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Cooking with Julie

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of experiencing a new fine dining from the ‘Auberge Adventures’ guidebook.  I attended the Napa Farmers Market Tour and Cooking Class, taught by Julie Logue-Riordan, the owner of Cooking with Julie.

I met with Julie and the rest of the class at 8am sharp at the Napa Farmer’s Market, outside the Oxbow Public Market.  We spent the morning at the market browsing through the stalls of gorgeous local produce. The Napa Farmers Market offers the season’s finest produce. She showed us how to select the season’s fruits and vegetables from summer corn and heirloom tomatoes to luscious figs and peppers.  We had the opportunity to taste the flavors of the market as well, sampling fresh produce from Big Ranch Farms and Long Meadow Ranch and even stopped by the Atlas Peak Olive Oil booth for a tasting.

We then headed inside the Oxbow Market to get our meat, spices, cheese and bread.   We purchased our sustainable meat from Five Dot Ranch and Fatted Calf Charcuterie.   Julie gave us a very thorough lesson on spices and salts at the Whole Spice Company.  And, we were able to sample a handful of cheeses at The Oxbow Cheese Merchant.

Next, we were off to visit Groth Family winery for a private tasting.  While we were there, we were able to taste a handful of their wines paired with the bread, cheese and olives that we picked up at the Oxbow Market.  We selected the perfect Groth wines to enjoy with our meal.

Then on to Julie’s kitchen, for a hands-on cooking class.  Julie had us hard at work cleaning produce, chopping, sautéing and grilling.  Stopping every once in a while to offer a helpful cooking hint or technique.

A few hours later…we had created an amazing meal, fit for a king.  Or, in our case, being a group of all women… Queens.

We turned our bounty into a wonderful Napa Valley country feast:

• Burrata with Cherry Tomatoes
• Fried Squash Blossoms
• Baked Kale Chips
• Yellow Tomato Gazpacho
• Grilled Flatiron Steak Adobo with Grilled Peppers
• Southwestern Heirloom Tomato Salad
• Grilled Figs with Napa Honey and Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Overall, it was an amazing experience.  I would recommend it to anyone looking for a farm-to-table cooking experience during their stay in the Napa Valley.  Julie has a wealth of culinary experience, a beautiful kitchen and home, and a truly unique cooking class.   Cooking with Julie can be booked for Auberge du Soleil hotel guests through our concierge.  Or, you can book directly online at:  http://cookingwithjulie.com/

CATEGORIES: Concierge Corner

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