Friday, March 30, 2007

uni beurre blanc

Day 2 started off with an open house/tour of The Culinary Institute of America Greystone Campus. Located in the town of St. Helena, this school is the Napa Valley campus of the premier culinary school in America with its main campus in Hyde Park, New York. The tour consisted of a presentation and Q&A with an administration rep., followed by a chef's demonstration (Chef Thomas Wong formerly of the Pink Palance in Hawaii), and brief tour of the school. Greystone is very small with an enrollment of 130 students compared to the 2700 students at Hyde Park, but beautiful in its own right nonetheless: Perfect weather, abundance of fresh produce, and situated in the middle of Napa Valley; what more could you ask for?

After the tour, we headed over to the campus restaurant, Wine Spectator, and enjoyed a wonderful lunch.

Olive oil from Greece and olives.

Mandarin Orange Blossom.

Steamed Clams in Romesco sauce.

French Onion soup with a Gruyere souffle on top.

Black Cod with a kelp (I don't remember what they called it in Japanese) reduction sauce.

After lunch, we headed down St. Helena Hwy to hit a few wineries before heading down to San Jose. The first winery we visited was the Beringer Winery. It reminded of the times in college when we used to drink the white zinfandel. Oh, the good ol' days. We shared a tasting of three wines for $5, not bad.

Further down the highway close to Yountville, we stopped at the Robert Mondavi Winery. The last To Kalon tour of the day had just left so we quickly paid our $25 and joined the group as our guide was showing us the different wine regions of California. We headed out to the demonstration vineyard where the chardonnays and and zins were beginning to burst their buds. Since it was the bud burst season, there was no activity in the cellar but the smell of yeast permeated the room. On the lower level of the cellar was where the aging took place. Rows and rows of french oak barrels full of Cabernet sauvignon. You could definitely smell the wine. Finally the wine tasting: 2002 Stags Leap Sauvignon Blanc, Robert Mondavi Winery 2004 Chardonnay, 1996 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2005 Moscato d'Oro dessert wine. I really enjoyed the cab and the Chardonnay was an easy every day. Of course I couldn't leave empty handed so I bought a bottle of the PNX Pinot Noir, Carneros. The sales guy, Robert?, said you couldn't go wrong with it.

We finally made it down to Mountain View around 8pm where we will stay with Kristle until Monday.

The highlight of the day:

Mr. Information Desk: So are you enjoying your stay in Napa Valley:
Me: Yes, very much so.
Mr. Info Desk: Could I just tell you, I did a double take when I saw you walk by.
Me: Oh.
Mr. Info Desk: You look like that actress Margaret Ho.
Me: Who? (I knew who he was talking about.)
Mr. Info Desk: That actress from Sideways.Me:
You mean Sandra Oh.
Mr. Info Desk: Is that her name? Isn't there an actress name Margaret?
Me: You're thinking of Margaret Cho, the comedienne.
Mr. Info Desk: You're right.

I just can't seem to get away from it!


Siel said...


who is margaret ho...??

you should name yourself sandra
and work part-time as sandra oh's double-body.


it seems like your trip to SF was great!!


u live a GOOD life, girl~

i gotta move to the US too...
it's more relaxed there.

Siel said...

i meant.....body-double

so...i can't delete my comment once i write it...huh?


Yunyoung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yunyoung said...

i could delete it but no worries, it's all good.

well, there is this comedienne named Margaret Cho then you have Sandra Oh, and the Ho, I guess Oh sounds like Ho.

it was a lot of fun.

you need to come out here ASAP!