This March, I was lucky enough to attend the 2nd Annual North American Relais & Chateaux Chef's Conference in Napa Valley. This is a great opportunity for all of the chefs from the Relais & Chateaux properties within the United States and Canada to get together for a three-day conference of social events and food and beverage themed lectures by some of the most influential individuals in our industry.
We heard Michael Bauer, Restaurant Critic of the San Francisco Chronicle; speak about his profession and the challenges that he faces. A panel including wine makers Gina Gallo, Rob Mondavi and Paul Roberts were joined by senior editor of Wine Spectator, Tom Matthews to discuss how they are adapting to the changing trends in the world of wine.
We were all excited to hear Nathan Myhrvold, the creative mind behind the innovative cookbook collection "Modernist Cuisine" tell us about his newest project "Modernist Bread" that is due out this year.
I mean no disrespect to the lectures but I think that the highlight for everyone who attended the event was when we were treated to a luncheon at the famed Relais & Chateaux and three Michelin star restaurant, The French Laundry.
Chef Thomas Keller and his team welcomed us with canapés and Krug Champagne. We were greeted with warm hospitality as they gave us all tours of the newly renovated kitchen and then served us a multi course meal paired with some stellar wines from the region. We ended the meal strolling the grounds and visiting the vegetable garden across the street. Simply put, it was perfect.
It was an honor to meet with so many inspirational professionals and to be able to build relationships with other chefs in the Relais & Chateaux family. The gracious hospitality that we were shown was truly inspirational and I am already looking forward to next year's event in San Antonio.