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Travelers love to eat. That’s why, every year in our Readers’ Choice Survey, we ask our readers to rate the U.S. cities that have the best restaurants. This year, we were surprised by some of the winners in our Top 20. We think you will be too. Agree with their picks? Disagree? Want to see your favorite foodie city in the winner’s circle next year? Vote in the next Readers’ Choice Survey at cntraveler.com/vote.
The fourth annual star-powered Flavor! Napa Valley wine and food festival will be held November 19-23, 2014. The region’s immersive and festive celebration of fine, local wine and cuisine, Flavor! Napa Valley will again feature renowned chefs who either helm top restaurants located in Napa Valley or who have graduated from The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the festival’s beneficiary, alongside industry-leading Napa Valley vintners. The festival format will be presented as five days of tastings, cooking demonstrations, and experiential workshop series entitled Terroir to Table – Farm, Cellar & Kitchen Experiences. The festival’s main event will be the grand food and wine tasting fete, The Appellation Trail, hosted at the historic CIA at Greystone in St. Helena.
As of April 28, 2014, the following chefs, wineries and events are confirmed. More announcements will be made as additional events are finalized.
The impressive lineup will feature newcomers and returning favorites, including Michael Chiarello of Bottega Napa Valley; Todd English of Todd English Enterprises; Larry Forgione of the CIA’s Conservatory Restaurant at Greystone; Christopher Kostow of The Restaurant at Meadowood; Masaharu Morimoto of Morimoto Napa; Charlie Palmer of Harvest Inn and Dry Creek Kitchen; Cindy Pawlcyn of Mustards Grill, Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen and Cindy’s Waterfront; Melissa Perello of Frances; and more.
There will be more than 100 Napa Valley wineries pouring throughout the festival this year – some returning from prior years as well as some new participants – including Antica Napa Valley, Beringer Vineyards, Conn Creek Winery, Etude, Foley Johnson Winery, Kuleto Estate, Merus, Staglin Family Vineyard, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, and Stags’ Leap Winery.
The annual Welcome Dinner is returning for 2014, this time curated by the CIA’s Chairman of the Board, Chef Charlie Palmer, acclaimed for his signature progressive American cooking. Palmer is hand-picking a culinary team to present a superb five-course menu, paired with Napa Valley wines.
New this year will be Fried & True, hosted by CIA alumnus Lee Brian Schrager and author of the upcoming book by the same name that pays tribute to one of America’s favorite decadent foods – fried chicken. Guests will savor tastes of various signature preparations presented by famed chefs and exceptional Napa Valley restaurants while sipping an array of Napa Valley varietals.
The similarly classic and comforting burger will also be showcased this year at a multi-chef tasting event during which guests will cast a vote for the best Napa Valley burger. No beer here – only pours of Napa Valley’s world-famous Cabernet Sauvignon and bold Zinfandel.
The ever-popular Appellation Trail: Tasting Napa Valley will be returning to the CIA on Friday, November 21, featuring tastes from nearly 100 local wineries and 25 Napa Valley restaurants.
About Flavor! Napa Valley®
The five-day Flavor! Napa Valley®Celebration of Wine, Food & Fun is an annual event featuring world-class Napa Valley wines alongside Napa Valley’s master chefs and graduates of The Culinary Institute of America. Net proceeds from the event support programs and scholarships at The Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone Campus in St. Helena. The event is hosted by Visit Napa Valley in partnership with Napa Valley Vintners and founding sponsors Silverado Resort and Spa and Dolce Hotels and Resorts, and is produced by Karlitz & Company. For more details on the festival, including where to stay, please visit flavornapavalley.com. Additionally, visit us on Facebook at facebook.com/FlavorNapaValley, and follow @FlavorNapa on Twitter.
Visit Napa Valley
Writer: Lesley Chesterman
Food and wine lovers are familiar with the bounty of California’s Napa Valley. Oenophiles wax eloquent over the muscled cabernets and rich chardonnays, and foodies flock here to dine at “the Laundry,” or more specifically the French Laundry, that haute temple of California gastronomy that ranks among the top restaurants in the world. From its bakeries, to its stylish pizza places, to its Michelin-starred restaurants, to its hundreds of vineyard tasting rooms filled with expert sippers, Napa is nothing short of a gastronome’s paradise.