Ojai Valley Inn Farmhouse Chef Dinner

The reasons for travel are many, I adore combining a hotel or villa stay with a fine dining experience. The Ojai Valley Inn recently completed a Farmhouse event space on their rambling property which is utilized to host elegant pop up dinners with famed chefs. Last week I attended my first and I hope just the beginning of many more events at The Farmhouse. The stunning event space, designed by famed architect Howard Backen of Backen Gillam Kroeger in Napa Valley encompasses an expansive 20,000 square foot culinary and event center, connecting world-class food culture with indoor/outdoor functions. The space is amazing, an indoor /outdoor experience – see previous post for full description of events.

Ojai Valley Inn The Farmhouse

In an exclusive dinner wine tasting experience Neal Fraser, chef and owner of critically acclaimed Los Angeles restaurants Redbird, Vibiana, and Fritzi Coop mingled with guests and served a tantalizing dinner. A culinary journey inspired by his renowned style of cuisine with a family-style dinner paired with wines from Heitz Cellars. Chef Fraser touts an impressive resume that includes a degree from the Culinary Institute of America and an honor roll of kitchen credits such as Wolfgang Puck’s Eureka and Spago, Checkers Hotel under Thomas Keller, Joachim Splichal’s Pinot Bistro, Hans Rockenwagner’s Rox, and the highly revered Boxer.

Bar Director , Redbird, Tobin Shea.  

The cocktail hour began beneath the immense Oak trees, so indicative of the Ojai Valley Inn property, with passed appetizers and a Redbird-inspired cocktail bar by Bar Director Tobin Shea.  Mingling with the guests were the Inn’s Director of Operations Ben Kephart and Master Sommelier, Carlton McCoy, the President and CEO of Napa Valley’s famed Heitz Cellars, and former wine director of Aspen’s The Little Nell. McCoy, 34, was one of the youngest candidates ever to achieve Master Sommelier status in 2013 and is one of only two African American master sommeliers. Although we moved inside the spectacular Farmhouse for the seated dinner, the massive glass doors on each end of the soaring space revealed the evening sunset and the warm evening breeze. Chef Neal Fraser and Chef de Cuisine Jason Bowlin announced the menu for the family-style dinner as wait staff served generous platters of each course.  The scrumptious wine pairings by Heitz’ Carlton McCoy, included the very collectible Cabernet Sauvignon Martha’s Vineyard.

We were thrilled to have Chef Fraser sit with us post dinner, staff delivered a small craft bottle of Russell’ Reserve Single Barrel Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey and we toasted his success. If you are interested in having Chef come to your home, I have his personal contact info. One meal he would particularly love to curate is a hunt dinner – if you have a Ranch and hunt boar, he’s interested in preparing a full-blown feast!

Foodies, golfers, sun seekers will all enjoy an experience at The Ojai Valley Inn and The Farmhouse, earlier post lists all the upcoming events which include cooking classes and famed chef dinners.

Chef Neal Fraser chef & owner of critically acclaimed Los Angeles restaurants Redbird, Vibiana and Fritz Coop at Ojai Valley Inn Farmhouse Dinner
The Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn
The Farmhouse Dinner Menu with Neal Fraser at Ojai Valley Inn

Ojai Valley Inn The Farm House Classes/Dinners

Ojai Valley Inn – Cooking at the Farmhouse!

The long anticipated, stunning multi-use epicurean showplace, The Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn, is finally now open for cooking classes and events.  Famed architect Howard Backen with Backen Gillam Kroeger in Napa Valley designed the expansive 20,000 square foot culinary and event center to connect world-class food culture with indoor/outdoor functions.

Ojai Valley Inn The Farmhouse

The Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn is a wood and glass barn-inspired structure feature a natural palette of forest browns and greys, redwood siding, 25-foot ceilings, and exposed wooden trusses. The Kitchen is designed for open demo format, allowing up to 80 guests a front row seat to the chefs in action, while the adjacent Library and garden courtyard, each seating up to 20, will serve as private dining and meeting areas. Additionally, 11’-6” foot high sliding doors will open dramatically to The Lawn with expanded outdoor seating, a landscaped garden of native olive trees and lavender, an organic vegetable and herb garden, and a majestic 100-year-old Oak tree anchoring the center focal point.

Renowned chef, author, and James Beard Foundation Award winner Nancy Silverton will serve as The Farmhouse’s premier Culinary Ambassador, curating a series of experiential, culinary-driven events slated throughout 2019. In her role as debut Culinary Ambassador of The Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn, Silverton will cultivate select bucket list-worthy epicurean events, bringing together the crème de la crème of the culinary world, and giving guests the opportunity to experience master classes, book signings, talks, and workshops.

This has already taken place, but hopefully Phil will return- sorry I missed it!

