Last week I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Napa for the World of Flavors conference.  Napa has always been on my bucket list and so to say I was excited would be an understatement.  It did not disappoint, I am in love with Napa!  The weather was beautiful, the setting was breath taking and the food was out of this world…literally.  I am ready to hop in a car with my girl friends and go back…right now!  Truly, I can’t wait to go back and discover more of what the picturesque valley has to offer.  3 days just wasn’t enough time to take it all in.

The conference was located at the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone and this is literally the very first view I had when I arrived.  Such a lucky girl!

I traveled with fellow high school culinary students and after the conference was over for the evening we openned a bottle of wine.  It was made right there at the Greystone and we toasted to the days to come.

The campus is set on the mountainside and although it was founded in 1995, it looks like it has been a part of the valley for centuries.  If I ever go missing…this is where you can find me {if I am not in Maui}.  Seriously though…if I could go back in time.  I would go to culinary school right here.

This is one of the many demonstration kitchens!  So jealous!  I was in a breakout session given by a chef from Spain.  We were introduced to so many new flavors combinations and foods.  I can’t wait to bring some of what I learned back to my students.

Calistoga is where we stayed, which is only about 40 miles from Napa.  It is a cute little town with quaint shops, lots of restaurants and palm trees {I LOVE palm trees}.  Our hotel was a hot springs and the pool area was my favorite place to relax for a few minutes everyday.

As you can imagine, food was plentiful.  Everything was served in individual portions at stations that were divided by country and then by chef or product.  The first night I was so overwhelmed by the entire “eating experience” that I was stuffed before I was even half way through the booths.  That wasn’t the case from there on out.  The next day, I was a seasoned pro.

Chocolate covered grass hopper/cricket anyone??

The diversity of the food was hard to even wrap my mind around.  I would be eating fresh parm with 20 year aged balsamic and gelato…

And then famous chefs from other parts of the world would be preparing their specialties…

In Lakeview we are still in winter mode and so it was great to be transported directly to spring.  Flowers were blooming everywhere.  The citrus trees were full of growing fruit too!

I was also jealous of all of the fresh fruit and vegetables that were everywhere.  Look at this spread…

Every booth had something to offer and these radish flowers were so fun.

One of my goals was to drink Rose’ outside.  It was everything I had hoped.  Mumm Napa is a beautiful winery with an awesome patio area and the Brut Rose’ was perfect.  So was the view!

I got home about 5 pounds heavier and full of inspiration that I can’t wait to share.  Thank you for letting me reminise.  Who is ready to go back with me??