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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
already taken place, but hopefully Phil will return- sorry I missed it!
Phil Rosenthal and Nancy Silverton’s Friends Behind The Flame (April 17-18,
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.
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
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.
Silverton With Dario Cecchini on the Art of Butchering (November 23-24, 2019)
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.
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
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.
to the Ojai Valley Inn to camp out at the pool, play golf, hike, walk, and now cook
– innumerable activities.