Most years, Cakebread Cellars finds itself at the top of the list for most-popular restaurant wines. There’s a reason — the Cakebreads love food. From the time Jack and Dolores Cakebread founded their Napa Valley winery in 1973, the family has spent a lot of time on the road visiting restaurant kitchens while developing their own gardening and food programs at the winery.
In 1987, they launched their pioneering American Harvest Workshop to bring together top restaurant chefs, about 10 paying amateur chefs, and many local farmers and artisan food purveyors at the winery each fall to prepare two lavish wine dinners open to the public. This year’s chefs were Greg Biggers of Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, Marc McDowell of Makena Beach & Golf Resort in Maui, Jim Severson of Sevy’s Grill in Dallas, Brad Turley of GoGa in Shanghai, and Eric Haugen of the Lambs Club in New York City.
I was thrilled to get an invitation to help out in the Cakebread kitchen.