Eat Like Phil Rosenthal and Nancy Silverton’s Friends Behind The Flame (April 17-18, 2019)
A unique opportunity to “Eat Like Phil” with television writer and producer Phil Rosenthal, host of Netflix’s popular Somebody Feed Phil series during a multi-course lunch menu of items that highlight his travels and finds. Later, a multi-course dinner with wine pairings will feature friends behind the flame and at the table, such as Suzanne Tracht, Mary Sue Milliken, Lissa Doumani, and Hiro Sone.

Nancy Silverton and Evan Funke in a Celebration of Pasta (June 15-16, 2019)
Includes a duo of epic pasta proportions—Nancy Silverton and acclaimed chef, pasta master, and culinary storyteller Evan Funke with his team from Felix—for a pasta-focused multi-course dining and wine pairing experience; pasta making master class, and more.

Conversations, Books and Bites With the Legendary Ruth Reichl (September 21-22, 2019)
A rare conversation with a legend—Ruth Reichl, former New York Times restaurant critic, final editor-in-chief of Gourmet, co-producer of PBS’ Gourmet Diary of a Foodie, and enduring leading voice in food. Includes a signed copy of her new book and a family-style lunch inspired by her recipes.

Nancy Silverton With Dario Cecchini on the Art of Butchering (November 23-24, 2019)
Internationally-renowned Tuscan butcher Dario Cecchini will be on hand for back-to-back events ranging from an exclusive master class to a meat-centric dinner accompanied by wines from famed Chianti producer, Fontodi Winery. The weekend will also include a grill demonstration with Eric Gephart of Kamado Joe Grills, and a live-fire cooking demonstration and Middle Eastern dinner with Debbie Michail.

2019 Event Highlights

April 17 – Welcome Lunch with Phil Rosenthal & Nancy Silverton

April 18 – Nancy Silverton & Friends: Multi-Course Dinner with Wine Pairings

June 15 – Pasta Class & Lunch with Evan Funke

June 16 – The Pasta Dinner with Evan Funke & Nancy Silverton

August 30 – Nancy Silverton Grilled Cheese Pop-Up

August 31 – Cheese Making & Dinner with Mimmo Bruno, Nancy Silverton & Pizzeria Mozza

September 21 – Lunch, Demonstration & Book Signing with Ruth Reichl

September 21 – Winemaker Tasting Series: FÆTHM with Nik & Julia Krankl

November 22 – Dario Cecchini “Butcher for a Day” Class & Lunch

November 22 – Dinner with Dario Cecchini, Nancy Silverton & Fontodi Winery

November 23 – Open-Flame Cooking Demonstration & Dinner with Debbie Michail

November 24 – Grill Class & Lunch with Ryan DeNicola, Eric Gephart & Nancy Silverton

November 29 – White Truffle Lunch with John Magazino & Nancy Silverton

November 30 – The White Truffle Dinner with Nancy Silverton & Osteria Mozza

December 6 – Welcome Dinner with Walter Manzke & Nancy Silverton

December 7 – Pastry Class with Dahlia Narvaez

December 8 – Baked Goods Demonstration with Margarita Manzke

December 8 – Farewell Brunch with Nancy Silverton & Krug Champagne

For more details on classes, dinners and events, please take a look at the website:   www.farmhouseojai.com

Kids in the Kitchen

Artisan Pizza & Mozzarella

French & Italian Demonstrations

Fresh Pasta Making

Eclairs & Cream Puffs

The Art of Macarons

Winemaker Tastings & Dinners

Spirits Tastings

The Ojai Valley Inn spreads across a gentle rolling hillside into a deep green valley punctuated by massive Oak trees; the rambling flow of Spanish Revival style buildings resemble a picturesque village of red tile roofs sheltering white stucco walls, typical of what you might view in remote Spanish or Tuscan villages. My favorite suites have a cozy corner adobe like fireplace and a verandah with views of the hillsides. For the ultimate in privacy and luxury, there are two Penthouse Suites. Two-bedroom suites offering over 1500 square feet of privacy and endless views from your private terrace. The 1900 square foot Hacienda Penthouse is one of my favorite spaces, it will be completely refurbished this fall, but it is a terrific family gathering space. A collection of suite spaces is nestled into mini-villa clusters with expansive fragrant courtyards, ideal for a group or extended family. Off property, Casa Elar, is a private oasis, resembling a Tuscan Villa it features over 10,000 feet of luxurious living space. Fully staffed and accessible to the resort by golf cart. Private pool and spa, entertainment features inside and out, a fabulous retreat if you crave absolute privacy.

Come to the Ojai Valley Inn to camp out at the pool, play golf, hike, walk, and now cook – innumerable activities.