We love visiting Rich and Laura Everett at their farm just outside of our hometown of Santa Cruz. They are one of our favorite and longest partnerships. In addition to selling organic fruits, vegetables and flowers in their farmstand, Rich has dedicated himself to mentoring a new generation of farmers. By teaching not only agricultural techniques but business and management, their program has become a kind of farm incubator. Meanwhile, Laura uses her background in viticulture to grow heirloom varieties of apples for their very own Soquel Cider. We’ll sip on some hard cider at reception before a leisurely farm walk that ends with a view of our table set alongside the clear waters of Soquel Creek. There, we’ll enjoy an Indonesian-inspired feast from Siska Silitonga of ChiliCali. Chef Siska cooked one of our favorite meals of the 2022 tour; our team is still talking about her spicy noodles and signature sambal sauce, which we hope will line the long table again this time around. If we’re lucky, she will forage some exciting ingredients from the woods around Soquel for us to enjoy.
Regions: California | Spring & Summer
Alexander Valley Hops with Russian River Brewing Co.
Terroir isn’t just for wine. Join us in iconic growing region Sonoma County for a unique look at beverage from farm to glass for a special beer-pairing focused dinner from some of the best in the business. Award-winning Russian River Brewing is joining us at Alexander Valley Hops, where towers of heady hops climb up to twenty feet above our heads, giving us many dramatic options to set the table. Adam Dulye, our guest chef for the day, knows a thing or two about beer – he is the executive chef of the Brewers Association, a nationwide organization with a mission to educate on the compatibility of craft beer and contemporary cuisine. Not to mention, he’s joined us in the field kitchen more times than we can count. There’s no doubt his cuisine will complement Russian River’s best beers.
For most, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dine on the Hearst family’s private ranch, where cattle graze freely with zebras and African deer on the grassy hillsides along the coast of San Simeon. We are lucky enough to be returning to serve dinner on the ranch for the third year in a row. We’ll start the afternoon at the winery with Jim and Debi Saunders before a healthy stroll to the table set on San Simeon Point. While we take in the 360-degree views of the ocean and the ranchlands, Joe Hou from San Francisco’s Tenderheart will craft a playful meal inspired by his Chinese-American roots, and utilizing the best of California’s bountiful early summer produce. The walk to this table is sure to work up a healthy appetite — make sure to wear your walking shoes!
Markegard Family Grass-Fed
The Markegard family welcomes us back to their home ranch! This year’s drought-breaking winter rains have brought bright green grasses to the Markegard’s gorgeous property overlooking the vast Pacific, and their herd of black and white Belted Galloway cattle (whimsically known as ‘’Oreo cows’’) will once again be roaming the landscape where we’ll dine. Host farmer Doniga, ranch hand Sue and the Markegard kids will be at the table to show off both their horses and horsemanship along with their fabulous ranch fashion. And our own Jim Denevan, chef and founder of Outstanding in the Field, will head the OITF culinary team in the field kitchen. We’ll see if Doniga can get Jim to climb up on a horse again for a meet and greet after dinner is served.
Tira Nanza means to “pull forward” in the Italian dialect of the hillside towns of Greg Hill’s grandparents. After traveling and working in several of the world’s most noted wine regions, Greg and Sydney decided to settle down and make their own wine. Last year, shortly after our event, Greg and Sydney got married on their sprawling ranch, where cows graze between rows of organic grapevines and native owls and hawks float above to offer natural pest control. We’ll start our afternoon at the wine cave, built into a rocky hillside overlooking the ranch. Then we’ll head to the table along a ridge line with sweeping views of the Carmel Valley to enjoy dinner from Jessica Yarr of Chicken Foot, who also brings inspiration from her family’s roots. Her take on modern Eastern European cuisine is inspired by her grandmother. Think pelmini, pierogi, and zakuski—all featuring the finest local ingredients from Bay Area farms.
Secret Sea Cove
A truly magical table set in the narrow strip where the rocky coast meets warm, wiggle-your-toes-in-it sand. Tide, sea breeze, galumphing elephant seals— a beach dinner puts us right in the middle of it all. The Muzzis almost never allow access to the property and the beach; tourists and tourism are considered something of a plague for the generations that have raised families nurtured by this fertile land. Needless to say, we feel very lucky to be here. We will enjoy dinner with the soundtrack of crashing waves and spectacular ocean views while Brad Briske from Home cooks us an Italian-inspired, hyper-locally-sourced feast focused on the freshest and best of the season—with plenty of Pacific seafood caught just feet from our seats.
Secret Sea Cove
We love this stretch of beach for its shrub-covered bluffs leading to untouched golden sand, where we often see dolphins or humpback whales or pelicans skimming the waves. Our host fisherman, Hans Haveman, will point out wildlife and maybe even pass some kelp down the table, fresh-foraged from the tidewaters. Seafood from H&H Fresh Fish will anchor the menu by Greg Kuzia-Carmel from casual wine-and-coffee bar Canteen and new neighborhood restaurant Camper. After growing up on the East Coast and working at New York City’s Per Se, he blends his roots with a pride for coastal California in his cuisine.
This family-owned and women-run estate is home to grapevines, heritage olive trees, grazing sheep and an heirloom garden bursting with Meyer lemons and pomegranates. The name Tres Sabores refers to the three flavors winemaker Julie Johnson imbues into every glass: the terroir infused into each bottle through ambient yeasts from the farm, healthy vines that make high quality wines, and the spirit of the winemaker. She believes that good company is just as essential to enjoying a glass of wine as flavor and place. There will certainly be plenty of that at the long table set among the vines—as well as some spectacular food to share.
Flowers Vineyards & Winery
Joan and Walt Flowers pioneered the growing of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes on the rugged hillsides of the Sonoma Coast in the 1990s. And we have been given the rare opportunity to set the table at their seminal vineyard, Camp Meeting Ridge. Here, fog drifts in from the Pacific to curl below steep hillsides lined with grapevines, and sunset colors gild the leaves in the late afternoon. These hills are famously steep, but we will be sure to set the table within a reasonable walking distance. Chef Nelson German will be coming up from Oakland to cook for us amongst the vines. He’s known for his time on Top Chef, but now has two award-winning restaurants, Sobre Mesa and alaMar. He won over our guests with a seafood feast on the beach last year, and won over our crew by staying late to serve a special family meal featuring his own grandmother’s recipe.
There are a lot of beautiful vineyards in California’s wine country, but Medlock Ames’s Bell Mountain Vineyard stands out even amongst the illustrious crowd in the Alexander Valley. Much of this 338 acre ranch is uncultivated, making it feel more like a nature preserve than a vineyard. In fact, its 44 vibrant acres of organic grapes and olive groves are bisected by a wildlife corridor to allow animals to access the neighboring Pepperwood Preserve. Our charming host and co-founder Ames Morison will tell us all about his approach to both farming and winemaking as we walk through the vineyards to the table — which we may choose to set amongst the grapevines or down the road lined with oak trees glowing golden in late afternoon light. There, Edgar Zecua from Fleetwood will serve a creative feast unique to California’s wine country. Chef Edgar is no stranger to cooking over open fire, so we are sure he will bring some exciting surprises out into the field for this dinner.