Hearst Ranch

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

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.

Tres Sabores

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.

Medlock Ames

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.

Lewelling Ranch

Chef Elliot Bell is getting back into the field kitchen at a site that means a lot to him. He got married there! Elliot introduced us to the historic Lewelling Ranch, one of the oldest vineyards in Napa. John Lewelling settled this land in 1864, and now the sixth generation of his descendants carry on his legacy. Husband and wife team Erik Dodd and Haley Wight help to manage the ranch and make wine under Haley’s new label, Hayfork, which they can’t wait to share with us. We’ll set the table down a row of grapevines, or maybe in the olive grove nestled inside the vineyards. We’ll wander the fruit orchards scattering the property and gaze at cows grazing on the hillsides. Elliot, a French Laundry alum, is opening his own restaurant in St. Helena this summer, named Charlie’s. He is a staunch supporter of the Napa Valley community, and has spent years building relationships with the local farmers as a volunteer firefighter. We can’t wait for Charlie’s to open its doors, but we may be even more excited for chef Elliot’s event this spring.

McEvoy Ranch

The dusty green rows of Italian olive trees may transport you to Tuscany while the soft purple lavender bushes lining the drive may take your mind to Provence—but the rolling hills of the Petaluma Gap will remind you that you are squarely in Northern California. At the third generation-run McEvoy Ranch, you’ll be treated to their estate extra-virgin olive oil, small-batch wines and a diverse range of other products, all grown with preservation of the natural ecosystem in mind. Our chef for the day, Alex Hong, has taken his food far from his cooking roots at his family table in Missouri to the Culinary Institute of America, and now his Michelin-starred dining room at Sorrel in San Francisco. Chef Alex will showcase the bountiful variety from Sonoma County’s many family farms alongside McEvoy estate olive oil for what we can promise will be an unforgettable meal.