It’s been a whirlwind last couple of weeks. I just got back from vacation, at the end of which I got to be a part of TASTE15: Unearthing the Art and Science of Food, a food blogger trip hosted by Best Food Facts. Before I even went I knew it was going to be amazing, but I didn’t know exactly HOW amazing! We got to have dinner on a vineyard, pick California strawberries, learn about honey and olive oil, tour a dairy farm and have one of the best dinners I’ve had in my entire life at a downtown Sacramento restaurant.
The trip took place in northern California, in the Sacramento/Davis areas and I got to make some amazing new friends (it’s recap part 1 because I’m going to get to see all the lovely ladies two more times before the end of the year!) and see some ladies I’d already spent time with (Lynn and Jocelyn-both of whom were at the ChiTownRetreat!) Hopefully I can express the beauty of what I saw and experienced through pictures.
Putah Creek Winery Excursion – We kicked things off with a tour of Putah Creek Winery followed by a food and wine pairing dinner. The wine was outstanding (I have a new love of red wines) and the scenery was just gorgeous. We literally had dinner on the vineyard (top right photo courtesy of Lynn!)
The wine was phenomenal, and it was so special to hear one of the partners (Diego Barison – bottom center pictures) talk about their production and wine making process. The food was also phenomenal – I was getting so many ideas and just loved everything from the presentation to the food itself! For appetizers we had carrot hummus and goat cheese covered in apricot jam and pistachios (my new favorite by the way – you can expect a recipe coming soon) and then dinner was duck confit with polenta and vegetables and dessert was goat cheese strawberry cheesecake.
Strawberry Patch Adventure – “You also can’t go to California without experiencing California strawberries” is what I was told, and boy was I happy to experience this. I had never before had such sweet and fresh strawberries! We stopped at T&Y Strawberry Patch, took a tour of their farm and stopped by the farm’s fruit stand.
We met the farmer who started the patch (she was up that morning at 5am tending and picking strawberries) and I was in love with the amazing selection of goodies at their store (lower right picture-I got fig balsamic vinegar, honey, of course either fresh strawberries and raspberries and then some of their homemade strawberry jam!)
Dinner at Ella Dining Room and Bar – For dinner we went to Ella’s Dining Room and Bar. Their food…wow, I was blown away by the fresh ingredients and amazing salads. When asked what one of the favorite parts of the trip were, I blurted out ‘the salads at Ella’s!’ They were piled high on a plate and each one was more delicious than the next (there were three different ones).
Dairy Farm Tour – Our last adventure in California was a tour of the New Hope Dairy Farm.
We saw the dairy farm and got to see all the magnificent animals, truly a cool experience.
In the picture from right to left: farmers from New Hope Dairy Farm (all the males in the picture), me, Lynn from Order in the Kitchen, Alice from Hip Foodie Mom, Hayley from The Domestic Rebel, Liz from Lizventures, Jocelyn from Inside Bru Crew Life, Marybeth from Alarm Clock Wars, Krista S. from The Farmer’s Wifee, Sarah from Nurse Loves Farmer, Lauren from Paint the Town Ag, Adriana from Adriana’s Best Recipes, and Sanura from My Life Runs on Food.
I can’t wait to see everyone again in late July and then share here on my blog more of what I see and learn. I hope you’re prepared for many recipes that were inspired by this trip!