll be joined by one of the Cakebread family or by Brian Streeter, the long-time winery chef. The afternoon is free. In the evening we meet at Kenzo Tsujimoto's Napa Valley estate. With 3,800 acres on a mountaintop overlooking Napa Valley, this is a spectacular small winery rarely open to the public. Founded by Kenzo Tsujimoto, who made his fortune in the video game industry, its small production of wine is largely sold in Japan. We'll have dinner cooked for us by the French chef Richard Perot in a building designed by the famed architect Howard Backen. With wine in hand, we'll reminsce about the week and plan reunions. We hope you will return and cook with us again.
Saturday: Napa to Home
After last-minute morning adventures, those with flights depart for the airport, or you may 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.