This weekend, I was fortunate enough to be invited to visit Napa Valley to participate in two different events. Having never visited the valley, I was eager to see what all the commotion was about!
First I was invited to visit COPIA, The American Center for Food Wine, and Art, a venue which houses demo kitchens, wine tastings, an interactive museum, a restaurant, glorious gardens, and even a wall from Julia Child’s kitchen!
Miggy and I were met by Chef Jill and Chef Linda Carucci, who would be MC-ing the demo. I was scheduled to prepare a simple Daisy Tomato Salad, and a shellfish Noodle Paella. Everyone was very accommodating, and I was looking froward to getting things started in the kitchen. After a preliminary “once over”, I had enough time to stroll throught the gorgeous gardens of COPIA. Here are some of my favorite shots!
Really, it is nothing short of paradise! Fruit trees, herbs, greens, vegetables of every kind abound in every single corner of the garden. It took a great force of will to leave this heaven on earth, but I was ready for my close-up, so to speak, and my pre demo adrenalin was starting to kick in.
After welcoming my guests, I found my rhythm and things got fun really fast!
The audience was very receptive and we were having way too much fun in no time at all! I fixed the tomato salad first, and then set it aside to let the flavors come together while the fideua came together. There were questions, and stories and laughs and more stories. Everyone had a really great time. FInally, it was time for my interview with Chef Linda, and that was when the hilarity started. I wish I had a live audience all the time. It is my most favorite way to interact with an audience!
Finally it was time for the book signing, and a little one on one
It was such a great experience, that Chef Linda invited me back, on the spot, in January. She didn’t have to ask me twice!! Tomorrow I’ll write about the rest of my Napa experience…let me leave you with a hint: